Taking over a massive North London Warehouse that's now operated by the same people behind Printworks, Chase and Status planed their RTN II JUNGLE London show flawlessly. The Boys have clocked up a fair bit of mileage over the summer, bringing the Jungle love back to the masses with RTN II JUNGLE shows at Love Saves the Day, Ibiza, Exit Festival, Boomtown Fair and Pukkelpop in Belgium, however, this one was different. This show was the biggest RTN II JUNGLE show yet.
Located in North London, Drumsheds was an ideal venue of choice for their largest show of this kind and didn't take us long to arrive from here once we got to King Cross. It was here that you got a feel on just how big this show was going to be as you bumped into fellow junglists who had travelled from Bristol, Birmingham and beyond all amped and wide-eyed for the oncoming carnage.
The vastness of this place hits you once you arrive and you could feel a quite a chill if you stood around for too long. Thankfully this didn't happen because Bryan Gee and MC GQ had just played a blinder and had everyone hot stepping like fugitives on the run. Straight after, Chimpo and Dub Phizix rolled it out back to back causing absolute scenes for some involved. Chimpo killed it and was simply next level with Dub Phizix demonstrating his prowess for drunken rave-styles and down stepping beats that blur the near grey area borders of Bass music.
Walking around you could feel the bite of winter as the back doors were kept open meaning you had to be up near the speakers to stay fairly warm and be in with a chance of feeling some sub-bass. Security was tight, not the friendliest but then again, we didn't see much in the way of trouble either so fair play to them. We did see a few incidents where they were far too keen, grabbing things out of peoples hands which they mistook for some sort of illegal substance and then just throwing it on the floor once they realised they got it wrong. We get that they have a job to do however being overzealous just ruins peoples nights and these are the very same people who buy tickets that pay your wages. I suppose apart from the odd arctic wind chill, the drinks were a tad expensive at £3 for a can of water and £12 for a double has become the new norm now at most bars, which coincidentally took ages to get to due to the hordes of skanking junglists.
After relocating nearer the stage, Fabio and Grooverider had taken control and took things to a deeper and darker direction. Grooverider dropped some especially rough and rugged stretched out build-ups that propelled into devastating drops that seem to have always been a hallmark of his sets, causing a frenzy on the floor as he drew out some special limited re-edits from his Protege imprint. Fabio balanced things with splendor, embracing the melodic edge of the DnB spectrum, spinning top tracks that have become one of the staple sounds of the genre. Pacey and energetic, his selection had the place moving with a mix that only a deep understanding of the music and thorough experience could piece together. MC Felon hosted mic duties and was not overbearing and let most of the tunes do the talking with the odd few bars spat here and there for good measure. Before we knew it, the "Rage" legends were dropping their last track and SASASAS were ready to run rampant on stage. The Drum and Bass supergroup wasted no time in turning up the vibe with an onslaught of lyrics and heavy drops that had crowd participation on maximum. Harry Shotta, MC Shabba D and Skibadee gave it 100% and got the crowd behind him as he reeled off some of the many bars they are so renowned for. There set was littered with many "one-off" re-edits of their productions and new material. With crews such as SASASAS, the MC's do take centre stage, and with 3 of the best MC's from the jungle scene on stage, it was a constant stream of lyrics which sometimes got lost in the vastness of this extensive warehouse with the high energy vibes on stage not being entirely replicated at the back of the dancefloor where the sound was not as good. Still the hour passed quickly and the night was just racing by far too quickly for our liking as MC Det grabbed the MIC and announced with his deep baritone sound that he and Brockie were in the house and ready to tear this shed apart. And that they did, in typical Brockie and Det fashion, warming up the masses for the main event that lay ahead.
As the music and lights died down after an eventful hour from the Kool FM stalwarts, it was clear we were about to RTN II JUNGLE. The whole day had already been madness and as soon as MC Rage touched the mic we all knew we were in for a treat. You can always count on Chase and Status to put on a show, but this evening's spectacle was just in another league. A different class. The light show that ensued as they embarked on their set was insane, the laser show next level, with screens behind them reaffirming just how Jungle had remerged as a raver's favourite again in the last few years. With a mix of new and old tunes being played, the duo's performance was unpredictable and ultimately relentless as they dropped cuts from their new album with Irah stepping up vocalising the new 2019 refix of Shy FX's classic, "Original Nuttah" which had the whole shed on tilt. The whole set was fire from beginning to end, with their sounding as big and heavy as the did 10 years ago. Personal favourite tune of the set for me has to be Retreat, this set the pace early on and it never really let up from there so great job boys, this was RTN II LONDON, RTN II JUNGLE at it finest and well worth the wait.
Visit the Chase & Status website here to check out the RTN II JUNLE documentary