We told Boomtown we’d write about the festival after we got back. As reviews are played out, we’ve opted for rambling accounts of our personal experiences and who we linked up with instead…
The third day on site saw the skies open something fierce. This didn’t seem to put a downer on many Boomtowners. Being a hardcore bunch of nutters, the majority poncho’d up or continued to mission through a monsoon half naked.
Down to a combination of being old guys and unfortunately having the majority of our Sunday content rained off, me and Dfacer opted to chill out in Boomtown Springs for the afternoon. This essentially just resulted in a mix of getting a healthy amount of Bourbon in us with running to adjacent pop up tents when it pissed it down, to converse between them by yelling at each other.
Early evening, we headed to Boomtown’s hip hop heartland, Poco Loco, where we’d already spent a lot of our downtime so far…
Over the course of the long weekend, Poco Loco had already played host to a ridiculously ill hip hop line-up. Thursday night saw Cult of The Damned and Babylon Dead both absolutely destroying the stage with Jman mobbing deep for his set with some familiar faces providing back up. Friday night we caught Coops deliver a performance that served to more than justify his recent surge in standing on the UK scene since his signing to High Focus. One of Saturdays highlights had been escaping the ocean of people who’d gone to see Gorillaz at the Lion’s Den (with Sean Peng and co in tow) and heading to Poco Loco instead, to find Children of Zeus starting a mesmerising set.
To sum it up neatly, Poco Loco is Boomtown’s safe haven for hip hop heads. So, its logical that its where we ended up for the final night and absolute gold ensued.
To describe the first three acts to rock Poco Loco on Sunday evening as ‘musically adept’ would be an understatement somewhere along the lines of referring to Lowkey as ‘a bit political’. Worthy of serious mention… Long standing veterans of all things live; The Herbaliser brought their established blend of jazz, hip hop and trip hop to the stage in force. Manchester legends The Mouse Outfit after having spent the whole day on the road to arrive, pulled up backstage with literally ten minutes to spare. Ever the professionals, they stretched out achy limbs and then ambled on to stage, calm as Hindu cows, to deliver something outstanding.
A lot of the magic of Boomtown is being consistently blindsided by something unexpected. So in keeping with that, my personal highlight came in the form of Abstract Orchestra Plays Dilla. I’d been aware of live performances from them (with venues like The Jazz Café playing host to showcases by the collective) but didn’t know exactly what to expect. Beyond the obvious appeal of seeing an impressively tight group of musicians smash out live homages to the late great producer, with a brass section that any funk band would be envious of… I’d completely missed the memo that the men with the mics would be long time UKHH favourites Micall Parknsun and Joker Starr. The two of them killed their vocal responsibilities and turned something that was already dope into an opus of smooth bangers.
With the kind of weather that made the word ‘moist’ sound warm and fuzzy pissing on all arrangements for Sunday content, the realisation that we had Parky’s number and could probably pester him for bars, breathed life into zombified hopes of getting something shot. Responding almost instantly after coming off stage, with something along the lines of ‘get a couple beers from the bar and we’ll drop a couple bars for the beers’… Ten minutes later, pints were exchanged and the two lyricists effortlessly smashed their UKHH bars.
Points to note:
With the same professionalism that contributed to taking a live ensemble playing J Dilla to the next level of dope, Parky and Joker did the above video in one take. While MCs killing a bars video in one try isn’t a first, these 2 get big props for coming straight off stage on the last day of Boomtown to have the scenario sprung on them (without anything pre-planned) and murking it without pausing to think.
Sick production on the instrumental came from a shortlist on Micall Parknsun’s phone of his constantly expanding personal library of beats. With something almost Cannibal Ox-esque about it, it’s a good example of the diversity of Parknsun’s soundscapes and how much he’s continued to develop as a producer. The Me Myself and Akai producer (on top of personal releases) is currently making a living off prolifically churning out high-grade beats for sale that span every facet of the hip hop spectrum. To any MCs out there hungry for beats… Shout Parky.
After a quick chat with the two MCs about future projects etc, we packed up equipment for the weekend and spent our last few hours of Boomtown between catching Lady Leshurr smash her headline spot and dancing like frenzied muppets to drum n bass.
Thus ends our 3 Days of Boomtown.
For tickets to Boomtown 2019 click here.