Review: Skream & Benga @ Warehouse Project – 14/12/11

By David Wright

Mayhem and adoration welcome London’s dubstep kings back to the Warehouse Project.

With only a handful of acts left to play in 2011 – and at the renowned Store Street location – it’s not surprising that Skream + Benga, two of dubstep’s leading and most prominent producers, present at the Warehouse Project.

Instantly my eyes are drawn to the bulky Funktion One sound-system set each side of the stage, which means two things: 1) anyone planning on being adjacent to the stage won’t see a thing and 2) the sound quality tonight is going to be f***ing awesome.

Zinc – the most noteworthy of the warm ups – receives a good reception from the crowd and enjoys an hour long set. With the crowd multiplying in his last 10 minutes, it’s clear it’s not to hear his last track; it’s in anticipation for Skream + Benga.

Cue Skream + Benga, accompanied by MC Youngman. The venue erupts. Already the bouncers are tasked with getting women down from men’s shoulders – as if they’re going to take note…

The gig peaked somewhere in the second half with cover Internet Friends, not before Skream introduces it as a Knife Party tune. It’s a song that teased us with a phoney drop, which only made the actual drop 10 times better; followed by Youngman saying “I warned ya” – indeed he did.

The song repeats: “You blocked me on Facebook, now you’re going to die” – something I’m sure we can all relate to.

It’s a bouncer’s nightmare: Youngman commands everyone in the crowd to get on someone else’s shoulders with their lighters. It’s a beautiful scene. Yes, both the ambience and watching the hopeless bouncers.

Benga is carrying on with usual habit and sweating from every crevice, so I don’t envy the sector of the audience he staged dived into. Meanwhile, as they move to more funky two step from dub, Skream comes out from behind his decks and jams with Youngman, the crowd mimic their rocking-back-and-forth-dance; this pair really knows how to work their fans.

It’s important to remember these are two acts respectively, but it’s effortless how they form into one for the performance.

Overall, a successful night. There’s no doubt they’ll be welcomed back with open arms, wherever the next WHP setting is.

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