Mike Skinner (DJ Set)
Sunday 1st May
May bank-holiday Sunday fun could be located within the walls of XOYO, where a night seeing a Mike Skinner DJ set guaranteed a heterogeneous mix of music. Even by having the slightest knowledge of Skinner’s back catalogue, the audience knew they were dealing with a UK music scene icon. The Streets having an undeniable impact on the UK urban scene from the start with the release of the album Original Pirate Material back in 2002. Consequently, the promise of garage and hip-hop infused bass was imminent. Despite The Streets no longer existing Mike Skinner is involved in many different artistic projects, his dj sets being one of them. The crowd was a mix of regulars and those pursuing the intrigue of a Mike Skinner behind the decks.
The warm-up for the night featured Juxx Selector Jack Swift and Klepto. The crowd were eased in with an electronic mix, featuring crowd-pleasers from Wile Out by DJ Zinc, initiating an excitable surge in the crowd, to classics like Gabriel (live garage version) by Roy Davis Jr - heightening the easy feel good atmosphere. Archangel by Burial pre-empted the pleasure of nostalgia from huge tracks, a feeling to be reinforced throughout the night.
The warm up progressed to an increasingly bass-heavy affair fore-shadowing Skinners own set. Old-school grime creeped in, cultivating enthusiasm from the growing crowd before the recent release Man by Skepta featured, only to reappear in Skinner’s set with the kind of adulation as though it was the first play of the night.
The approach of 3am coincided with glimpses of Skinner and the start of his set. The changeover was distinctively marked by a tribute to Prince. Purple Rain by Prince filling a sweaty XOYO came as a delightful surprise, with the energy bouncing straight back mixed into energetic bass. Crowd pleasers came in all night, across genres of drum n bass to grime, hip hop and garage.
Classic Drum n Bass track Some Justice 95 by Urban Shakedown Feat. DBO greeted an appreciative crowd. A lot of the set was infused with a mix of familiar hip-hop with the likes of Jumpman by Drake and Future balanced by quintessential old-school grime tracks Slang like this by True Tiger. The energy from the DJs throughout the night was undeniable, manifesting in the crowd. Skinner playing monumental track Lights are blinding my eyes by The Streets, combined with XOYO illuminations saw a special moment which the crowd revelled in.
The continuing intense bass was later juxtaposed by the playful Fit But You Know It by The Streets which saw the last of the crowd rejoice in nostalgia. Thus the intrigue of a Mike Skinner DJ set in 2016 see’s a night with the sole purpose to entertain. A joyous mix of genres throughout the night maintained the energy and attention in the crowd, those enjoying the bass-heavy tunes the most entertained of the night.
Words by Georgina Walker
Photos courtesy of XOYO