Kurupt FM - Champagne Steam Rooms
Friday 20th Nov
Canal Mills, Leeds
Between filming their BBC Three series and dropping hot bangers on air, the masterminds behind the infamous Kurupt FM (108.9 on your dial - as long as you live in Brentford) took time out of their busy schedule to make the long journey north to Leeds’ Canal Mills on Friday night to showcase the legendary Champagne Steam Rooms of garage lore.
Revellers were advised to don their waviest Moschino two-piece, their Gucciest loafers, and to leave all notions of house music at the door, where there would be free Peanut Dust on arrival. Okay that last part isn’t strictly true, but they were serious about the house and anybody spotted in an obey vest would be ejected from the rave. This was a night for the underground, and it was set to be a roadblock affair.
Sticky and Scott Garcia got things started with their partnership alias Foundation, giving the crowd a lesson in garage history and Bashment outfit The Heatwave brought carnival vibes to the stage in the old textile mill.
Yorkshire’s own Toddla T filled the room as he picked up the headphones and reached straight for his dubplate collection. As Serocee, his hypeman for the night, got the crowds energy rising with his back and forths, the Radio 1 DJ had them begging for rewinds as he unleashed a barrage of exclusive mashups and collaborations. Switching between rappers over grime, MCs over dancehall and reggae artists over trap, Toddla managed to spin a confusingly perfect web of genres.
For the main event, the Kurupt FM boys took to the stage. With Steves selecting the sounds, Beats and Grindah went back to back with their hardest freestyles supported by Decoy and Fantasy. Even the Mayor of Hounslow was hyping on the mic! Covering classic Garage, Grime and Jungle instrumentals their set didn’t once slow down as they took the crowds energy (and their car keys).
Bringing the night’s theme of nostalgia to its peak was the sensational Ms Dynamite. Smashing her old school bangers like it was 2002, she proved she still had her 21 year-old energy and bad gyal attitude. Once through her back catalogue of hits, her DJ teased the crowd by continually reloading Wile Out after replacing the drop with classic grime instrumentals such as I Luv U and Oi. Once the drop came, the dance floor at Canal Mills gave justice to the track’s name.
Newham Generals had been enlisted to finish the night off. The grime veterans dropped their collaborative hit Hard and a couple of yet released exclusives, whilst also backing each other on their solo projects such as Footsie’s Work All Day and D Double’s Street Fighter Riddim. The Gens also kept within the Steam Room boundaries and added their pinch of nostalgia by spitting over Wiley’s Igloo and Sir Spyro’s Rhythm & Gash refix.
Throwing nights as big as this – it’s hard to work out if the guys behind Kurupt FM have been taking things seriously all along.
Words by Conor Crozier
Photos courtesy of The Gryphon