Occasionally over the weekend in Brighton, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re actually in South London with this year’s strong grime presence. With their knack for jumping on new and exciting movements in music, The Great Escape organisers were certainly privy to a grime revival with talismans JME & Skepta crowning a huge year with a historic dome show.
The two brothers don’t disappoint, opening the show with the anthemic #thatsnotme, the crowd go insane as Skepta conducts the audience like a punk band might, organising circle pits and bellowing “Energy!” whenever he has a spare breath. Their set acts as a magnum opus for grime’s progression and burgeoning popularity with the pairs’ bars coming thick and fast. Through the jovial ‘German Whip’ to the future enigmatic classics ‘Man Don’t Care’ and ‘Shutdown’, Skepta and JME assert their dominance as the scene’s forefathers still running the game.
Great Escape is all about bedding in the next generation, a task 18 year old Lewisham MC Novelist and his producer Mumdance grab by the horns. “Novelist I write bars until I got a weak hand” he boasts on the bass-heavy ‘Take Time’, his notoriously dexterous flow arrests the initially bemused crowd, with Mumdance’s sparse and often avant-garde instrumentals gives an edge to Novelist’s assertions that “It’s mad on the road” in his native Lewisham. Despite his age, Novelist’s talent and big money XL records deal could provide the competition to Skepta & JME that’s been hugely lacking for a few years.
By Toby McCarron