Roni Size @ Laundry – cramped is an understatement

After failing to get a ticket for Shapeshifter who were playing as part of the SoCo Cargo festival, I figured I was still keen for some drum and bass and decided to wander over to Chinese Laundry to check out dnb pioneer, Roni Size. Lucky that I did seeing as most of the people I talked to about the Shapeshifter gig said it was fairly rubbish – a shipping container apparently isn’t as great a music venue as some would believe. They were also selling glowsticks there…I don’t think the wrong-ness of this needs to be explained. Shapeshifter only played for a one hour set, I’m told a fantastic one hour set but still, $45 for average hip hop and only a snippet of Shapeshifter? I now appreciate the fact that the gig sold out. Finally, my procrastination paid off.

A drum and bass gig at Laundry is a rare thing, one that I have never experienced before. I must say, being an avid attendee of the Cave and a big fan of the entire venue in general, I was quite disappointed at how everything turned out. My friends and I managed to get in fairly easily (mostly because we’ve gotten to know many of the promoters and in general they’re top people). We rocked up at about 11pm, short lines in view, little rain and clearly below capacity. This all changed once it hit midnight, when Roni was scheduled to do a 1 and a half hour set. The Cave didn’t open on time, meaning one less area where people could be shoved into for a little dance and boogie. It was cramped, VERY cramped. Drum and bass is music that generally requires big dancing – as in energetic, jumping, stomping dancing. It’s not really condusive to bopping or bang ganging. However, we were forced to do this in the back corner of the main room. I attempted to burrow my way through to the front but there was no hope. Even trying to get out of the back corner was a battle. We stayed for about an hour and decided to leave. Roni played a decent set but to be honest it was difficult to pay attention considering we were being jostled every 3 seconds because someone wanted to leave the room or wanted a bigger space to dance in. To say the least, it didn’t really work and I was disappointed with my dose of drum and bass this weekend. Hopefully the drum and bass weekender at Void and UTS Loft Bar next week will be better. I don’t mind cramped, hot and sweaty but when you’re stuck doing some form of mini-box-step surrounded by people talking over the music yelling ‘Roni who?!’ it kind of sucks the fun out of the usual cramped, hot and sweaty dnb gig that I have to come love so much.

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