Having last ventured to a proper Hospital night back when Matter was still open for business, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when on route to their now permanent London home of the o2 Brixton Academy in South London. With a lineup that featured Hospital mainstays such as Nu Tone, Logistics as well as new signings S.P.Y., Metrik and Fred V & Grafix it was gonna have all bases covered.
Touching down just after 11pm on my lonesome (friends who bail aren’t to be trusted) I will say this: Hospital definitely put in the time, money and effort needed to make their nights less of a club experience and more of an event. It felt like being at a big rave fun fair. The stage management, lighting and big screens all add to it feeling like you’re at Global Gathering as opposed to a multi roomed club venue in the capital.
After settling in nicely by the side of the main arena I watched Roni Size and Dynamite MC run through a set of classic tunes dropping snippets of stuff such as Planet Dust in between rolling out tunes such as DJ Die’s Slow Burn and the awesome Utah Jazz remix of Roni’s own It’s A Jazz Thing. Following Roni Size’s set was another one of the main events special guests and all round main man in general, David Rodigan.
When you book him you know what you’re getting. One of the greatest selectors in the world, both educating and entertaining in equal measure. Nothing makes me smile more than seeing him run from behind the decks to the front of the stage to skank along with the audience (those that saw him when he played Higher Ground by TNGHT will know what I mean) and with over 4,000 people in attendance (yes, 4,000) he held down that crowd in his own unique and inimitable way.
Running through his usual mix of reggae, old school jungle (probably the only man who could drop General Levy’s Incredible in a rave and get away with it) and even some lairy dubstep (EDM I think the Americans are calling it) he ended on Bob Marley’s Is This Love and had the entire place singing along with their hands in the air. I watched this from the back of the main arena and with the entire place packed by that point, it was definitely a sight to behold.
Strong main room sets from the likes of Danny Byrd, Nu: Logic and London Elektricity, as well as the Broke ‘N’ English boys from Manchester and Ram Records representers Delta Heavy in the second room made sure the vibes were kept high for the time I was there. Hospital may polarize opinion when it comes to their music but there is no doubting that when it comes to putting on raves they do it big and bold. And with their status in the game set strong, why the bloody hell not?
Massive thanks to Belinda, Josh and the Hospital crew for their hospitality (pun intended).