Reviewed: RTRNIIJUNGLE at The Drumsheds
Flashback to Christmas 2017 when I went to an industry Christmas party and saw Will Kennard. It was my first time meeting him and it was not long after Chase & Status had done their remix of Origin Unknown ‘Valley Of The Shadow’ which I thought was one of the best remixes on the RAM 25 compilation. I was feeling quite brave so told Will how I felt about it. He then turned to me and asked if I wanted to know a secret? I immediately said yes. He told me about their plans to RTRNIIJUNGLE. I was so excited! I asked if it was “Top Secret” or if I was ok to tell people (I didn’t trust myself to keep it quiet), he said it was fine to tell people. Happy days!
Forward to April 2018 when Chase & Status started to live stream jungle music from beneath Nicky Blackmarket‘s old Blackmarket Records shop. Then came everything else. The release of ‘Retreat/Heater’ (which we got first play of) DJ sets at festivals and clubs around the UK and further afield, RTRNIIJUNGLE at Printworks and then this year they dropped their RTRNIIJUNGLE album. Again, I was lucky enough to be invited down to Blackmarket Records for the album launch party where they performed loads of their new music to around 50 people and roped in the talents of Nicky Blackmarket, Ray Keith, Skibadee, IC3 and more to help them celebrate. At this point, the trio gave us a walkthrough of the album…sooo privileged!!
When the announcement came that Chase & Status were taking RTRNIIJUNGLE to brand new London venue The Drumsheds, which is operated by the crew behind Printworks, I knew I had to go…without fail! I’d been to The Drumsheds a few weeks previously when elrow took it over for their Halloween party ‘Horrorween’ so I knew we were gonna be in for something special.
The venue is something else! Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of small club rooms and smaller festival stages where you can bounce around and check out different artists as you see fit, but when it comes to somewhere like The Drumsheds where they’re just using one MASSIVE room, it’s a magical feeling. Jumping around, skanking and getting ravey with 10,000 other ravers in unity, listening to the same music, enjoying the same vibe, it really is what raving is about, for me.
So, let’s get to it. The Drumsheds is huge! Imagine Printworks…on steroids! The venue combines four giant, interlinked, warehouses with capacities of up to 10,000 inside, along with 10 acres of outdoor space, located in Meridian Water. It’s slightly longer than Printworks but about twice the width. It has a really high roof so the amount of speakers in there is unreal. The sound is absolutely glorious. The state of the art production is crazy good! They used the huge LED screen which is used at Printworks with them for this one. The visual graphics are out of this world!
We arrived at the end of DJ Ron‘s set with SP:MC, The Drumsheds was almost half full at this point. We went on a quick reccy, found the toilets and got ourselves a drink. When we returned Bryan Gee and lyrical master MC GQ were in full flow playing loads of liquid D&B, as you would expect, when they played LSB, DRS & Tyler Daley ‘The View’ I turned to my friend to see she was absolutely in her element! The whole crowd was singing along with looks of euphoria across every single face.
Next up was Dub Phizix B2B Chimpo and Strategy who played a mixture of rollers and dancefloor classics, I was pleasantly surprised by this set, it was much better than I had expected. Following on, Bou B2B K Motionz and IC3, again I didn’t really know what to expect from this but it was wicked! Dancefloor tracks like Wilkinson ‘Take You Higher’ got the crowd bouncing all over the place then they went on to play remixes of Baby D ‘Let Me Be Your Fantasy’ and The Prodigy ‘No Good’. Real crowd pleasing stuff which got everyone gassed for the next set…Fabio & Grooverider with Felon MC.
Well, what can you say about these absolute DONS?!! Anyone who has ever seen them before will know that you are guaranteed an outstanding show! Track selections are always varied and always consist of some music you’ve either never heard before or haven’t heard in a very long time. They played loads of old school, some new school, some reinvented tracks all expertly mixed with Felon’s amazing voice whipping the crowd into a frenzy.
Next to make their presence known was SaSaSaS who arrived with their signature theme tune ‘Anthem’ blaring out and the crowd chanting along. I had to take a breather for a while during SaSaSaS, in order to prepare myself for what was still to come. Another full hour of antics ensued including Zinc’s ‘Ready Or Not’ remix being mixed into some filthy jump up, before Brockie and Det took centre stage.
At this point, the jungle music really started to take full hold of the rave, after a lot of D&B until this point, it was now time for jungle to shine and for me to get fully involved. I was too busy dancing to bother with my phone to recall what tracks were played so forgive me, all I can say is that Brockie and Det went on stage at THE perfect time before the headliners. Quick drink run before…
Chase & Status and their MC Rage took to stage. This was Rage’s second set of the day after opening the event with his partner in crime OB1, collectively known as Rebel Clash. I have it on good authority that Rebel Clash are pound for pound the champion sound!
The trio took to stage with their intro calling all ravers back to the dancefloor. It was time to RTRNIIJUNGLE! We headed back inside to the sound of ‘Retreat’. Old skool horns had been handed out to people who were taking full advantage of blowing them as much as feasibly possible. 10,000 ravers literally fill the space from the stage to the doors but we managed to find a sweet spot where some fellow original junglists were dancing and stayed put for the rest of the night. Chase & Status played a plethora of tracks, some new, some old but all absolutely brilliant! When they dropped their remix of ‘Original Nuttah’ right at the end the scenes were undeniably epic! I’m not actually sure if the roof went back on top of the Drumsheds or whether it’s gone for good, never to be seen again!
In summary, RTRNIIJUNGLE was, without doubt, one of my favourite raves of the year. The music, the venue, the atmosphere, the people…everything you’d expect from a rave.
Thanks for having us!
Peace, love and unity!
For info and tickets to more events at The Drumsheds go to their website here