Wednesday, April 30, 2008
FWD>> Sunday sessions
On the 25th of May, FWD>> relaunches as a Sunday session. In echoes of dubstep’s founding club’s earlier incarnation at Velvet Rooms, the night will run Sunday sessions’ at Plastic People.
The first Sunday line up will be a tribute to the inaugural FWD>>. Playing on May 25th and selecting music from that first session onwards, will be Youngsta, Hatcha, Oris Jay, Benny Ill and Slimzee. FWD>> will also be re-issuing the first flyer, for old times sake.
Speaking to FWD>> management, there’s a real buzz about the change of times, a sense, echoed in the enthusiasm of headz that have heard the news, that the move returns the club to it’s roots.
There’s been many phases of FWD>>. I remember the first one in 2001 at the Velvet Rooms clearly. I’d been on at El-B to start a club night to showcase his sound, but the Ghost Camp were never one for organising things. It took people like Soulja and Neil Joliffe to step up. Not realising most people would be on “garage time,” I arrived far too early, only to find a club mostly populated by the bar staff. But by the end Velvet Rooms was full. I recall euphorically standing in the middle of the dancefloor, trying to convey my enthusiasm to Neil that they’d actually pulled it off. With Ghost arguably at the height of their powers, the night peaked with Jay Da Flex’ set.
By the time FWD>> moved to Plastic People things had changed. UK garage as a movement had imploded and the club began to go it’s own way. Months would go by with the dance floor barren, such that when the club began to feel full, people would enthuse about there being oooh, 40 people there. This is even before the term “dubstep” itself, back when people talked about “the Forward sound,” which meant the confluence of dark 2step/4x4, breakbeat garage and proto-grime.
What united those nights and undoubtedly kept them alive, was a sense that it was by the scene, for the scene. People came down, got to know people became inspired, went away, made beats, shared them with the DJs and heard them tested over that amazing system. It was dubplate culture at it’s finest: and look at the results.
But in the scene around FWD>>, things changed. Instead of being the only dubstep club, anywhere, it’s now just one of many in London alone. The DJs it supported, from Hatcha to Youngsta, Mark One to Plastician, Kode9 to Skream, have all gone on to become international DJs, such that hanging out together is harder when everyone’s booked for Japan or Glastonbury.
Sunday Sessions at FWD>> should change all that, stop the disinterested passing traffic and random City shirtboys and encourage the headz to pass by. I for one will be there.
FWD>> also return to The End on the 23rd of May. The lineup is pretty large, personal highlights include a Martyn 2 hour set, Ghetto, Appleblim, TRG and the chance to see more dubstep fans looking baffled by funky. He he heh.