Review: Boom Bap Festival – June 2015
So this year (being Boom Bap fourth time round) was my first chance to make it down, and here’s a spoiler – the good vibes and lack of aggyness is definitely a fair testament to the community spirit both of Boom Bap and the UK’s hip hop scene!
Arriving on Friday evening the first show I saw was Earl Sweatshirt, who was pretty dope, but what followed next was Skepta, who put on a solid show from the outset, and despite him mourning the death of his good friend Lukey earlier that day, he lived up to his self appointment as the King of Grime! He gave the crowd exactly what they came for, as he ran thru his biggest hits, past and current.
Foreign beggars put on a strong show, paying homage to their traditional UK hip hop roots, and of course turned the F up with their Noisia collaborations and gave the the crowd a solid injection of high charged energy!
With his new album Kubrick out now, Stig showed he’s still one of the country’s most technically capable lyricists.
High Focus Records were in nothing less than their natural habitat. Fliptrix and Verb T put on a high energy packed out set in the tent, Dirty Dike with Sammy B-Sides smashed their set too, with the audience in awe of Dike’s stage presence and inter-track banter.
Ed Scissor Tongue switched it up on a number of levels, as he appeared in a contemporary beatnik get-up which definitely fitted his abstract set. His set consisted of surprisingly on-point grime flow pattens over ambient/left field beats. It’s always tough to break new boundaries and that he did and made it look easy!
Problem Child are undoubtedly the most exciting new group out of the UK, and as Illaman, Dabbla and Dubbledge ran thru their 5* album ‘Normal Human Being’, it was clear to see their boisterous blend of hip hop, dubstep and grime played into the crowds hand bang on, as planned!
A relatively new collective who impressed at the festival were Brighton’s Rum Committee who came out ballied up, with some militant emblem bearing flags to accompany their dark and energetic hip hop set! Ceezlin was impressive leading from the front whilst the other crew members each showed their own ability to command the show.
Honourable mentions also go to Skinnyman, Lee Scott, Jam Baxter, Rodney P and Daddy Skitz, as well as Your Old Droog – all of which killed it!!!
On a non music level, Boom Bap was great for the right reasons. Security didn’t have an invasive presence and although they can have a tendency to kill one of the best feelings at a music festival – that of being in a temporary bubble – cut off from any form of real responsibility, they were on a level and didn’t throw their weight around! Another positive memory of the festival was the selection of food outlets – no deep fried sh!t or overpriced pseudo fancy food, but instead there were both traditional and off-centre food stalls to fill your belly at a fair price.
The fact that the festival was relatively small (at 2000 capacity) meant that it wasn’t a complete mission to go back to the camp site, and the generous toilet facilities meant it wasn’t a traumatic punishment on the senses as it so often is at music festivals!
Boom Bap definitely left me with a warm sense of hip hop patriotism, and it’s a real pleasure to see how Ivan Andrade and co. executed this tightly run three day affair without any signs of shakiness or uncertainty. A good range of attendees were also there, from teenagers on their maiden voyage, to ageing b-boys who know what they’re after!
Photos courtesy of Anis Ali and Pippa Griffith Jones.