Mass Dosage's top gigs of 2010


3 Ene 2011, 14:12

So here we are at the start of 2011 where I do my annual review of the events I attended last year and out of those 25 choose the ones which were the most memorable. Unless otherwise indicated all venues are in London, UK.

Talib Kweli @ The indig02 (Sunday 31 January)
This was the first time I've been anywhere near the 02 and the general vibe isn't great - chain restaurants and a largely soulless atmosphere. Thankfully Talib was playing in the small Indig02 venue which was nicely full. The venue also has decent sound which took the show to another level as you could really hear Talib's lyrics - a nice change to many other Hip-Hop gigs where the MCs' verbals get lost. Talib had plenty to say and covered a range of banging tracks that he's dropped over the last decade.

MF Doom @ The Roundhouse (Saturday 6 March)
The sound at this gig on the other hand wasn't great and, after a fake Doom impostor got the crowd going, we got treated to what was pretty much a bog standard Hip-Hop gig i.e. it started late, there was a bad hype man, average DJ, minimal crowd interaction etc. The only reason this stood out was that it was Doom, in the UK - something which doesn't happen very often and it was the first time I've seen one of my favourite MC's in the flesh. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as it could have been.

Souls of Mischief @ The Jazz Cafe (Sunday 14 March)
After missing their packed-to-the-gills performance at the Carhartt store a few months earlier I made sure I got tickets for this one in advance. Once again this was a chance to see for the first time one of the bands I grew up really digging. Their new material was so-so but they performed with lots of positive energy and it was cool to see them up close in an intimate venue.

Salif Keita @ The Barbican (Wednesday 7 April)
No surprises here - quality African music at the Barbican courtesy of Mr. Keita and his backing band and singers. It was a tight, professional show where his voice shone. For the most part it was a sit-down-and-listen affair but a couple of tracks got some ass shaking going on.

DJ Yoda et al @ The Kentish Town Forum (Saturday 10 April)
I'd heard a lot of hype about Yoda, Cheeba and the Addictive TV live shows and wasn't let down when seeing them do their AV thing on stage with decks and big screens. The blend of humour, cleverly selected quirky visuals and highly danceable beats was infectious. The energy in the crowd was palpable and it was a great way to let off some steam on a Saturday night. A bit cheesy at times, but great fun.

Sonar Festival in Barcelona, Spain (Thursday 17-Saturday 19 June)
This was the musical highlight of the year and a fantastic festival as one has sunny Barcelona to chill in while not listening to a huge selection of electronic beats and pieces in various locations scattered around the city. We started off by checking out the Hyperdub party on the Thursday night which didn't have the greatest sound and some of the mixing was a bit chaotic but Kode 9 and a guest appearance from Flying Lotus made it a good start to the proceedings. Standout acts from the rest of the festival included: Dizz1 dropping some PHAT beats; Moodymann putting down a lovely soulful dance mix punctuated with schooling the crowd on various gems he was unleashing; the Chemical Brothers as energetic as always with a fantastic audio-visual show and TOKiMONSTA putting on a solid afternoon performance. Weirdest moment was the Sugarhill Gang doing a pretty lame set that would have gone down better in Vegas and showed them up for the one-hit wonders they are, 35 years later. Standout performance for me was Nosaj Thing - his set was as musically tight as gnat booty and the accompanying visuals were simple but striking and put together they totally floored me.

Nosaj Thing @ City Arts & Music Project (Wednesday 25 August)
After his performance at Sonar there was no saying no to this gig, which was good, but didn't quite reach the levels he hit in Spain. There were no visuals this time around and he ventured off course a few times but it was still well worth checking out. Dropping Snoop's "Gin and Juice" at the end was a nice touch too.

Sage Francis @ Scala (Thursday 16 September)
The Sage put on a good show with touches of humour and audience interaction that are missing from too many Hip-Hop gigs. It was nothing outstanding but on the whole he's probably better live than on record. Scroobius Pip's guest appearance for a freestyle session was a dope surprise.

Ninja Tune XX @ Ewer Street Car Park (Saturday 2 October)
Ninja Tune has been one of those record labels that has had a huge influence on my listening over the past two decades so it was fantastic to there at their 20th birthday party which featured 3 stages. This was a much bigger affair than one of the 10th birthday Xen Cuts gigs I attended in Amsterdam 10 years ago. The lineup was top notch and it was quite amazing to be able to stroll between all three stages in under 5 minutes and take in all the different things going down, although at one point it did all merge into one amorphouse mash of sounds and sights. Standout performance of the night for me was Mr. Scruff who delivered a long-ass set of funky, danceable tunes with his trademark visuals on 2 screens.

The Cinematic Orchestra @ The Royal Albert Hall (Sunday 14 November)
This show started off with the London Metropolitan Orchestra playing some of Amon Tobin's tracks on classical instruments. Unfortunately Amon himself wasn't there (some story about visa issues, who knows) but it was a great to hear his complex production in an orchestral setting. Dorian Concept was up next on keys which was OK, but he doesn't really do it for me live or on record. The Cinematic Orchestra followed this up with a performance befitting of the venue - lovely music to sit back and listen to, and even more lovely to hear with the backing of so many instruments and guest performers.

Bonobo @ Troxy (Saturday 11 December)
Closing off the Ninja Tune hat-trick for 2010 was Bonobo playing a full live set in this quirky East London art deco venue. Our seats weren't the greatest as they were at a table with a grumpy couple and were set 90 degrees to the stage so one had to twist around to see what's going on. Mental note to get standing tickets next time. The sounds however were amazing with Bonobo showcasing his impressive collection of beautifully crafted tunes with a talented set of live musicians and multiple appearances by Adreyana Triana that were the cherry on top of a great gig.


  • StevieEllis

    Great read, thanks dude!

    3 Ene 2011, 16:30
  • mustafamaluka

    Nice list. Most of the gigs I went to in 2010 featured artists singing or rapping in Swedish and Finnish.

    3 Ene 2011, 16:54
  • yesyesplease

    when are you going to do your guitar based indie folk gigs of the year list? :))))

    4 Ene 2011, 11:20
  • rushay

    i love how on point you are with your memoirs

    4 Ene 2011, 18:37
  • blackmangomusic


    7 Ene 2011, 11:41
  • bimowahyuaji


    8 Ene 2011, 8:56
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