Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More on the Met and Grime

Following on from last week's post on the policing on funky and bashment in London, here's an excellent article by Dan Hancox on the impact of the police clampdown on grime in London's clubs. This is still very much in effect, to give one example quoted by Dan:

'in August 2009 Urban Affair at the Indigo2 was shut down, deemed ‘high risk’ because their 696 paperwork had the dates of birth for two artists missing. The organisers had booked an allstar cast of performers, headlined by Wiley and Tinchy Stryder, forked out for tens of thousands of flyers and a cross-media advertising campaign, and were offering to put on a supplementary £4,500 worth of airport-style security to assuage any safety concerns. Legally, there was even plenty of time to resubmit the form with the missing details included, but the venue, panicked by the Met’s interference, had already taken the decision to cancel. It’s bureaucracy as a weapon: blunt, stupid and pretty terrifying, piles of paperwork used to bury license holders, to browbeat them into just not bothering with grime'.

All of this is having an appreciable impact, so that 'the music’s never been more popular, nor harder to hear in public':

'Thanks to downloadable mixes and internet radio, the London underground has been broadcast to the world in the last few years. But while this democratisation is a good thing, in London itself underground black music has been forced into the private sphere, away from the clubs. Grime was always meant to be club music: inheriting its BPM from garage, it was that bit too fast to simply be the British hip hop. Yet in 2010, the music has been relegated from clubs to be heard mostly through the pale grey beehive of PC speakers, or in the solitary isolation of headphones. In this context, common experience, enthusiasm and debate occurs globally on internet message boards, but not communally, locally, in the bars and clubs of the capital. Grime has been banished from real, physical London'.

The full article was published in Daily Note, 11 February, a free newsheet linked to the Red Bull Music Academy.

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