Wow. Now where do I start, and how on Earth do I sum up the last few days. I guess that the best to describe the events that took place over the course of Wednesday and Thursday would be by reciting them in the form of a story. I would have honestly preferred to describe the last few days via means of interpretive dance, however that seems very unlikely seeing as how my iPod Touch needs charging. Story time it is then.
Once upon a time, there was a boy named Waseem, and he happened to be the world’s coolest person, in fact, he was so cool, that Obama himself decided to remove the Statue of Liberty and replace it with the Statue of Waseem, just for kicks. Right, well this story isn’t going so well, I think that it will be best if I tell it from my own perspective.
I came back from University on Wednesday and spent at least an hour debating with myself whether or not I should take my keffiyeh, eventually deciding that I would take it up to Manchester with me and decide whether or not I would wear it when I got there. It was a pretty standard train journey, which surprisingly resulted in me successfully changing trains at Sheffield for the first time, and away I was to Manchester! I literally spent the entire train journey perfecting a magic trick known as Colour Change; maybe I’ll even post a video of my performance a little later on once I have perfected it. This trick is freely available from the kind guys at Theory11; however that’s another topic for another day.
The first thing that struck me when I stepped into the strange city that is known as Manchester, was some woman’s handbag, and the fact that the atmosphere felt a lot like it does back home in Derby. After a bit of train spotting, I decide that it’s time to meet Jago and George back at the hotel. Being the super organised men that we are, I have to ring Jago to find a taxi number due to the fact that we obviously didn’t think about how I would get back to the hotel, almost as if we thought that the gig would be at the train station, which would have been nice. Them being the assholes that they are feel that it is relevant to let me know how amazing the Luther King hotel is (what a name for a hotel! I wonder if it is named after someone famous), knowing full well that I will not have a chance to play a game of pool, not that I really cared about that or the fact that they got a £10 coach up to Manchester, but I just have this random urge to make this paragraph look a lot bigger compared to the previous paragraphs. But regardless of that, I end up getting a taxi, which arrives in less than 3 minutes, amazing service compared to Hull/Derby, and let the drive know that I would like to go to Luther King House, which is located on Brighton Grove. He presumes to let me know that he will “find it”. After disclosing the fact that I am a university student, and promptly asking him if we are approaching a university halls of residence area, which is what it looked like from the back seat. His response is “Yes, and did you know that a girl got raped here a few weeks ago by 3 guys from the halls here?”… Talk about trying to get me to love the city, I could tell that this was total donkey poop, or at least I hope it was, and whilst he was describing in detail this event, as well as detailing the local crime statistics, we ended up reaching Luther King house.
I am then greeted by Jago and George, who then show me my room. Although I was expecting a triple room, we were allocated a double room and a single room, which was perfectly fine with me; at least I wouldn’t have had to listen to them snoring. So I decide to keffiyeh up, and off to Manchester Club Academy we go, there was only one problem though, we didn’t know the way there!
Walking up some road which I can’t remember the name of, all I could think about was how this seems to be an extension of Normanton Road. We could have been walking for at least 15 minutes, and there were restaurants and takeaways literally everywhere. It was almost as if someone had taken Normanton road, bought a clone machine, decided to make a cup of tea whilst waiting for the clones to be made, found out that too many clones were made, and determined that the best course of action would be to dump all of the extra clones in Manchester. Regardless of that, we reached our destination after a long walk, which also involved lending £35 to George, then spent another 5 minutes trying to figure out where the venue was hidden, before finally making our way into some underground club.
First up was National Curriculum, and surprisingly enough, they were absolutely amazing. The lead rapper from the group even freestyled for 2 minutes straight, which was absolutely mind blowing. Credits to them, they’re an upcoming group and on the night they delivered. However, one thing that annoyed me during this segment was the fact that after each song, the audience would just clap, as if they were watching an opera performance. This was meant to be a hip-hop crowd for crying out loud, but I guess that most of the audience members were there to see Jedi Mind Tricks, so I can’t really blame them.
After National Curriculum had finished playing their set, we all went out for a George to smoke. When we returned, you could almost feel as if the atmosphere inside the club had changed. We were absolutely ecstatic to learn that Don’t Flop were going to be holding a freestyle tournament right there and then, something which I don’t think any one of us actually expected. For those of you who don’t know, Don’t Flop is the biggest rap battle league in the UK, and they were going to be performing in Manchester! What is even better is the fact that the judges could not make it, so as a result of this, Eurgh announced that for the first and only time, the audience would be the judges in deciding which freestyle artist got put through to the next round of the tournament. The two notable freestylers included Bowski and Chronicle. There were also a few other local artists up on stage, including a local guy who had not been given any notice of this tournament at all. Needless to say, Chronicle and Bowski made it to the final of the tournament, with Bowski eventually winning. The rap battle was legendary to say the least, with Bowski’s humour and tight flow eventually winning over the crowd. At that stage in time, my night was made. Whilst walking out of the club for Jago and George to go for a smoke, I honestly didn’t think that our night could get any better.
But it did. Whilst just lingering outside waiting for the next set to start performing, we came across Eurgh who was just generally hanging out, promoting Don’t Flop. Needless to say we struck up a conversation with him. He came off as a nice guy, and when questioned about Lunar C he even told us that he wasn’t scheduled for this particular event, he was getting a bit big headed with all of the internet stardom that has been coming his way recently. I’m not making this story up, as we did in fact meet Eurgh, but our night was about to get even better!
Making his way to the ring, weighing over 4000 pounds, it’s the one, the only, Bowski! Right after we had finished taking our picture with Eurgh, we started to feel what could only be described as the feeling you would get when a herd of elephants were charging towards you. Bowski was coming out of the club for a smoke, and I can honestly say that he is one of the nicest people that I have ever met. We talked for a reasonable amount of time, and the way he was responding it was as if we had known him for decades. I honestly can’t describe how open he was, whether we were discussing his weight, his flow or his willingness to battle O’Shea, I don’t think that the picture below does justice to him as an individual, but in the end it is the memories that count.
By the time we had got back into the club, Red IQ were about ¾ of the way through their set, and although they weren’t mind blowing, they were standard, but the fact that I, Jago and George had just met Bowski and Eurgh was absolutely phenomenal. I honestly thought that this day could not get any better, but by now you probably know how this sentence ends.
But it did. In all of the excitement, we almost forgot the main reason as to why we came to Manchester in the first place. Red IQ had just finished playing their set, and all of a sudden the midsection of the crowd suddenly gained life, and they starting coming closer to the stage. Every single person in that building knew what it was time for. It’s the reason we had bought our tickets in the first place. Seeing Vinnie Paz, Jus Allah, Outerspace and DJ Kwestion storm onto the stage reminded me why, it for time for the main event. Jedi Mind Tricks! We were literally metres away from them; we could even smell their drinks, as well as a lot of weed. Which incidentally resulted in the fire alarm going off, but that didn’t bother Kwestion, the only thing that he did in response to the sound of the fire alarm was that he increased the sound of the beat. The image below is probably my favourite one of Vinnie Paz on stage, so good in fact that it is currently my cover photo on my Facebook page. If you actually go onto my Twitter account, you’ll be able to see my reaction as taken by my front facing iPod Touch camera when Jedi Mind Tricks came on stage, and no, I wasn’t trying to get my reaction. To say that they, as a group tour the stage down would have been an understatement. They tore down the whole of Manchester, playing my absolute favourites, and from what I can remember they played Design from Malice, Heavy Metal Kings, Genghis Khan, End of Days, Pistolvania, Bloody Tears, Sacrifice (which I have a video copy of) as well as a host of other songs from The Pshyco-Social album, which was fairly surprising. I was honestly upset to see them leave the stage, although after Vinnie Paz stated that he was in a jail in London for 16 hours without food, I could only scream my head off in appreciation. Now at this stage Jedi Mind Tricks have left the stage, you probably think that 10,000 characters later this tale is finally over, and nothing more exciting could have happened in my stay in Manchester.
Well if you did guess that, then I hate to say it, but you are wrong. After the stage was cleared, we caught a glimpse of Outerspace and DJ Kwestion working the little merchandise table, so me being me, I decided to buy a shirt. They ran out of medium size shirts, so I decided to purchase a large sized t-shirt instead, as well as getting a first bump from Outerspace. Oh, and on the plus side that shirt is long enough for me to use as a jumper, and it stank of weed, and to be fair, it still does. Now finally, I’m over 2,000 words, and this story has finally come to an end…
Just kidding, as I was walking out of the club, I caught a glimpse of Jus Allah hanging around, and we convinced him that the LV (Littleover Village) sign that we were trying to get him to make wasn’t a local gang sign, and it was picture time! This was it, we had actually had a conversation with, and were going to get Jus Allah to pull our local gang sign, and this was too good to be true. And then the security guards came over and told us to leave… We only needed 5 more seconds, but they were having none of it. We left the club and made our way outside, passing a group of 10 guys who were threatening to rape a girl, feeling a little disheartened, not for the girl, she turned out just fine, but about the fact that we never got a picture that would have summed up our night, and made it without a doubt the best night out ever. When all of a sudden we see Jus Allah walking in our direction, and when we propose to have a picture taken with us, he politely accepts. And as you can more than likely see from the image below, the picture did get taken, and Jus Allah did the LV sign, and it was the best night out ever.
We then walked back to our little hotel, only before buying a quick midnight snack at Sainsbury’s. After our long walk back, Jago and George proceeded to smoke a cigarette, I finally made myself a drink of tea, and we all were fast asleep within a matter of minutes, after deciding not to go out, because it would only spoil our mood.
The next day involved me wondering whether or not the previous day was a dream and checking my iPod at least 20 times to register the fact that we did in fact meet Eurgh, Bowski and Jus Allah. We got up nice and early at around 9:00AM, passed at least 4 Subways before finally reaching a McDonalds and ordering pancakes with maple syrup, which I proceeded to throw up a matter of hours later. After our breakfast, we decided to go around exploring all the shops, whilst I looked around feeling my breakfast splashing inside of me. The food was puked up at a Wetherspoons at 3:00PM, I bid farewell to George and Jago at 3:30PM, missed my train at 3:45PM, caught the train to Sheffield, missed yet another train heading to Doncaster, before finally arriving at Hull. The news of Arsenal’s Champions League defeat the night before at the San Siro did not affect me one bit, for the next few days I felt as if I was able to fly. There are no more twists left in this tale, I have finally reached 2,500 words, and to be honest with you, I think that I to get some sleep.
Here is to the best night of my life, Jedi Mind Baby!