As soon as the lineup was announced for WOB!’s debut event, we knew we had to get someone down there on the night. Amar Puaar paid a visit to Tunnel Club earlier this month to see how things panned out.
– Words & Photos by Amar Puaar
On July 8th, Birmingham welcomed a brand new, strictly bass night to the city – WOB! Bassline is something that has sporadically come and gone from the Midlands, but the core fans have stayed and judging by the crowd on the night, they were more open to its return than ever.
WOB! arranged for some of the biggest names in the scene to shake Tunnel Club and get everyone moving; old school legends DJ EJ and Bassboy joined some of the biggest current names in the scene – Nadine, Notion and J.G with OJE and WOB! resident Rhys Bowker in the Main Room. Room 2 housed local DJs Zach Hamp, Jade Marie B2B with Ash Turner, Tom Fire, D Moore and NXTMVMNT.
Housed in the newly refurbished Tunnel Club, Seedy Sonics resident OJE warmed up the main room with Rhys Bowker, making their way through Bassline and Bass House selections whilst the room filled. NXTMVMNT opened the second room seamlessly mixing everything from Bassline and Funky to Trap and House, almost filling the room with punters.
Seeing the first headliner, DJ EJ, play the music I used to hear at the back of the bus in Year 8 as an adult through wall to wall speakers was a bit of a surreal experience. EJ’s set was filled with classic Bassline from the EJucation series alongside the more commercial side of the bass scene. Highlights included Solo 45’s ‘Feed ‘Em to the Lions’ vocals over a medley of ‘Where Are U Now’ and Benga and Coki’s ‘Night’ getting a spin. If the steam from EJ’s head was anything to go by the room was well and truly warmed up.
Next up was Nadine. This was the first time I had seen her live, having only previously listened to her Get Darker set with Bru-C. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was blown away – both her track selection and mixing ability were excellent. Switching the second drop of Skepsis’ massively popular ‘Goes Like’ for Chris Lorenzo’s face melter ‘Nightmares’ surprised the crowd and earned a well-deserved reload. The rest of the set was bass heavy and fast paced making the room go mad to Skue-K’s new release ‘Criminals”, Holy Goof’s remix of “When I’m ‘Ere” and her own “Average Rudeboy” with Bru-C and Darkzy. Easily my favourite set of the night.
Next on was Bassboy – who was fresh off the plane from Ayia Napa and ready to bring the energy from the island back to Tunnel Club – going back to back with Sheffield royalty, J.G. This was the set I was most excited for. Being away from Sheffield for almost two years, I hadn’t seen J.G. bless the crowd with his endless supply of dubs for just as long. Together, they delivered a set that tore the roof off and even had Bassboy on top of the decks hyping the crowd. Bassboy and J.G. drew for a mix of tracks from their immense back catalogue and also played newer releases such as Bassboy’s ‘Definitely’ with Bru C on vocals and his ‘Babycakes’ remix which received an instant wheel-up. Whilst Bassboy and J.G. held down the main room WOB! competition winner Cargo provided a punchy set in Room 2.
Notion saw off the end of the night keeping the energy alive with Holy Goof’s remix of “It Ain’t Safe” and DJ Q’s remix of Swindle’s “Connecta” whilst Bassboy wasted no time in jumping into the crowd starting the mosh pit. Towards the end of Notion’s set, he switched up the pace and delved into faster Drum and Bass and Jump Up, pulling out screamer after screamer. Right up to the last track the crowd was packed and skanking hard so credit to Notion for that.
Walking out to sunlight made me want the night to last for another few hours but sadly it was over. WOB! hosted a night that put them firmly on the map as a Birmingham Bass event, bringing together some of the biggest DJs across the scene for their debut night. I can only imagine what WOB! has in store for the future…
See the full gallery from WOB!’s debut event here. If you’d like to book Amar to photograph your event, you can contact him here.
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