Ravers at the ready, there’s a fresh outfit set to get you skanking. The brainchild of Adam Rushmoore, Josh Blancx and Max of the Bristol-based quartet Contra, Heavyweight is a brand new night ready to shake the south with drum ‘n’ bass. As with any launch night, a big impact would need to be made; so with a focus on the darker and more junglistic sides of the genre, there were few better to headline than longstanding bad-boy Bladerunner.
Taking to the decks around 1a.m., the Bladerunner served up a solid two-hour set of hard-core jungle. He became a mad puppeteer, using the skittering percussion and classic plodding bass lines to pull the crowd to-and-fro, flailing their arms and legs about to the beat. Bladerunner threw in a healthy dose of classics, along with some of the recognisable personal remixes he has become known for. ‘Lock Off’ – his own offering for the recent Warehouse Music Sampler released on V Recordings offshoot Chronic – went down a storm.
As the clock struck two, the crowd dissipated, leaving around ten or so to enjoy the remaining hour. Although not a true problem, the turnout for the night was slightly disheartening. The venue was perfect – Cellar’s gritty but intimate atmosphere; the music was stomping – Dom & Roland’s ‘Unofficial Jah’, Fresh’s ‘Gatekeeper’ and Hazard’s ‘Time Tripping’ all making appearances; and the DJs were all on top form. However, it was a bit of a shame to see a lack of support from the locals.
Thankfully, music has a habit of blurring one’s surroundings; so small crowd aside, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable night. The t-shirts may have disappeared but there’s still love for the Junglist Movement, and with the noticeable retrospective turn in current drum ‘n’ bass releases, this love can only grow. If the Heavyweight team can build upon this hype, and maintain a regular presence, they’ll be set to emerge as a major event contender in 2014.