Thursday, 26 April 2012

Thurs 26th April: Kwes & Micachu And The Shapes at The Boiler Room

When Rosy Nicholas, Chrissie Abbott and Verity Keefe moved studios last year to be in a new block at Hackney Downs, they were part of a crew to take over the building set up by Platforms's Blaise Bellville.  He rigged up a space In the boiler room of the basement to gather friends together for weekly nights of taking turns to play records, MC and sing.  The idea came about in partnership with Thristian Richards who had previously worked with Giles Peterson so the combination of their mutual network meant that the acts were automatically a calibre of London's freshest talent.  They installed a webcam to share the happenings with the world and invite in an international audience to participate in the proceedings with a live chat room.  Whilst the building reverberated with incidental surround sound from the artists studio's singular systems tuned into the frequency, the genius idea whipped up a storm of social media success and spiralled into an Internet sensation.  One year down the line and the initiative is now a travelling concern shifting the intimate environment to different venues across the globe to track down acts further afield from Berlin to LA.  The London HQ has since packed up from the actual Boiler Room, kept the name and moved to another secret location up the road in Hackney.  Fortunately Ive been able to attend a couple of the most recent gigs, firstly James Murphy and Horse Meat Disco last month and again this week for Kwesachu.  On Tuesday night the regular turntable format was expanded slightly to accommodate their instruments for a live set with guests Clout opening for Kwes , followed by Micachu And The Shapes.  It was a real privilege to be part of this tiny gathering and stand on the sideline to watch this game-changing musicianship at such close quarters, alongside their other collaborators, label mates and peers.  
The gig acted as a warm up for this weekend's showcase at the Southbank Centre to launch the Kwesachu 2 Mixtape with both acts performing solo and together - see here for details.  If you missed the live broadcast of the Boiler Room session, check the site for the recording which will be going up over the next few days.  

Read profiles on Blaise and Thristian in the current Dazed & Confused magazine in the feature "East London 2012"

(photos top to bottom:  Mica & guest vocalist Wes, Raisa K with The Shapes and djing, Clout, Kwes, Mica's instruments)

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