Music / Reviews

Review: Katy B, Nadia Rose and more, Motion

By Ngaio Anyia , Monday Nov 14, 2016

There is a trap that you can fall into when attending Motion regularly – failing to be surprised. The DJs are the pull so it’s easy to think you already know what kind of night it’s going be before it’s begun.

Saturday was a very pleasant surprise, however. The Room One lineup of Katy B (a peculiar choice I thought – couldn’t quite imagine her flying solo), J Hus who’s had solid radio play and finally Nadia Rose, famously elusive when it comes to turning up, resulted in me approaching the night with manageable expectations.

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As soon as I walked in everyone was smiles. It still had that ‘freshers’ first time at Motion’ vibe but it was the least arrogant crowd I’ve seen there for a long time. Throughout the night I heard strangers giving each other compliments, groups giving apologetic excuses as they meandered through the crowd and smiles exchanged between most who made eye contact. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more relaxed there. 

The Cave, generally the room to dance-walk through to get to where the real fun is, was packed. I would happily have spent the entire night in there, due largely to ALXZNDR (above) shelling out some of the best mixes I’ve heard in a while. Old school garage, grime – it was nostalgia delivered expertly, sans the cheese. He’s one of the residents at Psyched in Bristol. I recommend him highly – the next night is on the 26th.

Katy B was a little late, to the point where people were frantically asking each other if they’d missed her, but lo and behold when she arrived the place erupted. It was a set of hits you couldn’t help but dance to. Lights On had everyone singing her lyrics to each other with relish, while On A Mission whipped the crowd into a frenzy. The wonderful thing about Motion not being full to the brim with people is that there actually room to dance – a godsend when J Hus graced the stage – it was music to dance to. I swiftly realised he was that artist that I always hear in mixes and forget to look up, but so many of his tracks are fire. Everyone found a dancing partner for Friendly, flipping between dancehall, basement and bass music it was a high energy set which perfectly transitioned from drum & bass to grime.

As the Friendly-made couples turned round to greet their sporadic dance partners, the woman I’d been waiting for came out of the shadows: Nadia Rose. So rarely do you see a female grime artist in the main room at prime time, but there she was and she delivered her cut-above lyrics with intense precision. Her quickfire set of hits and exclusives, accompanied by a female beatboxer, had the crowd jumping. I failed to get the beatboxer’s name but, damn, she delivered. With one foot on the speaker, Rose exhileratingly shot out lyrics celebrating females, and Skwod in particular had us dancing with abandon. There was something about seeing a woman of colour unapologetically dominate the stage which couldn’t help but fill me with pride.

This is what I love about In:Motion, the lineups are put together thoughtfully and perfectly. I’m already waiting with baited breath for DJ EZ on November 2.

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