Welcome to the South Easy
Hello Brighton. Been hibernating? I have. Not sure I’ve stopped exactly. Yet. This is a transmission from my subconscious, to encourage any of you out there in a similar situation to drag yourselves down to the Slipjam relaunch at The Hope tomorrow night. Or tonight, if you’re reading this the morning after fireworks night.
Cos I do, genuinely, think you ought to go. You could do with rousing yourself out of it for an evening, even if you’ve got to slumber again the next day to gel at work.Cos…it’s Slipjam, right? You haven’t been for ages. It hasn’t been on for ages! Well…not ages, but they took a breather for a while back there. Had a month off, rethought a few things, decided to get back to basics, moved from The Hope to The Prince Albert. So…not quite a spacious, but a better selection of beer and you don’t feel like you’re hanging out in the middle of a motorway if you go outside for a smoke, which is a bonus.
Rag’N’Bone Man is headlining. You know him? Fat white blues singer. Looks a bit like a younger Stig Of The Dump, maybe not quite so harried. Hookman for Rum Com, has also conspired with Leaf Dog, High Focus and (most recently) Warner Chapell Publishing. Koaste says “There’s a lot more to come from this guy. Gonna be exciting to see what moves get made next.” but he would say that, right? They’re probably mates.
What’s that? You’re not sure whether you’re that bothered about seeing Rag’N’Bone Man? Yeah, I know. I kind of felt that way, we’re quite similar in that way. We can be right miserable bastards sometimes, specially when we’ve been sleeping a while. But let’s be realistic for a second. There are, at this moment, a substantial number of mad fuckers in this country for whom this is the absolute epitome of British hip-hop. They love this shit, you’ve seen them loving this shit, and though you’ll always prefer hearing those kind of blues voices chopped and looped it’s difficult not to get off on that kind of atmosphere.
Sure, he’s going to come in for some stick from more enlightened members of the liberal arts crowd for his alleged sins of cultural appropriation. It’s an issue that’s hard to avoid. There’s a fantastic moment in an interview with him in the most recent issue of Wordplay magazine where Tristan Vagner quotes something George Carlin said, that ‘white people have no place singing the blues‘, and asks him for a response. Rag N Bone Man’s response is a telling ‘I’ll get back to you on this one‘. It’s probably something he’s thought about before, but not enough to have a pat response ready. Who can blame him? Inspiration is a clusterfuck sometimes. Admit it! He’s only guilty if he doesn’t give back! You like hip-hop, you must understand that at least a bit?
Besides, you’re forgetting the most important bit here. It’s Slipjam. It’s not about the headliner.
It’s about the open mic. It’s about the fact that any fucker in Brighton can (and probably will, at some point) get up on the Slipjam stage and try to prove their verbal dexterity. It’s about the many different ways they fail. It’s about seeing host Tom Hines switch from benevolent paternalism as he divvies out mic time to his only partially convincing (though technically perfect) attempts at bragadoccio in his own turn. It’s about being the pissed up asshole in the corner jeering at the more inept performances when everyone else is being supportive. It’s hoping some of those twats have thick enough skin to come back ten times as strong in a couple of months time.
But you knew that, obviously. See you there?
Start is 8pm. It’s upstairs at The Prince Albert, 48 Trafalgar Street, BN1 4ED. Tom Hines is now officially be joined as host by longtime regular Big Dave, aka Enlish. Neil B and Cloud 9 are on the decks. Finish is at 12pm. If you live in any BN postal code area and you have the slightest interest in rap music of any kind and you’re not there you are (and I say this with utmost respect) a total idiot.