Rubix, the little sister night of Newcastle institution Ape-X, booked one of the most forward-thinking lineups the North East has seen in recent years for their ‘Winter Bass Special’ this November. Martyn was to be headlining the event with FunkinEven supporting him in the main room and Romare heading up room 2 duties upstairs.
However, hours before the event, the promoters were informed that Martyn could not fly to the UK on doctor’s advice; they decided to rearrange the event to a 1 room affair, with Romare lending support to FunkinEven.
I was pretty gutted that Martyn had dropped out but nevertheless, made my way down holding high hopes for FunkinEven and Romare. There was a young student-centric crowd in attendance, along with Newcastle faces new and old. The room really started to fill out during Rubix residents Fortune & Burford’s set. They played across the spectrum of leftfield strains of electronic music, beginning with hip-hop and rising to the familiar tempos of house music. They got a particularly warm reception from some of their more Afrobeat leaning tunes and the energetic crowd were receptive throughout.
I wasn’t too sure what to expect from Romare’s set, although I’d been told he’d be likely to go deep. His selection was on point throughout: he drew a huge crowd reaction with The Fuck Off Track by Dungeon Meat and had a few of my friends going crazy with Rose Rouge by St. Germain. There was a lively atmosphere behind the decks with Space Dimension Controller in attendance, despite the fact he wasn’t playing he was full of energy and you could see him congratulating Romare on some of his more choice selections.
While having a break outside, I saw FunkinEven step out of his taxi. While most DJs seem to fit the profile of the class nerd who’s come into his own in the real world, FunkinEven just doesn’t. He’s 6 foot plus, his hire taxi just happened to be a Merc and he was dressed in an aviator coat that definitely had a couple zeros at the end of the price tag.
His presence definitely whipped the crowd up when he took to the decks. From what I could tell he was playing strictly vinyl, and his style reminded me a lot of his collaborator on the FunkinEvil project, Kyle Hall. He tore through a high-octane blend of electro, house, garage, techno, acid and a few more bits that defied genre specifics.
At the end of the night, none of the contented faces leaving the club seemed to be bemoaning Martyn’s absence. While it was a shame he didn’t play, the night’s programming worked brilliantly without him. With the promise of booking Martyn for an extended set in future, Newcastle’s punters have a lot more to look forward to.
– John Hardy