Andy C is one of the biggest DJs in the world, responsible for pumping out high octane drum ’n’ bass in a way few can match. From his origins as a rave-obsessed 15-year-old playing in sweaty, compact London clubs, in recent years Andy C shows have become synonymous for being big: big budget production, big lights, big stages.
It’s a coup, then, for Shoreditch venue XOYO to secure ‘The Executioner’ to take the helm for their next three-month residency series – starting from January 7. Over 13 consecutive weeks, Andy and a specially selected roster of guest DJs and MCs will take over XOYO all night long, sticking a defiant two fingers up to those who might suggest that London’s reputation as one of the planet’s clubbing epicentres is on the wane. Here’s a few reasons why having Andy in town is such a big deal:
1. A huge showman is playing a tiny room
The last time Andy C played London was at Ally Pally – rinsing out that huge hall astride a gigantic triangle stage set that would make Kiss blush. Catching him up close and personal in the intimate, low-ceilinged space of XOYO will be a huge shift. It’ll mean tighter vibes and a chance for D&B’s more subtle shades to really shine. We’re excited, and so is he: ‘I honestly can’t remember the last time I played a club show in London; I’ve really missed it. Smaller clubs are the foundation of any scene, so to go back underground and get the lights down, the heads in the bass bins, is very exciting.’
2. With Fabric shut, D&B really needs a regular London home
Fridays at Fabric supported drum ’n’ bass – regardless of fads and fashion – for almost 20 years. So with the Clerkenwell club closed, it’s fantastic news for all drum ’n’ bass fans that one of the capital’s best clubs is opening its doors to a sound that’s been homeless for too long.
3. Andy is XOYO’s first D&B ressie
XOYO isn’t a venue that’s previously welcomed strictly drum ’n’ bass crowds and parties. More normally home to ever-fashionable house and techno, it’s great to see the club take the lead and throw open its doors to a genre that’s often unfairly overlooked. Andy is up for meeting that challenge: ‘I want to show people the special vibes that D&B can bring. This music has never gone anywhere, but it’s about time we were back in the limelight a bit. The music is stronger than ever at the moment.’
4. East London has a rich history of D&B
Drum ’n’ bass and jungle were once very much just ‘a London thing’. Take it from a prolific DJ like Andy: ‘Kool FM was based in east London. Metalheadz was at The Blue Note in Hoxton Square. My first ever DJ gig was in a club called The Prison in Stoke Newington when I was 15. The Four Aces and Labrynth in Dalston were legendary venues too.’
5. We predict big things for D&B in 2017
While grime has dominated raves for the last few years, history teaches us that sounds only stay white-hot in dance music for so long. If grime has had its day, it’s looking like D&B could capitalise on the renewed love of abrasive, street-level sounds and MCing that it shares with grime. Events are selling out faster than ever countrywide, while sales for labels like Critical and Playaz are flourishing, hinting that one of dance’s most resilient and enduring genres is heading for another golden era.