Musically, there isn’t much going on in Chester so when Young Academic heard that Mr Scruff was going to play at The Laugh Inn, we just had to grab a slice of the pie.
For a bitterly cold Saturday evening, the perfect remedy is, of course, a five hour blend of soul, hip hop, funk and jazz from DJ, Producer, Cartoonist and Expert Tea Drinker, Mr Scruff. Originating from Manchester, we have seen him a handful of times before at Band on the Wall and we hoped we could expect more of the same from him at The Laugh Inn in Chester.
The venue soon filled out as Mr Scruff hit the decks. With his heavy funk and hip hop beats came four hours of dancing and a mix of visual delights. Mr Scruff’s scribblings have become part of who he is as a DJ and so it seemed logical to have images of pies, fish, record players and musical notes bouncing across screens in front of the stage.
Mr Scruff is known for his build ups and heavy bass lines. His musical palette is vast but that’s not surprising considering his eclectic taste. He makes music that draws on his influences in soul, funk, hip hop and jazz amongst other genres. He owns the music he makes but he moulds it into his own vision, mixing it with a dose of humour which is shown through his visuals and that is exactly what the crowd got in Chester on Saturday night.
The Mr Scruff Tea Stand could be found in the smaller bar at the venue but sales weren’t pushed on anyone. Filled with records, CDs, t-shirts and his beloved tea, Mr Scruff works hard to merchandise himself. The night, however, wasn’t about him.
He dedicated the night to the crowd through various doodles and words which bounced across the screen. Chester..Blacon..Lache..Big Up All Chester Massive appeared on screen to screams from the crowd. It wasn’t just the crowd that seemed to be enjoying themselves though, Mr Scruff too. He teased the crowd when the set came to an end, “just one more?” (or words to that effect, can’t quite remember after hours of drinking and dancing) popped on to the screen and Mr Scruff played one more song, much to the delight of everyone on the dance floor.
He is renowned for his marathon DJ sets and although this one didn’t quite last for the usual six hour stints, Cestrians remained on the dance floor for the full five hours handling not only beers but the famous Mr Scruff tea as well. Nothing is forced with Mr Scruff, he plays the music he does because he wants to which is probably why he kept everyone on the dance floor for as long as he did.
The Laugh Inn has seen a Hacienda Revival in previous months, Mr Scruff on Saturday and last night, an album launch from The Fall. Young Academic is expecting big things from The Laugh Inn so let’s hope many more Saturday nights will be filled with entertainment and good music!