There is no question that Fabio & Grooverider are one of the most iconic duos in drum’n’bass history. Yet still, they remain undeniably prevalent within this forever growing scene, leaving their global footprint on jungle music. Having gained much traction over the last few years, this live orchestral interpretation of sound system culture has become infamous since the Southbank Centre and the Outlook Orchestra first collaborated in 2017. We went down to check out the second of this two day jungle extravaganza for ourselves!
The Southbank Centre is situated around Waterloo, right by the River Thames. Meaning its location was inevitably going to draw drum’n’bass fans from far and wide. The Royal Festival Hall, located within the multitude of spaces Southbank has to offer, proved to be a winner in terms of creating an atmosphere that allowed fellow jungle heads alike to let loose — and express their love for these sounds. We were treated to two hours of jungle, and drum’n’bass, history like nothing else heard before.
This spectacle was not only pleasing to the ear, but visually we were greeted with animated graphics that paired up beautifully with these authentic reverberations. The audience held a wide variety of different age groups, highlighting how universal this experience truly was. The pair took us through a history of the genre, starting back to the beginning, in the early 90’s, and working their way up to the 21st century.
With MC GQ on mic duties, we were intricately talked through two hours of the finest drum’n’bass experience. He superbly linked together each classic with words from the heart, hyping up the audience for masterpiece after masterpiece. This did not stop the hosts Fabio & Grooverider from also addressing the crowd, educating us on their exceptional journey within drum’n’bass. Tunes like, the gritty, ‘Champion Sound’ by Q Project, a more emotive number in ‘Black’ by DJ SS, and the wonderfully uplifting ‘Hurt You So’ by Jonny L were three stand out selections from the first half of this ensemble.
Adam F’s distinctive ‘Circles’ was greeted by an almighty cheer. Shut your eyes and you could hear the essence of Fabio & Grooverider’s infamous ‘Rage’ events at the London Nightclub ‘Heaven’ in the early 90’s. The hard-hitting ‘Valleys of the Unknown’ by Original Unknown proved a nice bridge in sounds as we moved forward in the drum’n’bass-sphere, entering the early 2000’s, the musicality grew more diverse. You could hear the sheer number of influences the drum’n’bass scene had experienced over a decade. Nobody sat down throughout this two-hour bonanza, these rhythms and sounds were just too infectious to stay seated. Digital’s melodic ‘Deadline’, one of the sing along tunes of the night ‘Original Saes’ (Police in Helicopter) by Topcat, the energetic ‘Take me Away’ by Chase & Status, and Shy FX’s feel good ‘Feelings’ amped the show up another notch — creating a genuine state of euphoria around the Royal Festival Hall.
As we entered the home straight, we were pleasantly treated to two drum’n’bass anthems. ‘Original Nuttah’ by Shy FX was a special moment, made more unique when UK Apache made a rare appearance on stage — dropping those timeless, infamous, lyrics. Chase & Status and Jenna G’s track ‘In Love’ was belted out by every single member of the audience. Hearing those heartfelt lyrics ‘I’m in love’ sang beautifully by the queen of drum’n’bass herself, Jenna G, really touched on the heartstrings — reverberating spectacularly around the auditorium. The shapeshifters lead vocalist was in tremendous form as she closed the show with this blissful showpiece and sent home the Royal Festival Hall in high spirits.
There is no question that this unique musical experience is one that will continually evolve as the years progress. Fabio & Grooverider yet again are beacons in the underground scene, leading the way for this new type of adventure within jungle and drum’n’bass. They will return, with their full complement of orchestral backing, on the 26th May 2023 at Brockwell Park. Here at Goat Shed, we can’t wait to witness more history being created with the live orchestra.