It’s a Sunday night in Worthing and the Pavilion Theatre, situated at the entrance to the pier, is playing host to one of the founding fathers of Hip Hop DJ-ing, who along with Afrika Bambaataa and Kool DJ Herc showed that a Hip Hop set involves playing every genre of music, not just Hip Hop records. Besides, these guys were around before Hip Hop was available on wax and before it became the billion dollar industry takeover that we know today.
Support comes from Susan’s Leg Policy followed by DJ Format, both veterans of the UK Hip Hop scene who play a danceable mix of old and new music, a perfect warm up for the main event.
It’s good to see Flash touching down in Worthing as opposed to Brighton, and his set involves playing a short burst of a variety of songs from Hip Hop classics like “The Big Beat” by Billy Squier and “Apache” by The Incredible Bongo Band through to classic tunes by Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith, Queen, Chaka Khan etc etc.
His set is delivered with good humour and energy, he frequently comes to the front of the stage and hypes up the crowd (something veteran Reggae DJ David Rodigan also loves doing), basically it’s party central when Flash plays.
In fact the only thing that has changed having seen him play over the years is the fact that he used to bring a buddy along to feed him the records to play in rapid succession, now with the aid of a laptop he can easily use a playlist to access the songs. He still does plenty of cutting and scratching though, employing the “Clock theory” and “Quick mix theory” that he developed way back in 1971. It’s worth reading his autobiography “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats – A Memoir” as it completely documents his early life with an abusive father and a mentally ill mother through to what life was like in the Bronx in the 60’s and his subsequent career as a DJ.
A crowd pleasing set from a Hip Hop veteran.