Roots Manuva + The Bays - The Consortium, Bournemouth - April 2006
Image: © 2006 Kid 73
Written by Kid 73

If there was ever a night that would prompt the king of UK Hip Hop to jump onstage and improvise, it’s “Manna” at The Consortium. So up jumped Roots Manuva and, with true British eccentricity, he played three records (badly), jumped on the mic, talked trash and left. It’s different but most of all it’s rock ‘n’ fuckin’ roll. I think sometimes we forget that genius skips hand in hand with eccentricity, down the musical brick road. The Bays were their usual stupendous self. Onstage they are like a mighty serpentine that coils itself round the audience and draws them closer to the stage, compacting them into a solid ball of ‘dance’. The Bays improvise everything onstage and don’t rehearse. What you get is a one off performance every time you see them. They don’t release CDs either, so live onstage is the only place to hear them. Andy, the drummer, is one of the best in the world and charms the snake with a backbreaking 90 minutes of solid rhythmic improvisation. Chris ‘Palmskin’ pokes electronic gadgetry and out comes unimaginable samples, while everyone loses their minds on the dance floor. Morphing from what is loosely termed as ‘quality house’ all the way to the rip-roaring drum ‘n’ bass finale the group manage to yet again prove that the performance is indeed the product.