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Scotland’s drum & bass innovators and king of monster beats,

MANGA, celebrates seven years at the top of the tree. Words: James Smart

ast year‘s birthday was pretty low-key. it was L still. of course. rammed to the rafters. but

rather than filling the bill with big name guests. Manga promoter George MacDonald (better known as G-Mac) brought in a range of drum & bass DJs from across Scotland. This year. things are looking a bit more lavish. The celebrations span a month. with Bryan Gee and MC Stamina handling the first Edinburgh leg. Ram Records boss Andy C and MC lilux taking care of the capital‘s February date and True Playal. Pascal headlining the club's return to Aberdeen. lt kicks off with what may prove to be the biggest of the bunch. when scene veteran Peshay visits Glasgow’s Sub Club.

Inviting a DJ whose biggest track of last year was pounding ‘U Got me Burning' to play a club that’s just reopened after fire damage seems to be tempting fate a little particularly considering the fact that Manga‘s Edinburgh operations base La Belle Angele is closed after the recent Old Town fire. But MacDonald seems pretty confident. ‘We’ve been waiting two or three years for the Sub Club and we‘ve been given this one—off} he says. ‘Dates there


just now are like gold dust so we're going to see if

we can really impress them.’

it’s good to see a club that’s been an integral part of Edinburgh’s club scene for the last sexen years still trying to push new buttons. And MacDonald sounds anything but complacent. ‘We've always chopped away. People come down and do new things there’s always new artists coming up. People come and totally blow your head off. and

‘Sub Club dates are like gold dust so the we’re going to see if we can really impress

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Peshay kicks off the month long party

you‘re happy even if it isn’t a huge financial success. We get a young crowd of folk who absolutely love music. but can only run little nights and can’t always book the big people. We’re happy to make a big splash.‘

Manga began in l996 at La Belle. and MacDonald is determined that the club will return there. In the short term, though. the Honeycomb offers the benefit of a back room that will allow the club to focus on the increasingly influential breaks sound showcased at now-defunct spin—off night Switch Up while playing out floorfilling drum & bass in the main room. It‘s going to be noisy, but according to MacDonald it won‘t be too banging. ‘We like to mix it right up so it’s an open door for people. if folk walk in the door and it’s hammer and tongs it can be quite daunting. That doesn’t mean

that what we do is a compromise.

it‘s the way we’ve always done it and the way we like it.‘

After this four date marathon. even seasoned heads may be contemplating a few days off. And while it certainly won’t be the end for Manga. with its sale date looming the Honeycomb is unlikely to continue as a club venue forever and La Belle is going to take more than a few months to rebuild. The result may be a series of one-off dates rather than a monthly slot in 2003. ‘We’ll still be doing stuff in Edinburgh.’ says MacDonald. ‘But it might be a case of if I feel good [‘11 do it, if there are doubts I won‘t. It‘s not like there’s millions of drum & bass nights a lot of them are a bit sporadic. so we‘re still in a strong position. And Glasgow‘s in a position to get a big kick up the arse. That‘s the plan.’

The Sub Club, Glasgow, Fri 24 Jan; the Honeycomb Edinburgh, Fri 31 Jan; Lava, Aberdeen, Fri 7 Feb and the Honeycomb, Edinburgh, Fri 21 Feb.

Word Up

The latest club news


fans in 2003 is looking as strong as ever. The big news of course is the return of the mighty Massive Attack playing two nights at the brand new Glasgow Academy. 8 8: 9 April (the venue coincidentally launches with the Sugababes on 28 March) to promote the launch of their long. oh how very long, awaited album, 100th Window. But there is plenty more out there: the Bays reschedule their dates for 20 (King Tuts) 8- 21 (Beat Jazz Basement as part of Trouble at the Blue Note) February; Lemon Jelly 1 (QMU) & 2 (Queen’s Hall) March; dub and reggae legend Jimmy Cliff plays a super rare show at the Liquid Rooms (22 March) as does David Holmes and his live ensemble the Free Association (19 March) and Eve shows us what gangsta rap is all about at the Barres (26 March). Win Freddy CD

FREDDY FRESH DROPS BY AT Edinburgh's hottest home of eclectic beats on 24 January. And to mark the fact Pogo Vogue have furnished Word Up with two copies of his latest mix CD B-Boy Stance out now on Strut Records, a riotous run through the great and good in the world of ‘old skool party rockers' featuring the likes of Marley Marl, Cool C, JVC Force. Jazzy Jay and many more. For a chance to snaffle a copy of this perfect primer to the golden age of hip hop just drop us a mail marked ‘FREDDY' with your name and address to clubs@list.co.uk by 22 January and the first names out of the hat will have a copy winging its way to them just in time to see the man himself.

16-30 Jan 2003 TH. LIST 85