C'mon Feet @ night & day manchester 21.03.03

When I first heard Jehst 'High Plains Anthem' (Lowlife 2001) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vL0zhBdCk8&feature=related) at once both an old-school head-nodder track & brand-new UK lyrical territory -a Roots-Manuva-moment- marked out, created & claimed simultaneously. An Urban Original & very British voice, Jehst was also the most interesting element in Champions of Nature 7-man crew appearing on Lewis Parker's 'It's All Happening Now' (Melankolic 2002). Displaying unusual intelligence for a UK rapper demonstrated via his chosen vocabulary. Convoluted verbal contortions; flipping through metaphors with acrobatic accuracy & practised ease. He sounds like a well-read armchair anarchist. Both bedsit bar-spitter + bedroom beat-maker, or just another Dole-y slacker sat around selling bags of skunk & killing time. Afflicted with millennial anxiety like so many others? This particular slacker works hard though

It was hard work enough just trying to keep up! Jehst & partner-in-rhyme (Huddersfield MC) Asaviour, they won’t stand still long enough to focus the camera! I rarely wish for a more expensive camera... all auto-focus advantage & auto-exposure luxury, but my camera is an old-school '60s Pentax ME-Super. Manual focus only. B&W film. All the fun. Twice the effort

Warming C'Mon Feet up after resident DJs is UK Hip-Hop producer Sir Harry Love (sporting Lowlife 'Food' LP promo T-shirt) responsible (to start with) for the last two Jehst 12” releases. I’m not going to try & recall certain technicalities of the mix, or quality of the house p.a., individual records chosen or the ratio of UK to US tracks; I don’t remember. Like most punters, I was simply waiting for Jehst

Opening with ‘The Return of the Drifter’ with Harry Love on decks & Asaviour on microphone No.2 a boyish & boisterous performance followed; the C'mon Feet crowd; the energy of the joy of energy, reflected! Then I was suitably covered in warm Red Stripe during ‘Alcoholic Author’. Bit weird taking photographs of a young UK MC rapping in Manchester referencing Charles Bukowski, an 80 year-old American author & a personal favourite, more famous for his heroic drinking reputation than his own poetic ‘Low Life Recordings’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8SFTd0kSdY&feature=related)

A strange sing-a-long breaks out when a hyped Jehst raced through ‘1979’, finishing a verse earlier than the audience. He simply laughed & let them carry the next verse themselves! Funny! Highlight of the night: when ‘People Under The Weather’ dropped toward the end. The whole rowdy place rocked, crowd jostling like a stuck squid. Sounded like an anthem made with our Rainy City in mind

Konny Kon (Microdisiacs) takes over & is joined by a local mystery singer introduced as ‘Mrs Harry Love’ (but that was a lie people!) I left, bruised & soaked in lager, but happy that at least I had ‘the One’ photograph in the bag. I’d jumped up on-stage right at the end determined to orchestrate it! Happy also that I had witnessed an original talent rekindle my interest yet again in British Hip-Hop, as well as re-invigorate my passion for documentary photography by bringing these 2 loves of mine together