Friends-&-Family @ the-roadhouse 07.02.04

BY POPULAR REQUEST! Recently messaged about a certain Mancunion Club Night Regular so...; I have dug deep into the Archive & unearthed this gem: Stones Throw Records very first time in Manchester! At (-where else?-) Fat City Records legendary weekly underground shindig Friends-&-Family @ the Roadhouse

I remember this night well. It was a sell-out show. Outside was a freezing February night with an added Icelandic wind. Once inside, the basement club was rammed out & hot. Camera lenses & spectacles around the small stage glazed over with condensation. It wasn't long before it began to drip from the ceiling. "Two Red Stripe please"; then elbow my way through the tightly-packed mass. Friends-&-Family regulars & hip-hop aficionados crowded around the small stage. No room for dancing down the front, tonight was going to be special; A rare visitor from overseas, bringing with them the Californian heat, Madlib (Stones Throw) whose contribution to hip-hop music, in all his many guises (Jaylib, Madlib, Madvillian, Quasimoto), is rarely surpassable. I am standing almost on top of the man, wedged in the corner by my elbows & camera, settling in for the night, claiming my spot

Tonight Madlib is alongside (& back-to-back warm-up with) label-mate (& excellent DJ) J-Rocc who raises the roof after his eclectic set. My old editor at City Life Luke Bainbridge can be pictured alongside Grand Central A&R and Fat City Records employee Darren Laws, and you can clearly see the appreciation of skill & quality both in mixing & selection etched on their faces
Finally, the evening ends with someone who writes for hip-hop bible Wax Poetics and (-like Qool Marv before him-) would come to be a Friends-&-Family regular; New York DJ Monk One! A man with a vinyl collection as deep as it is wide, (I imagine some mad underground room with floor-to-ceiling purpose-built shelves), twice as wide as they are high

It's time to put away my camera. I'd got some fantastic once-in-a-lifetime shots; but the uncomfortable heat had kept me drinking warm Red Stripe like water! I find myself to be rather drunk. I probably should head out, head home, but DJ Monk-1 has designs on my dancing feet. I stay right 'til the end