Friends-&-Family @ the-roadhouse 12.02.05

By 2005 I was pretty much immersed exclusively in photographing Drum’n’Bass in Manchester, but when Big Rodney P & Daddy Skitz come to town the UKHH fan in me rises up and longs for different beats, better lyrics.

I hadn’t been down Friends-&-Family for awhile. Kwasi Asante still provides familiar vibes. Mark Torkington is playing warm-up. DJ Skitz takes over with Rodney on the mic (as ever). True hip-hop professionals who’ve been working together for over a decade and it shows! Rodders drops a few tracks from his new Lowife LP ‘The Future’, finally released after numerous delays, and jumps up onto the monitors to better interact with the young crowd. In the crowd, a recent exile to Manchester, Rodney P spots Fallacy. He drags him up on stage. This man hasn’t been seen or heard of in months! He dropped his debut LP and just disappeared! Crowd go wild & I make sure I get photographs of these 2 exceptional microphone controllers together!

Then Mr.Tibbs joins Rodney on-stage. Skitz & Tibbs drop solo tracks ‘Introducing’, & his own version of ’95 UKHH classic ‘Dedicated’. Tibbs & Fallacy retire to the side of stage. Mobile numbers & Rizla exchange. Daddy Skitz & Rodney P continue with party classics & quality hip-hop from both sides of 'the Pond', posing for one photo & leaning in even tho I had my wide-angle lens on (bless)

Later Rodders recognises me & says “Bruv, haven’t you got enough photos of me yet?”
“Nearly”
is my reply

Mark Torkington controls the decks again. A few beers before following Skitz & company out into the fine drizzle of Mancunian Night. They are away on the overpass by car back to London. I am on foot zigzagging my way home, so making it twice the distance it should be! It takes ages. When I finally get home Skitz LP ‘Countryman’ goes straight onto the stereo