Nightmares on Wax
- Steve Cobby
- Madnice Soul Selector
After the groundbreaking release of 1995 album Smokers Delight, George Evelyn aka NIGHTMARES ON WAX has made his way back to Liverpool to play a sold-out show in the heart of the Baltic Triangle. With punters lining up through the back doors of 24 Kitchen Street, it’s set to be one hell of a night.
With first support MADNICE SOUL SELECTOR playing a pleasing mix of jazz, latin and hip hop, the scene is set as the first of the crowd filter in from the rain. In the background, an interesting projection of animated crime thriller A Scanner Darkly brings stars Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey Jr and Keanu Reeves to the rave. Although the music isn’t particularly energetic, it’s an easy listen for the few people who cautiously stand on the cobbles waiting for the room to fill. The second support slot of the night features DJs STEVE COBBY – best known for his diverse remixes ranging from Radiohead to Busta Rhymes – alongside KWINZOLA, half of Liverpool DJ duo No Fakin’. Playing back to back, these two selectors trade a varied mix of hip hop and soul tunes, as well as dropping The Original Trinidad Steel Band’s tropical spin of Cissy Strut,which was brought to fame by funk legends The Meters. Joined by host MC KWASI, the room comes to life as he effortlessly spits bars over the music, hyping the crowd for the main event.
Representing Warp records, Nightmares On Wax has been around for over two decades providing us with an eclectic mix of hip hop, acid house, trip hop and down tempo electronica. After his last release of Feelin’ Good in 2013, Evelyn released a compilation album in 2014 N.O.W Is The Time as a celebration of his achievements and his time at Warp. Prior to this, his career began with the release of 1991 debut album A Word Of Science: The First And Final Chapter. With a significant interest in soul and rap music, echoes of these genres can often be heard within the depths of the techno-tinged album and are reflected in his live performance here in a bouncing Kitchen Street.
Dropping a mix of classics from Luther Vandross to Digital Human, James Brown to Nico Gomez, Blondie to Run DMC, we are treated to a selection that reflects Nightmares On Wax’s personal musical preferences. It certainly does not disappoint as the crowd blast out a slightly slurry rendition of Never Too Much under the oversized disco ball that echoes undertones of a 1970s nightclub. Despite his moniker, it is slightly disappointing not to see Nighmares On Wax play any vinyl like his supports, preferring to stick to his CDJs. Not that the crowd seem to mind, with the whole room dancing away and a full house until the end. It’s safe to say that the sold out crowd are more than satisfied with the nostalgic set that is a reflective collection of music that influenced the birth of Evelyn’s impressive career.