Young Echo - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Young Echo - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley

by Andy Brown Rating: Release Date:
Young Echo - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley
Young Echo - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley

The Golden Cabinet has managed to introduce me to new acts every time I’ve visited. Tonight is no exception. And while ostensibly billed as a single act, Bristol’s Young Echo are in fact a multifaceted collective of DJ’s, MC’s, poets and performers. This Bristolian crew of creatives will be our entertainment for the whole night.

For the uninitiated The Golden Cabinet is a night of experimental music nestled away in Shipley, West Yorkshire. An old and rather unassuming schoolhouse, The Kirkgate Centre is transformed into an intimate venue for lovers of the loud, weird and wonderful.

Usually, although not exclusively, focussing on electronic music and leftfield DJ’s The Golden Cabinet offers something pretty unique. It’s certainly nothing like any other venue I regularly attend. Once you’ve come to one you’ll be hooked. Like a cult but without so much emphasis on ritual sacrifice or secret handshakes.

Young Echo have already started their first DJ set of the night when I arrive at about ten past 7. An eclectic smorgasbord of party tunes from dub, hip-hop, pop and reggae. I’ve written down bossa nova in my notes although I’m not entirely sure if that was a dream. By the time my friend arrives they’ve built everything up into a wonderfully loud wall of noise that he aptly describes as “nice and foreboding”.

Tonight’s performers include Alex Rendall, Jasmine Butt and Amos Childs (collectively known as Jabu), Chester Giles, Dan Davies aka Ossia, Joseph McGann aka Kahn, Seb Gainsborough aka Vessel, Cris Ebdon aka Ishan Sound and the untouchable Rider Shafique.

Everyone’s having a great time, not least the members of Young Echo. Looking at the collective gathered behind the mixing desk, dancing around while sharing drinks and DJ duties- it’s like you’ve inadvertently wondered into a particularly cool house party. With the introductions out of the way (and even a little bit of jazz), the collective present us with the first fully live performance of the night.

The others come to watch with the rest of us as the three members of Jabu do their thing. Jabu’s sound is composed of subtle soundscapes and Alex Rendall’s intimate, wounded, lyrics. Rendall pining as he sings “spent my young life waiting to burn”. Ambient beats and gentle backing vocals gradually immersing the Cabinet in something unexpectedly tender.

Young Echo’s resident poet Chester Giles is up next with Ossia behind the decks. There’s a significant shift in tone. Giles stands at the front, notebook laid open on the table as Ossia builds a wall of atmospheric drones. Mantra-like Giles starts by repeatedly chanting “deep down, deep down” as we’re pulled further and further down the rabbit hole.

More like a particularly pissed-off performance poet then an MC, Giles’ words combine seemingly mundane observations with black humour and a healthy dose of spleen venting. Mentions of landlords, broken tumble dryers and pissing into a glass by your bed ground it in the everyday yet the mood is nigh-on apocalyptic. It’s an intense and deeply impressive performance.

The dark mood gives way to another DJ set from the collective; heavy dubstep and African rhythms meet bhangra beats and esoteric oddities. Kahn picks out the likes of Flowdan and The Bug as the party hits full-swing. It doesn’t feel like there are any barriers between the DJ’s and the audience and everyone, absolutely everyone, is dancing. The DJ sets seamlessly flow into each live section, every minute of the night filled with music.

The final live performance comes from Rider Shafique and Ishan Sound. Like Chester Giles, Shafique is something of a poet but the music and performance style are rooted in speaker-shaking, house-party-starting, dub. It’s a sound rooted in sound system culture and it’s absolutely huge.

Shafique’s lyrics frequently feel like a rallying call as he sings, “When shall we rise?” over the aural assault of digital dub. The whole room feels united as he repeatedly calls out to the assembled “Shipley massive”. Like the rest of Young Echo, Shafique manages to make a genuine connection with the audience. The revolution starts here people.

No one wants to leave but every party has to come to an end. Like The A-Team lighting a celebratory cigar after another successful mission, a few members of Young Echo disappear for a sneaky roll up, safe in the knowledge that they’ve blown everyone away. I probably say this every time but who would have thought something like this would be happening in a community centre in Shipley? The Golden Cabinet is well and truly back with a bang.

Live photo by Maria Spadafora. Check out her other work here:

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