With love from Manchester, Mr. Scruff rolls into Edinburgh to hit us with his unique “potato style.”
When Scruff performs, he not only DJs but does an all-out takeover of the club that stops just short of refurbishment. In order to recreate the atmosphere and variety of his ‘Keep it Unreal’ night at the Manchester Music Box, out come the cartoon video projections, the plethora of merchandise, and more records than you could shake a cup of tea at.
Educated by local 1980s Northern soul and dance stations, Scruff (Andy Carthy) continued adding to his knowledge of hip-hop, house, and soul by spending all his Kwik Save shop wages on funk, reggae, jazz and world music. What has resulted is a massive record collection, a number of Manchester residences, and an eventual introduction into the Ninja Tune fold via deck battles with DJ Food.
Throughout his set, Monsieur S stays true to his conception of what good DJ sets should be – musically and technically flawless. The night begins with a somewhat dull progression and a mellow crowd, lulled into a contented rhythm by what could have been a lounge mix for a city bar. Slowly, we were taken into deeper hip-hop and soul territory, which shifted seamlessly back and forth between afro-beat and sculpted, heavy melodic baselines.
The night gained intensity as Scruff started to incorporate some singles from his new album, Ninja Tuna (fish references are a given in any of his albums) and brought back a few old Scruff favourites. Across all genres and eras, the set introduced us to esoteric records each chosen at precisely the right moment. And if timing is everything, Mr.Scruff deserves credit playing for six hours without letting the show drop once; the musical layers perfectly stitched, the energy masterfully preserved.