Croydon Bass Lift: Black Sheep’s little lamb?


By - Friday 18th April, 2014

Jess Bashford discovers an unexpected night full of booming bass at Fairfield Halls


Photo by Dan Harley Photography. Used with permission.

Who knew Fairfield Halls held this type of music event? Booming bass, lively lighting and under 30s. But they do – it’s called Croydon Bass Lift. With Black Sheep Bar’s unfortunate closing, it was great to see a night where bass-heavy music was championed. Since Croydon is one of dubstep’s original homes, it’s fantastic to see somewhere for this sort of music to pump on.

The night ran from 8pm to 2:30am in Fairfield’s Arnhem Gallery. And the music was non-stop. There were smooth transitions from DJ to DJ and all of them played thumping, bass-heavy music. Whether it felt more dubstep or drum and bass, it didn’t matter. The floor always had eager dancers busting out their moves and (as you would expect) it got busier and busier as the night went on.

Choosing my favourite act was easy. Coda was fourth on and I loved their set. Among the rest of the DJs, this act stood out. They fulfilled Bass Lift’s large quota of bass-lines that rumble through the soles of your shoes and shake into your chest, while getting everyone on the dancefloor moving. But they gave something extra. Of course they had their laptops, but they also walked on with drums, a guitar and a trombone too. The flavour they sprinkled on the rest of the music was great. Coda’s frontman’s vocals and their trombone twist created a ska-esque feeling, but stayed true to the night. A song called ‘Misfit’ and their final song that sampled Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ were particularly good. But my friend and I danced away to the whole set – as did the rest of the room.

Photo by Dan Harley Photography. Used with permission.

The rest of the DJs got positive reactions from the crowd, but for me, Coda stood out. The only complaint I really had was with the bar. They had a great looking Jägermeister one, but as a Jäger-avoider, I went for Fairfield’s bar. The event’s Facebook page helpfully showed prices, but these didn’t follow what I ordered. I asked for a rum and coke, expecting it to be £3 (as it said that a spirit and mixer would be), and was originally asked for £3. But the barman quickly corrected himself. I had to pay £4 which although only £1 difference and not a bad price, was not what I expected. I’m not sure why this was, but the inconsistency was annoying.

Overlooking this tiny glitch, I had a good night. I wasn’t expecting all that much from a music event in the Arnhem Gallery, but it was fun. The equipment and sound was excellent – for me the lighting was particularly impressive. But overall the atmosphere was really good. It had a similar vibe to Black Sheep Bar so I’d recommend it to anyone who’s missing it. Don’t expect any of the satisfying smatterings of bands like Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park that you used to get in Sheep, but prepare yourself for some serious bass that’ll remind you of it.

Croydon Bass Lift was a fantastic community music event that felt like a coming together of like-minds. But more than anything, I loved seeing Croydon’s younger generation using Fairfield Halls. I hope, for both Bass Lift and Fairfield Halls, that this is an event we’ll get to see again.

Photo by Dan Harley Photography. Used with permission.

Jess Bashford

Jess Bashford

Jess Bashford is a writer at a brand language consultancy and an English literature and creative writing graduate. She’s passionate about showing that Croydon is a great place to live and excited to delve into Croydon’s cultural side. She loves all things wordy and foody.

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