Tuesday, 14 September 2010

I reminisce for a spell, or shall I say think back. 22 years ago to keep it on track...

For a young Hip Hop head back in Liverpool in the late 80’s the 20 minute fix of Roxanne Shante, Spoonie G and Mantronix sandwiched between Iron Maiden and the Smiths in clubs like the State and Macs could never be enough. There was only one place to get your rap fix and that was the Mardi.

A dedicated hip hop night where you could hear DJ Terminator Sef cutting and scratching, mixing Eric B & Rakim ‘I Know You Got Soul’ into Mr X and Mr Z ‘Drink Old Gold’...Genius:

If you were lucky there would be an afterparty in 61A Bold street with freestyle sessions from the likes of First In Command and Power to The Max. All good things come to an end and after Quinns 2 closed and the Mardi changed its music policy the scene became fractured but you could still catch some Hip Hop at nights like...

Then when Acid Jazz hit Liverpool, Hip Hop fans embraced it with many discovering the original funk breaks and samples that were so familiar to them. Grand Groove were among the torchbearers playing the Pharcyde and The Goats alongside Acid Jazz and Ultimate Breaks and Beats. For the next few years Hip Hop lived in Clubs like:

...And of Course First in Command's open Mic Freestyle night Phat Skillz. 
...and many of the heads who were present at the Mardi Gras from day one were recreating that vibe in the D.I.Y. spirit of Hip Hop with parties at various 'Venues' in Toxteth:

On some next tip and a definite must for all ladies...FRESH!!!

During this time you could cop the latest Hip Hop 12”s and a promo copy of ‘Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop’ from Jenny D at Unity Records on Bold Street or if you were in the know Pyramid Records on Lodge Lane:

Then as the Drug Wars gripped the city in 1996 and the only people on the streets of Liverpool were armed police...a handful of dedicated Hip Hop fans could be found head nodding in the basement of Le Bateau at...

Check out the prototype Art Attack flyer using cardboard, glue, gold marker pen, letter stencil sets, a scalpel and an Old English bottle label...Fresh.

Massive thanks to Grand Groove (AKA evrokski and Danny Crates) for the citation, stories, flyers, memories, support and above all this photograph:

You can catch them spinning at various No Fakin' Joints and Beatdowns across the city.


  1. Quality Mate! I'll have a dig through my old flyers from this period see what turns up, I seem to remember a decent Funk/Acid Jazz club on Seel Street which Gil Scott Heron played at in the early 90's...spot on though I used to get my early Hip Hop fixes from my brothers Breakdance Electro Boogie albums in the 80's and 'The Colin and Venol teach you How to Break' book is a classic, (I'll send you some images!), then as you say the most you would get was the odd Hip-Hop track or section dropped next to Hip-House and Acid House, which in truth in the nearly 90's seemed to work!

  2. Yeah that was Jacks on Seel Street. We played there a couple of times on a Monday night with Christian McBride, Jeff Daniels, DJ Bias etc. In fact it was just about 10 'DJs' and 0 punters, but you're right Gil Scott Heron did play there. Soundman Steve recorded it but never shared it to this day. Miserable C*nt.

  3. Anyone remember the night when Son of Noise played at the Mardi with massive torches it was ill.