Tuesday, 14 August 2007
On The Scene: Chantelle Fiddy
If you’re really on top of your clubbing game, then you may have noticed a new genre of music cropping up on the odd flyer about town. And for once it’s a trend that hasn’t started in London. The sounds of ‘niche’ are slowly filtering down from the north of England, where promoters in and around Manchester and Nottingham have been championing the sound for some time.
Unfortunately though, like new-rave, which wasn’t quite new and wasn’t quite rave, niche isn’t so niche either and if you’ve heard the current big tunes, you wouldn’t be a fool to consider it a case of reinvention. Sounding a lot like UK (speed) garage back in the early 90’s – think TJ Cases, Scott Garcia, Monsta Boy or the Wideboys – 2 step blended with 4/4 and a more modern bassline house twist, it’s a wonder this isn’t all the work of some marketing team at a record label. As it goes, it’s actually the current generation of clubbers too young to know what’s gone before, that have coined the term niche to describe the kind of tunes heard playing at popular Sheffield spot, yep you guessed it, Niche.
The biggest track on the niche club circuit to look out for is T2’s ‘Heartbroken’. Two major record labels are in a bidding war over it and thanks to it’s popularity with those returning from the holiday isles of Malia and Ayia Napa, don’t be surprised if it’s infiltrated your life come September. Naturally, garage fans aren’t complaining. When grime became the fashion, the garage producers of yesteryear seemed to fall into obscurity. Only the likes of Todd Edwards, MJ Cole and Wookie, who’s making some great house records these days, pop up on the radar, so older fans are now hoping this is a new era of quality garage emerging. So why aren’t we seeing any strictly niche nights yet?
DJ Matchstick (Warner), who is resident at True Skool, Bar Rhumba which supports niche, thinks it’s a matter of time. “There is some resistance to this sound in London but DJs like Sticky are playing it and EZ has been pushing tracks in the clubs and on his Kiss 100 show. DJ O.P (Pik ‘N’ Mix) from Manchester is now staying in the capital - he’s definitely one to watch if you want to find out about niche.”
If it’s all too confusing or you’re shrugging your shoulders, there’s another style of dance from up north to celebrate on Friday night. Dead Disco, the female electro-pop punk trio from Leeds, who fall somewhere inbetween Gwen Stefani and Debbie Harry, will be playing their single ‘You’re Out’ and oldies like ‘Automatic’ and ‘The Treatment’ at Computer Blue: The Final at Bar Music Hall, Shoreditch. The girls reckon coming to see them in all their northern glory will ‘change your lives for the better.’ Given that entry’s free, it’s a damn good start.
A version of this article appeared in The London Paper
at 9:05 pm