Worried About Henry's bash on the 3rd of February at Manchester Academy was nothing short of legendary, it was a proper journey through the heart of the scene, blending old-school vibes with the fresh energy of Gen Z, all decked out in their finest Y2K gear. A mad mix, but somehow, it just worked, proving once again how drum and bass keeps pulling in everyone, from the seasoned ravers to the fresh faces.
The Academy has cemented its legacy as a crucible for both emerging talent and established acts, spanning a vast array of genres. From the pulsating beats of drum and bass nights to the raw energy of rock concerts, the Academy has played host to countless memorable nights that have left an indelible mark on the city's vibrant music scene. This night was cemented for WAH.
Ah, Solah, she's something else, isn't she? From the moment she stepped onto that stage, it was clear we were in for a treat. If you've ever had the pleasure of hearing "Neverend" by Pola & Bryson featuring Solah, you'll know exactly what I mean. That track back in '21 was a game-changer. It's like her voice has this unique power to just lift you, transport you to another place, and it was the perfect opener for a night that was destined to be epic. Another top one for us has to be "King", which was released last year on the same-titled LP on Hospital Records.
With Solah, it's never just about getting the party started; it's about creating a moment, a vibe that says, "This is where you're meant to be". And that's exactly what she did that night. As she weaved through her set, each track building on the last, you could feel the energy in the room shift, elevate. It was a masterclass in setting the scene, a precursor that promised a memory. True to form, the night delivered on that promise, all starting with her captivating performance. Her ability to blend soulful melodies with the driving beats of drum and bass is unmatched, making her not just an act to watch but an essential part of the DnB fabric.
S.P.Y, a true maestro of the drum and bass world, has a knack for capturing the essence of the genre while pushing its boundaries. When he took over the decks after Solah, the transition was seamless yet electrifying. Known for his ability to drop bangers like "By Your Side," S.P.Y doesn't just play music; he creates an atmosphere, a realm where each beat and bassline is more than sound—it's an experience. Take a look at Live From DnB Allstars 360° below if you don't believe us.
With roots stretching back to Brazil, he has honed his craft over the years, becoming a pivotal figure in the drum and bass scene. His journey through music has been marked by a relentless pursuit of innovation, blending classic jungle rhythms with the cutting-edge sounds of today's drum and bass. This blend, this ability to traverse musical landscapes with ease, is what sets S.P.Y apart on and off stage.
With the transition from early raver to late night blazer was established with the enigmatic Hybrid Minds. Their set was this perfect mix of liquid gold vibes that had everyone in the crowd belting out lyrics and feeling every beat. It's sets like these that show why Hybrid Minds are giants in the scene — they just connect with everyone on a different level.
Consisting of Josh White and Matt Lowe, are true artisans in the realm of drum and bass, particularly renowned for their liquid d&b sound that envelops the soul and elevates the spirit. Their music is a sanctuary, a place where the frenetic energy of drum and bass meets the melodic harmony of emotions, creating tracks that resonate deeply with listeners. With hits like "Touch" and "Solitude," they've crafted a sound that's both ethereal and grounding, a sound that speaks directly to the heart while moving the feet.
The duo not only define the essence of liquid but also continually push its boundaries, inviting us all to join them in a world where music is a universal language of connection and understanding. Considering they were the headliners, the party wasn't going to stop after they left - onwards to Friction, backed by the lyrical Dread MC, whose performances are not just shows; they're communal experiences that escapes from the mundane.
After the melodic high from Hybrid Minds, Friction's set was a jolt back to reality, in the best way possible. Tunes like "Disconnected" had the place jumping. Dread MC's flow? On point. It was like a match made in heaven, or in this case, Manchester Academy. The energy was electric, a proper turning point of the night that had everyone geared up for more.
Pola & Bryson wrapped things up with a set that was dirty in all the right ways. Dropping tracks like "Whisper To Me," they've got this knack for blending the gritty with the smooth, and it just ended the night on such a high. They're the sort you can't miss live; they bring something new every time.
They have carved out a niche for themselves that's as distinctive as it is influential. They manage to encapsulate the essence of the genre while pushing its boundaries, blending soulful melodies with deep, driving basslines. Seeing them live feels like witnessing a masterclass in musical storytelling. It is clear to me that they're artists in the truest sense of the word. Their sets are an expression of their passion for music and their desire to connect with their audience on a meaningful level. They manage to make each performance feel intimate, regardless of the crowd size, creating a sense of community and shared experience that's rare and precious.
After the final highs Manchester Academy was buzzing, full of life. It's spots like this that make you feel part of something bigger, you know? And Worried About Henry, they just get it. They're not just putting on gigs; they're creating these nights that you'll bang on about for ages because they're more than music — they're experiences.
The crowd was a proper mix — from those who've been in the scene since day one to the youngsters trying to find their skank. Didn't matter though, 'cause once the music started, it was like one big family. That's the beauty of drum and bass; it's got this way of bringing people together, no matter your background or how dodgy your dance moves are.
If you've never been to a Worried About Henry event, you're missing out, big time. It's not just about the tunes; it's the vibe, the people, the whole package. Next time they're in town, make sure you're there. Trust me, it's unmissable. You'll be part of something special, where the music's not just heard; it's felt. And who knows? Might just see you there, getting your skank on.