Last weekend, the dark and dingy Canal Mills was transformed into a colourful Kingston Carnival for the return of ‘Just a Little’. Bunting dangled from the ceiling, the lights shone bright, and there was a general buzz of excitement from the crowd in anticipation of Shy FX and Prince Fatty. For a few hours we forgot about the freezing GMT October and were transported into a tropical haven of Jungle benevolence.
Shy FX performed an exclusive Reggae set, elevated on the higher-than-usual stage, and rightly so for the pioneer of D&B himself. Opening with the 2013 hit, Soon Come, the bass jiggled through the audience like jelly, grooving through everyone’s inhibitions and creating a relaxed atmosphere. This was soon to be switched up a notch, transporting us back to the 90s with Jungle classic, Original Nuttah. Twenty years down the line, the 1994 track stands the test of time, and just goes to show that Shy FX is still as present as ever.
As the set continued, he teased with a silence that felt like a year, before surprising the audience with UB40’s mellow, mellifluous Red Red Wine. Another classic shortly followed: Jungle Is Massive. This got a particularly warm reception, and you’d have been hard pushed to find a single person in the building who wasn’t skanking.
He closed with his latest offering, a remix of San Smith’s Stay With Me. Although great, it felt rather premature. With a discography of someone who’s been in the business over two decades, it would have been nice to hear and extended show of material, rather than a condensed hour long set. However, short and sweet is appreciated nonetheless.