Review – HighRise 4th Birthday w/ Congo Natty at Beaver Works

HighRise is incredibly popular with Leeds students, it’s one of the city’s most notorious events. Last Friday’s fourth Birthday lived up to this reputation of packed out line ups and impressive production value.

At no point in the night was the rammed Back Room without a queue, and rightfully so. Congo Natty and Top Cat set the vibe with a bit of ‘Junglist’ and chilled out the crowd with ‘Three Little Birds’, flitting between a classic Jungle sound and Reggae in which they’ve carved their niche.

Ray Keith’s set that followed had more of basis in Dub and Drum & Bass, providing a more consistent heavy Jungle vibe as the night progressed. Utah Jazz then followed suit to bring the arguably most popular Back Room to a close.

A further notable set came from Slimzee and Riko. Riko Dan’s vocals filled the Warehouse room with an atmospheric selection of patois-filled Grime, layered over the nostalgic sounds of DJ Slimzee. Typical to HighRise’s musical tendencies, the night came to its very close with some classics mixed in with Reggae and Jungle round offs.  The Special’s ‘A Message to You Rudy’ and SBTRK’s ‘Wildfire’ were the anthems that received the best response. As expected, the final tune was ‘One Love’ and had the weary stragglers arm in arm singing along at the top of their voices.

The music of the night was set to the backdrop of a bonfire outside to keep the crowd from freezing, and the ceiling was covered in army-style cargo nets. This decorative approach had a certain effortless cool, and lighting and sound was on top form. HighRise ticked all the boxes and the response was undoubtedly positive.

HighRise returns to Leeds on 20th January for its January Session.

Amelia Whyman


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