Review – Youth Club go #NORF

Youth Club Sounds are an events team hoping to be characterised by their signature curation of SoundCloud beats and up-and-coming DJs who challenge the mainstream.

November saw the launch of their Headrow House residency, a night titled ‘NORF’ which promised to bring ‘the new underground to Leeds’. Youth Club Sounds are a group aiming to go places, and this first step looks well assured. Approaching Youth Club Sound’s ‘NORF’ Launch generated a curious array of emotions. The events team are undeniably capable, and coupled with the proven ability of headliner Big Zuu, the night suggested the possibility of real quality. However, the location of Headrow House, which traditionally plays host to live bands, could’ve been set to stifle this.

After receiving clearance from In The Middle’s music editors that this was indeed a club night, I joined the fold. Having been genuinely giddy at the prospect of Grime trio YGG headlining, their pulling out of the event was disappointing. To be able to bring in Big Zuu at the drop of a hat is a testament to the ability of the promoters and their knowledge of the scene.

NORF, despite my apprehension, was a resounding success. The stripped back setting of Headrow House proved to suit a club’s vibe, while the enclosed parameters contributed to the imposing nature of the music. NORF’s trap set kicked off proceedings, reiterating their promise to avoid genre confinement and showing this was not an exclusively Grime zone.

Big Zuu was, as expected, a highlight. His swagger and aggression, which has marked him out as a future star of the scene, was on show in all its glory, his stage presence and flow hyping the crowd to fever-pitch. Reloads were frequent, gun fingers primed. Big Zuu then put down the mic and picked up the headphones, spinning tracks for Mez under his ‘Great Zuu’ alias. Mez illustrated why he generates such a buzz for himself around the scene, shelling it down with a ferocity rarely matched throughout Grime.

If this was the fifth NORF night that Youth Club Sounds had hosted I would’ve been impressed. For this to be their first is little less than incredible. In the vaccum that Jamz has left since their departure from our city, I think we’ve finally found a suitable replacement.

Reece Parker


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