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Knights with Mics - MoS at Pacha

Featuring Dizzee Rascal and other loud mouthed bullies.

The décor at Pacha might still have hippy leanings, but musically they’re heading in the opposite direction. Nowhere is this more apparent than at their most adventurous night, Thursdays with Ministry of Sound.

Dizzee @ MoS, Pacha - June 30, 2005Last night’s line up was enticing for urban-curious house heads – Mercury prize winner Dizzee Rascal (right), the MC/dj combo that is the Audio Bullys, notorious tequila-swiller Derrick Carter, Mark Knight and the usual array of capable Pacha residents on hand to provide cover in any kind of (heaven forbid!) emergency situation.

Like its governmental namesakes, the Ministry of Sound is an organisation with many different departments. The CD compilation division for example is rampantly commercial. With their annuals, chill out collections, late night sessions, clubbers guides, the long running 'Now That's What I Call Bosh' series, they aim to be all things to as many people as possible.

Their 2004 Ibiza voyage followed the same tack, and steered itself into the bay of San Antonio with their Big Night Out concept. Last year's edition didn’t highlight djs and the splash-bang-wallop advertising was clearly intended to appeal to unsophisticated consumers. It flopped.

MoS @ Pacha - June 30, 2005Perhaps the punters weren’t as stupid as they thought. A shift upmarket was in order and this year MoS are back on Thursday nights at Pacha (the slot they held in 2003 after being shunted from their prime Friday night position by the Pete Tong vehicle, Pure Pacha).

It’s not as packed as some of their previous outings, but their second date this year busy enough. We arrived at about 3am and went straight into the Global Room (on your right as you come in).

MoS @ Pacha - June 30, 2005The GR is a small space with capacity for only a couple of hundred. The dj booth is situated on the far wall and there are raised terraces to the right where you can sit and sip your expensive drink and view the action, although the lower steps tend to be filled with dancers who gradually filed in once word got round that Dizzee's arrival was imminent. There was no grand pop star entrance, he just popped up beside his dj Semtex and bopped away in an unassuming yet engaging manner.

Tonight the scowling black kid from the surly streets of London was in party mode. There was little in the way of his trademark staccato rapping, mostly he hyped the crowd along with his fellow MC and other members of his entourage wearing t-shirts emblazoned with a picture of a turd and the legend ‘Dirtee Stank’, the name of the independent label Dizzee is hoping to revive.

MoS @ Pacha - June 30, 2005However the majority of the tracks played were not Rascal originals. Instead the big hits of this and yesteryear got another airing which went down a treat with the happy, clappy audience. They wanted to flex and wave their arms about and no more was demanded of them.

MoS @Pacha - June 30, 2005

Derrick Carter @ MoS - June 30, 2005Meanwhile on the other side of the club the Chicagan Euro-phile Derrick Carter (right) was charting a more slammin’ course. Not for him the whooshiness of big room prog, nor the tired thud of “soulful” disco, Mr Carter plays butt-wiggling, crunchy four-to-the-floor interweaved with melody and sonic innovation. It’s smart and instantly accessible at the same time.

MoS @ Pacha - June 30, 2005Following him at around 4.30am were the Audio Bullys, the dynamic duo responsible for rewiring Nancy Sinatra's 'Bang! Bang!', one of this year’s most pervasive tunes. The clunking, chunky, funky beats echoed loudly like a jump-started zombie stomping around a haunted house.

The UK no. 3 hit was the first number wheeled out, which is of course a guaranteed method of sending a room full of over-excited club tourists completely loopy.

MC Simon Franks (below) possesses down-to-earth charm that appeals to both hipsters and chavs, and he exploited the holiday atmosphere with shout outs, mini-raps and even a bit of crooning. Unlike many of his compatriots he manages to retain his English accent while singing, and this air of laddish confidence is very appealing when compared to Robbie Williams for example, who always seems to be trying to be someone else.

Simon Franks & Tom Dinsdale @ MoS - June 30, 2005

Propelling their double act is Tom Dinsdale (above) the dj, the originator of much of the material used in their set. Evidently a many-talented artist, Mr Dinsdale has a knack for constructing roaring rhythms and blinding bass lines which regularly bring the crowd to the ecstatic peaks.

After exploding on the Ibiza scene in 2003, the Bullys have in two years achieved the status of trusted headliners. They’re not appearing anywhere else in 2005, but are sure to be back next year, judging by the professional performance and riotous reception they received last night.

MoS @ Pacha - June 30, 2005

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