January 31 was real. Sydney got a heavy taste of UK hip-hop, and the local scene had two of its most solid connoiseurs - and our own brand ambassadors LMxEC - step up in support of Englishman Dirty Dike's last show of his Australian tour.
LMxEC are a Sydney duo consisting of rappers Lee Monro and Ello C. Both of their names are predominantly synonymous with the local, underground vibe - and they've been busy. The Dirty Dike show last Saturday night was another perfect example of why these two are becoming so widely respected in the field as it stands. It doesn't hurt that they represent the Geedup label like it was inked on them, so a special kind of respect is reserved for them again!
Lee and Ello played through a unique set consisting of older songs in their catalogue, to recent tracks they hadn't previously performed live. They were both able to command the room and draw the crowd in closer at crucial moments during their set. It was these same individuals in the crowd that stayed glued to the front row for the entire performance as the vibe intensified. An a capella session towards the end of their set had everybody's full attention, and they used it to capitalise on an already good performance. This for me was a strong point for them, and highlighted their individual skill to the rest of us. Simply put, they started and finished on a high note - killing it.
Dike took the stage just after 10pm to a packed and rowdy collective. Weed smoke and beers passed through the room like it was a house party, and as DJ Sammy B-Side took his position behind the decks, it was a session in full swing before long.
A broad selection of tracks - some from his last album 'Return Of The Twat' and others picked from the archives - made for a relevant show with a good buzz behind it. On top of being a good rapper, it's important to note that Dike is also a good entertainer, taking the stage with jokes and engaging those in front of him with brief conversation between lyrics. It made for a good laugh and ultimately brought everyone together to mob to his every word.
It doesn't exactly hurt when you've got a friendly crowd to bounce as off as an artist as well. If the worst thing that can happen on-stage is girls in the front row throwing sticks of weed at you, then you're in for a fucking good Australian holiday.
High Focus Records has made an impact on our shores, and it certainly started before Dike's second visit just gone. The next instalment is no doubt a highly anticipated one, and we'll be itching to get a bit of grime back in our lives the next time these cats make a visit.
From Cambridge to Sydney, we give props!