Remembering Cult UK Club Night ChockABlock
Skepta in a Queen’s guard suit and bowler hat? Go on then!
Lead photo by HyperFrank
Back in the mid 2000s, music journalists Joseph ‘JP’ Patterson and HyperFrank put on ChockABlock, an event that quickly grew into a cult success thanks to its showcasing of some of the UK’s most forward thinking artists, including the likes of Skepta, Tempa T and Giggs. Then… it kind of faded away. It’s back now, though (although perhaps with less NewEra hats this time round).
The next event takes place this Thursday at east London’s Miranda Bar, with sets from Marcus Nasty and A.G and a live performance from D Double E, among others. Ahead of witnessing all of that in the flesh, here are a bunch of photographs from the OG days of ChockABlock, and before all that, some words from JP on how the event came together.
The first ever ChockABlock event was held on April 27th, 2007. After attending my first ever grime dance in Northampton’s Club Teeze, which had D Double E, Flirta D, DJ Cameo and others pass through, I was inspired to save up my pennies and put on my own grime rave. For the first party, I managed to get Skepta down, Tinchy Stryder, Logan Sama, a then-unknown Birmingham MC by the name of Trilla, Bok Bok and a few others, and it was in this proper hood Caribbean social club in Northampton’s town centre. That event still gets talked about today, mainly for what Skepta was wearing – a Queen’s guard suit and bowler hat.
Following that event, people got talking and it reached the ears of EGG nightclub in London, who reached out and asked if I wanted to host events with them at the club. I was with EGG for about four years, and we’ve had literally the whole underground music scene pass through them doors; from Ruff Sqwad and Slew Dem to Cooly G and Burgaboy. After the last event in 2011, which was a partnership with Oxfam, I decided to focus on my music journalism, so it feels dope to be able to bring it back, via TRENCH, for a whole new generation of ravers.
There’s a need for more underground nights like this, I feel, just to show that we can come together in peace and appreciate good music. We’ve got drill and grime in the same venue, and we’re far from scared! ChockABlock events have always had a mixed crowd, too – from nu-ravers to street kids and trendy/media types – and that, I think, is what makes the UK and London so great: different scenes and cultures coming together for greatness.