IN PICTURES: DJ EZ Live Set at IndigO2

7 Jan

On the evening of January 1st, I visited the IndigO2 venue inside London’s O2 Arena to see UK garage legend DJ EZ’s annual eight-hour ‘Z Uncut’ set with various guests. DJ EZ is one of the most respected figures in the UK garage scene, with a hugely popular friday night radio show on KISS FM , and has frequently headlined in clubs around the world for over a decade. Whilst most of his DJ sets and appearances rarely last more than an hour, EZ’s annual ‘Z Uncut’ event is an opportunity for his fans to get an extended set of music that other DJs simply don’t offer.

The O2 Arena in Greenwich, London

Tickets for the event had been sold out several days previously, with over 2,000 garage fans present at the IndigO2 – an incredible attendance given the empty wallets following New Year’s Eve. Mercifully for the venue staff, though, not everyone arrives at the 9pm scheduled start, choosing instead to dine within the O2 Arena’s range of restaurants first or simply because they cannot physically handle EZ’s full 9pm-5am uninterrupted set. I am ashamed to say I was in the company of those who fall within the latter, and thus I did not arrive until 11.30pm, by which time the IndigO2’s capacity was being severely tested, with the bar queue being a considerable crowd in itself. Not that anybody present seemed to mind – one of the great things about old school garage events is that the crowd ranges from teenagers such as myself who are fans of EZ’s radio show, to swarms of parties in their mid to late-30s who were at the peak of the UK garage scene in the late-1990s, when the genre dominated the singles chart. The diversity of the crowd highlights the togetherness of the cheerful garage genre, and that everybody was there simply to have a good time, which is more than can be said for London garage events during the genre’s peak (the ‘Garage Nation’ events refused to hold nights in London for most of the last decade due to crowd violence, opting instead to base events in Essex).

'Z Uncut' brought a sell-out crowd to IndigO2

DJ EZ on the decks

Throughout DJ EZ’s eight hour set there were MC appearances from a number of garage veterans, to the crowd’s delight. The guest MCs present were: CKP, B-Live, Kofi B, Sparks, Viper, Kie, Rankin, Majestic, Starky, Sharky P, DT, PSG and Creed. After the event, there were reported technical difficulties with EZ’s equipment that restricted his mixing and turntabling, but the MCs kept it seamless as they wowed with rhymes and old school favourites that kept the crowd going.

Some of the MCs performing (including MC DT, far right)

Despite the late arrival, all but one of the eight-strong party I attended with had left early, but my friend and I stayed until the night wrapped up around 5am. Afterwards I was also fortunate to catch up with MC Creed, whose sweaty t-shirt was enough of an indication of the sheer heat caused by both those present dancing and the energy of the MCs’ performances. All in all, ‘Z Uncut’ was once again a fantastic start to the calendar year for myself (I also attended the 2010 event), and I am sure to be present for next year’s event, as should you!

Me with MC Creed

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