Five years under its belt and still going strong – Bedlam’s all encompassing reign over the South West shows no signs of letting up. Whereas birthday parties are usually an opportunity for promoters to over-flex their line-up’s muscle, Jamie and his brother Nick (DJ Marvel) have proved proficient at providing a mass of quality acts every slam. Tonight’s party is just another work-out for the lads.
Clipz gets the Valve System fired up before a midnight PA from local boy dun ridiculously gud Killa Kela. Sadly no sign of new girlfriend Patsy Kensit in the wings or Kela himself handing out free Fruit Pastilles, however he does keep it sweet with expected d ‘n’ b beat boxing and a touch of r ‘n’ b singing. After that Lemon D and Dillinja get those cones really tweaked with Eksman and Skibadee on barking duties. The atmosphere is electric as Test classic ‘Fluid’ is dropped and also the phenomenal ‘Friday.’ G Dub and Taxman provide plenty of bass rumbling with ‘Moonraker’ and ‘Too Bad VIP’ proving themselves most suited to the Valve. Swift does a double drop with TC’s Rockstar and his rewinds get spun back at just the right times.
In the back room, Frome grown DJ Insight proves that though this night is comparable to blazes in Brixton, it’s pushed further with Southwest talent still jacking strong. Special mention also has to go out for Bump in the side bar who were put the head back together after the Valve atom reshuffling combined with ‘rammed crowd’ paranoia took their toll.
One thing Bedlam is going to have to watch is its crowd size. For every 100 happily stepping kidz there was one or two tosspots who believed that the power of the bass transforms them into invincible knob heads. This is a blast from the clubbing we had to suffer five years ago and it’s an element I don’t want to see getting a nostalgia trip. These boyz have to learn that the music is about dealing with and dancing out aggro not directing it at others. My girlfriend (in the feminine minority) suffered with sexually frustrated arse grabbing in full effect. For me, two near fights and an attempted pick pocketing did tarnish my night. Having said that, events were dealt with efficiently; the promoters made it clear, when it comes to crowd control, Beldam will never equal chaos.