Back in the groove

Gerry McKeever

2.16! This apparently insignificant number may seem innocent and unthreatening to the untrained eye, possibly even alluring with it’s carefully constructed camouflage. Nevertheless, take note, with the imminent approach of the Hallowed 31st, this little rotter has been one of the biggest threats to the worldwide club and DnB scene in recent times, coming close to dealing it a serious body-blow.

However, disaster has been largely avoided, and all is well again among the junglist ranks. Rude-boys everywhere can breath a big sigh of relief, thanks to the international power of celebrity to bend the rules.

What on earth is all this nonsense do I hear you cry? The 11th saw the long-awaited return of the trailblazing Godfather of DnB, Grooverider, with a star-studded gig at London’s Koko. Released from prison in Dubai after serving just 10 months of his four-year sentence for drug-trafficking, Grooverider is back doing what he does best.

Considering the UAE is known for it’s use of the “throw him down a big black hole forever” brand of law enforcement, we can thank the special treatment given to celebrities worldwide and probably our Foreign Office for getting him pardoned and back home. The extended or permanent loss of Grooverider would have been a real knock for the scene, as he stands almost singularly as one of the original pioneers of the broken-beat sound, taking and developing the hardcore and rave scene of the late-eighties.

Furthermore, with his Radio1 show alongside Fabio, he’s been injecting a much needed element of credible underground culture into the notoriously bland current mainstream.

His crime certainly deserves some analysis as ‘drug-trafficking’ does sound pretty serious. This is where the evil ‘2.16’ rears it’s ugly head. Grooverider was caught in Dubai International Airport on his way to play a gig in possession of 2.16 grams of cannabis. Now for anyone not particularly up on the metric system thats about enough to get a family of squirrels mildly stoned and would probably have lasted our crime-lord DJ until he got halfway to the venue. ‘Drug-trafficking’ eh?  Well, unless Dubai has a serious problem with glaucoma-suffering pixies, i think we can safely say Grooverider had no intention to distribute this petty morsel of contraband.

Meanwhile, Glasgow is still suffering from a lack of visits by big name DnB DJs, with most of them either staying south of the border, or veering East to see our undeserving counterparts in capital city.

As no small compensation, we are however seeing a massive growth in the Dubstep scene here, with just about everyone worth their salt popping up in the next little while. Lets just hope none of them are planning big-time drug-smuggling trips to the middle-east before they get here…


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