I recently dug out some old discs with some pretty remarkable music on them. I say remarkable meaning that it had (and still does have) a knack for getting a dancefloor going. It’s over a decade since UK Garage made its mark on pop music history and what a time that was!
The real heart of the scene was in London, but since I lived in Guildford back then, I was confined to bopping to N ‘n’ G in Bojanglez nightclub on a Monday night, and the SU, of course! That’s not to say they didn’t snag some big names down there: Norris Da Boss, Dreem Teem, Luck and Neat, Oxide & Neutrino, Creed, even Matthew Beal, all had their turn as part of Surrey’s Garage scene.
For what seemed like years, we danced every night away to the DJ’s selectas, jumped in the air when asked “Who want tha ree-wind?!?” and even cheered and screamed “Bo!” when a remix of the theme to BBC series ‘Casualty’ was spun in!
UK Garage disappeared back underground sometime in the early noughties. It semed the pop-buying British public weren’t as up for its deepening, darker sound. The masses liked catchy lyrics like “Somethin’ In Your Eyes”, the high-paced rolling breaks and bass of “Ripgroove”, the remixed classics like “Let Me Be Your Fantasy”, the funky delight of “Funk On Ah Roll” and they loved the sleazey/cheesey MC sending every record out to all the ladies’ backsides or the gents’ car stereos. The sound started to lose its pace. The beats became more broken and, dare I say, darker and grungier. The chanting of catchy lyrics like ‘Re-Re-Wind’ and ‘Sam-boo-caa’ in the club was over. Jaimeson’s “True” acted as something of a sentimental revival in 2004, proving the point that garage chart hits are mostly made of fast-flowing, dancefloor pumping stuff, but UK Garage never put its chart hat on again. It had grown up and given birth to genres like grime.
So that’s what UK Garage was like for me. It never failed to show me happiness, right before my eyes. It never seemed like it was movin’ too fast, just made the bodygroove. Some would call it fate that it didn’t just fly bi. Not a bad habit, more a liferide. With a little bit of luck it will bump ‘n’ grind again. Imagine.
“When the bass is thumpin’, you feel invicible, like nothin’ can hurt you, nothin’s gonna kill you. It’s great, cos you can drive all fast & not die.” – Gary, Benfleet, UK
“UK Garage is da best!” – Gerald, Southend, UK
“Cruisin’ to tha 2-step sounds makes your life betta!” – Darryl, London, UK
“Garage music makes every girl horny.” – Dave, Littlehampton, UK