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About Last Night – Eskimo Dance

  • Music
  • Feature
  • 5 minute read
“Step on the stage, start reelin’ off”

Having started as a raw UKG rave 15 years or so ago, Eskimo Dance played it’s biggest stage yet, Wembley arena, headlined by the Godfather himself, Wiley. For those that don’t know, Eskimo Dance has always been about MC’s fighting for the appraisal of the crowd; in earlier days you might have seen MC’s clashing one and other, . However since its rebirth in 2012, Eskimo Dance has been more of a celebration for the entire scene, coming together as a family. I think most would agree the best moment of any Eskimo Dance is the last hour; a free for all on stage, with many unannounced acts coming through to add to the hype.  It’s just not an Eskimo Dance without surprise guests shutting things down on stage, with a collection of other MC’s in a bar for bar frenzy; like the time Flow Dan came on stage with gods gift and Riko Dan at the return of Eskimo Dance in 2012 @ Proud2. Or more recently at building six in 2016, when Ghetts brought Kano on stage and turned the building upside down with recent classics like ‘Three Wheels Up’ & ‘Garage Skank’, as well as going back to back on a number of classic grime instrumentals.

Last night saw the likes of Wiley, Ghetts and P money come out to Eskimo Dance, Wembley Arena, to shut down the Eskimo’s biggest stage yet. The night was kicked off with MTP’s AJ Tracey, who’s fresh off of his and Dave’s three stop tour in the USA, shelling out bangers from his recent EP Lil Tracey. Followed shortly by Elf  Kid and then Prez T, it was then time for BBK’s own Solo 45 to turn things up with his classic ‘Feed Em To The Lions’, which got the crowd going in. There was a guy who was ‘a bit older’ than the rest of the crowd, who was fully bodying everyone in a mosh, going absolutely mad.

Solo was followed shortly by P Money, who played a mixture of old school riddims like ’10/10′ and ‘Slang Like This’, as well as his newer tracks such as ‘Like Dem Man’. As you can imagine, 10/10 had everyone going mad, would have been nice to see a few of the man on the remix come out and perform nonetheless.
Devlin took the stage after, performing his classic ‘London City’ and his verse from ‘Game Over’. Fekky followed him up and was by far the most enthusiastic act we saw last night. ‘Still Sitting Here’ and ‘Mad Ting Sad Ting’ went off, everyone was going nuts for it, even the staff at the event. Once again, I was hoping to see the likes of D Double E, Skepta and Tempta T come on stage for the remix; I can only imagine how the crowd would have reacted to seeing Tempz on stage. 
 The night proceeded with the likes of Kojo Funds, Abracadabra and StefLon Don, all of whom had their moments with the crowd, with Kojo and Abra coming together to perform ‘Dun Talkin’ much to the crowds approval. Next to the stage was Chip, who upped the energy in the crowd with an array of bars and verses, spanning from the days of ‘Chip Diddy Chip’ to the more recent ‘Alone’ & ‘Mad With It’.
eskimo_dance-13Ghetts, accompanied by Rude Kid, graced the stage after Chip, and it was all a madness; everybody lost their minds. He had the whole place jumping to  the anthems ‘One Take’, and ‘Esco’s Spirit’. Ghetts’ energy is undisputed, to get an entire arena going wild is testament to that.
To finish off the night, we had the one and only Wiley. ‘On A Level’ is arguably one of his most notorious tracks, and I’m sure the crowd at Wembley Arena’s Eskimo Dance would agree. Wiley followed up with ‘Can’t Go Wrong’ and ‘Speaker Box’,  alongside Roll Deep’s Scratchy, shortly before being joined on stage by Discarda, spitting his iconic ‘Discarda’s out, I’ll bang your father out’. Both Jammer and Flowdan took to the stage as well, for 15 minutes of shelling, that included Jammer’s infamous ‘Murkle Man’, whilst Flowdan spat some bars over some well known grime instrumentals. 
All in all, it was a solid line-up, that perhaps translated better on paper than it did on stage. It felt more like Eskimo concert, rather than the Eskimo Dance’s we’ve all grown up with. That being said it brought a new dynamic to the event, allowing for a more diverse line-up, giving grassroots artists that are currently popping within UK music scene a huge platform, alongside that classic 140BPM that Eskimo Dance is known for. 
A big thanks to Listen Up for the invite. 
Photography by Elliot Jones
Written by Tayler Prince-Fraser, with contributions from Marcus Lewsley