Calling all UK Garage fans! Itâ€™s time to clear any plans you have in your diary for May 16th, because you need to get down to the #UKGGOLD event at the Indigo2!
For the first time ever, the UKs 3 mighty crews join forces to take you back to the good old days when garage ruled the raves! So Solid Crew will be bringing their legendary lyrics to the stage, Heartless Crew will be bringing their dancehall vibes, and Pay As You Go will be getting grimey â€“ and itâ€™s happening all under one roof and all in one night!
All the hype, all the hits and all thatâ€™s missing, is you! But that could all changeâ€¦ Here at Verge, weâ€™ve got TWO pairs of tickets up for grabs for you and a friend! All you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us WHY you should be the lucky winner! Names will then be picked at random and notified by email! You havenâ€™t got long to do it – the competition will be ending on Friday 15th May at 2pm! Good luck!
In the meantime, whilst we get ourselves more and more excited about the pure epicness that weâ€™ll be witnessing on stage on Saturday, have a read of what happened when our music editor Tasha Demi caught up with So Solidâ€™s Mega, Heartless Crewâ€™s, Bushkin and Pay As You Goâ€™s, Maxwell Dâ€¦
So letâ€™s just jump straight in shall we?! UKG Gold. Incredible lineup. Itâ€™s looking like itâ€™s a show not to be missed, especially judging by the 60 Minutes session you did for Mistajamâ€¦ But how did this all come together? Why now?
Maxwell D: Iâ€™m gonna give that one to Megs you knowâ€¦
Mega Man: Yeah, well Iâ€™d say it was both me and Harvs really. Basically, at the 1xtra show, Harvs was like, â€œYo Megs, we need to sort this out!â€ and we just decided there on the spot. Weâ€™ve always been about business, and after talking about it, 2 days later, we had an offer on the table already.
Bushkin: The show is gonna give you that real connection and vibe. These days thatâ€™s kinda lostâ€¦ You know that whole fully getting lost in the music thing?You donâ€™t really get that much anymore. All 3 of our crews bring that vibeâ€¦
Maxwell D: Boooy, youâ€™re gonna see what you saw in the 1xtra video – times by 10!
Bushkin: Yeah! Because not everyone was at the 1xtra thing, so everyone will be at the show!
Mega Man: Back in the day when you used to go to garage raves, you used to go because you wanted to hear EZâ€™s song, or his dub plate or somethingâ€¦ So when you come to this show, youâ€™re gonna get So Solid, Heartless and Pay As You Go. Youâ€™re gonna get all of our sounds in one room! Weâ€™re borderline old school and new school, so youâ€™re gonna now be able to remember that vibe, and what we did – and why we actually did what we did.
It sounds like itâ€™s going to be a special night! Looking back on when you guys all started out in the music industry, what was the aim? Did you have a goal back then? Or was you just going with the flow?
Mega Man: I was tired of the streets. I was tired of hustling a certain amount of narcotics, you know? So with me, I just wanted to flip it and make a business as soon as possible. I wanted to be on the legit side as soon as possible. We were making so much money on the streets and by making our own business, it was the only way that we could actually put our money into something legal. Pirate stations, white labels, agencies, ravesâ€¦ we were cleaningggg up, it was mad. I was proud of us.
Bushkin: When I first started, back then, and even now, one thing I wanted to set up was a family business. As much as I enjoy music and business and all that, family is primary to me. So anything we built, we built it around love and vibes first, and then the money was always secondary to that. Thatâ€™s how we stuck together so long as Heartless crew. We looked at each other as brothers. So like with So Solid, we were very similarâ€¦ But Mega was more on the business side of things, and us lot were more on the vibes side of thingsâ€¦ So maybe we never actually hit as high as they did on a business level, but then on vibes, I donâ€™t know if they had the vibes we had.
Maxwell D: Yeah, yeah, with our group, we came from the drum and bass scene. One year Iâ€™m in prison and then the next year Iâ€™m touring and headlining shows *laughs* It was crazy. They let me out in June â€™99 and by 2000 Iâ€™m in another country doing shows. It was all too mad. We had Rinse FM, so we were doing shows and I think we were all competing with each other. I think thatâ€™s what made our group so powerful. Because everybody wanted to stand out and be that top MC.
Did you feel what was happening at the time? Did you guys know how big your moves were? Or have you only seen that now weâ€™re years down the line?
Mega Man: Honestly for me, sincerely yeah, I felt it. Because at that time, we were seeing it for real. The position So Solid were in, was the greatest position that any urban act would have wanted to be in at that time.
Maxwell D: There was a lot of iconic stuff going on at the time. There was a lot of history getting made that people still talk about today. But we didnâ€™t know that at the time. We were just in the heat of the moment.
Bushkin: Looking back now itâ€™s like wow. It was a really powerful time. And we had everyone around usâ€¦ Looking back at old picturesâ€¦ Footloose, Dynamiteâ€¦ They were all there. But then for us as well, we never really finished what we set out to do as Heartless Crew. We wanted to get to much further heights, so as big as people think we were, that was only the tip of the iceberg for us.
Mega Man: Garage is so fresh to the world even now. The impact that we had then was so strong, from featuring American artists, to touring with American artistsâ€¦ bashment artistsâ€¦ All from Garage! Play Garage to an American right now and theyâ€™d be like, â€˜Whatâ€™s that?!â€™â€¦ itâ€™s still alien to them!
Bushkin: Yeah! And just quickly going back to what you said about how the scene has changedâ€¦ We were artists before our time. We were definitely artists before our time!
Maxwell D / Mega Man: Yeah yeah definitely! We had to be adults from young! *laughs*
Bushkin: Yeah. And now people have cottoned on, and you have got artistsâ€¦ Tinie Tempah and stuffâ€¦ but you knowâ€¦ itâ€™s not the same now.
Your definitely right that the industry has changed a lot since back then. What are the biggest differences that you guys have noticed?
Maxwell D: Everything has changed you know, itâ€™s a never ending list. I think our graft was a bit more organicâ€¦
Mega Man: Nowadays if somebody can be bothered to buy your single, theyâ€™ll buy it. Back then they actually had to go to the shop to get it. Today if I release a tune, and if Iâ€™m not hammering it out across social media, every single day of the week, theyâ€™re not gonna care. Youâ€™ve gotta flood it so they rememberâ€¦
Maxwell D: Otherwise itâ€™s yesterdays newsâ€¦
All: Yeah, yeah exactly!
Mega Man: Nowadays it doesnâ€™t feel as personal. There doesnâ€™t seem to be that personal touch, that personality has gone from it. Thatâ€™s the main thing Iâ€™ve noticed. And also, itâ€™s very, very, very, very, very *laughs* very overcrowdedâ€¦ Thereâ€™s so much going on. Like Mega said, when you put something out, itâ€™s likely to just get lost amongst everything else. And then the third thingâ€¦ which is probably the biggestâ€¦ the quality level now is so minimal itâ€™s ridiculous. Any level of music is getting throughâ€¦
I think itâ€™s fair to say that youâ€™ve all played a huge part in the UKG scene, and that some of the work youâ€™ve done, will go down in historyâ€¦ But for you guys personally, tell me about a real iconic moment that you hadâ€¦ One of many I know!
Maxwell D: I think for me it has to be Rapture TV. That was the first time a garage rave was on TV. People kept saying to me, â€˜Yoo I saw you on TVâ€™ and I remember being like, â€˜Whaaat? I only went to do a raveâ€™ *laughs*
Mega Man: Iâ€™ve got 21 iconic momentsâ€¦
Maxwell D: â€¦Mans got 21â€¦ *laughs*
Mega Man: Cool, I would say the iconic YEAR, was 2001-2002. Every award show we were nominated for, we won. Every single one. Dancestar. Smash Hits. Brits. Mobos. PRS. Everything. Thereâ€™s buff! Iâ€™ve got like 10-15 awards.
Bushkin: We got about 3 awardsâ€¦ but we were more the peoples champion, we had the streets.
Mega Man: Yeahhh! They were the peoples Number 1!
Maxwell D: Definitely! And with mineâ€¦ we broke up into so many different bitsâ€¦ Roll Deep, Boy Better Know, Dizzee, Wileyâ€¦ It was crazy, and it was all from our little bomb that we had. We didnâ€™t even know what we were sitting on.
Thatâ€™s definitely trueâ€¦ So many names have come from Pay As You Goâ€¦ Well from all of your crews really! So just to end it off nicely – the show is coming up, so for anyone who doesnâ€™t have tickets yet, what would your message be?
Maxwell D: Well, if you ainâ€™t there, then thatâ€™s your business, youâ€™re missing out *laughs*
Bushkin: Like we said about the 1xtra session, itâ€™s hard to describe something like this, you have to be there to witness it, and this is gonna be hugeee!
Maxwell D: No streaming or nothingâ€¦
Mega Man: Youâ€™ve got to be in the building!
You heard the guys! Make sure you get youâ€™re tickets now before itâ€™s too late, or if youâ€™re feeling lucky, scroll up and read about how you can WIN tickets for you and your friends!