Five sets into his UK tour Andrew Carthy, renowned as ‘Mr Scruff’, stepped up behind the decks at Southampton’s very own Engine Rooms. He took to the stage behind a backdrop of his own ‘potato style’ cartoon visuals, and a front a ketty-drunk crowd of happy music lovers; vibrant in the dimly lit warehouse.
Famous for his lengthy sets he stayed strong for a solid five hours opening from 10pm and finishing just after 3am. His repertoire consisted of a diverse range of musical styles including reggae, house, hip hop, ska, funk, disco, soul, jazz, Latin etc… changing the vibe in the room at will as he paced through one genre to the next.
Scruff’s funky baselines make it effortless to move with the music, the packed out hall was grooving all night long with him, loving every tune he put down. The climax of the set arguably came when he let go his signature track ‘Get A Move On’, just before it dropped into its familiar brass melody, the lights cut out illuminating only the huge disco ball above the floor with a bright gold glow before flipping the lights back and slipping the bass in, much to the crowds satisfaction, made known through the loud choruses of approval.
Throughout the night he played a mix of his own tracks released over his twenty years as a DJ, including classics such as ‘Be the music’, ‘Music takes me up’ and ‘Jazz Potato’, nicely blended in with a broad collection of remixes. His final song was a crowd pleasing rendition of the classic football anthem ‘Papas got a brand new pig bag’ sending the fans into one final frenzy, leaving the building buzzing from the whole event.
Mr Scruffs set was a credit to his musical and artistic prowess, the combination of both his art and music creates for a massively remarkable spectacle and his high regard for his fans was much admired as he walked into the crowd after his set ended, signing autographs and giving out hugs and handshakes. Everyone in attendance of Mr Scruff at Engine Rooms on the 18th March witnessed something special, a real and unique music experience.
Words: Josh Smith