Roots Manuva

Soul Biscuits at Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Fri 22 Sep


Expanding his Remix brand yet further - it’s already a regular nationwide XFM show and the longest-running night at Cargo in London - the genre-skipping Eddy Temple-Morris has now turned the XFM Remix into a touring club, which gets its debut at Cabaret Voltaire this month.

In keeping with the broad-minded ethic espoused by Temple-Morris on the show, the guest line-up encompasses a whole range of styles, including those of legendary London MC Ricky Rankin and Great Ezcape (D&B team MC Profisee and Vigilante). Top of the bill, of course, is Roots Manuva, who has spent the years since his ground-breaking debut Brand New Second Hand and the subsequently inevitable Mercury Music Prize nomination (in 2002 for the hugely successful Run Come Save Me) quietly and efficiently defending his crown as the king of British hip hop. The likes of Mike Skinner, Sway and Dizzee Rascal might all be putting up some kind of challenge as artists who rap about birds and beer and shopping precinct life, but Roots did it with style, with both ears trained on the mixture of sounds which urban Britain is awash with and, more importantly, he did it before anyone else.

Last year’s dub-influenced Awfully Deep continued this theme, newfound fatherhood not mellowing Mr Manuva any more than usual. Of course, the further he travels from the urban south the less easy it is to find an audience who relate to every nuance of his words, but we can all recognise without any need for jingoism that he’s still a true British original.

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