MADE Festival @ Digbeth 29th, July, 2017

MADE Birmingham is a music festival that is on an upward trejectory. Now in its fourth year its a day of music that has come to epitomize Birmingham’s rich musical heritage and pave the way for those who are on their way.   Those who are equally as thrilled at the many revellers at the festival to see them sharing a billing with some of contemporary musics biggest urban acts and icons of once very niche genres that have now become mainstream. With this mixed billing in acts you get an equally eclectic crowd with an age range from 18-35, a very diverse crowd.
It is an age old debate amongst musicians and music lovers as to wether DJ’s can be truly consider to be musicians. On this mild Saturday on the 29th of July 2017, that debate has been placed to bed. DJing when done properly must be seen and respected as a craft, some of the acts on display today, were making good use of their instruments of decks at the start of the day as festival goers all dressed in a similar fashion, trickled from all angles of Birmingham into Digbeth.  The tell signs that you were headed to MADE was beach friendly clothes, sun glasses, glitter, lots and lots of glitter, and plenty of trainers to add comfort to the feet on people whom were going to spend 12 hours partying, or in some case 18 hours.
My day started off at the Hospitality stage, where Danny Byrd was giving a musical masterclass to warm up the crowd, with a set that played out like a homage to Old Skool Garage, Reagge with a sprinkling of Drum and Bass, Neo-Nostalgia is what I dubbed the musical set as it was then greeted by a fast rapping lyrical composition that that gave us his two cents over the musical montage being created by the two djs behind him.
It was quite funny to see MADE program notes that there were  “Chill Out” areas. Digbeth Triangle where the festival felt like zones of music and it was up to you and your companions to find the zone that suited your mood and feeling at the time. At one point I felt as though I was walking around in an Ipod on shuffle.
Legendary Graffiti and Drum n Bass artist Goldie,  one of the most recognisable acts in the UK music industry and worldwide, known for his bright smile decorated by his iconic Gold Teeth. He took the MADE Arena on  a Trip to Jamaica with some authentic Dancehall music that could easily live comfortably  in a dancehall arena in Jamaica, but it was South Birmingham, it was also effortless his handling of the crowd and the warm reception he was getting back off the audience.
One thing MADE as an organisation can be highly commended for is that commitment to local acts, and Local with a capital L, emerging acts such as Dapz on the Map, Lotto Boyzz and JayKae one of the brightest talent representing Birmingham to the fullest on the Grime scene. These three acts showed their true gratitude to a crowd filled with their peers, aluminis, family, and introduced their music to new fans. Lotto Boyzz who’s new song Birmingham featuring Jaykae  had only been released on Friday was being met already with a great reception, its a track that we can expect to gather alot of momentum.
In Unit 4 on the Bab Mag stage one of Birmingham’s most unique emerging bands Delta Autumn who mixes classical instruments, such as Drums, Electric Guitar and Keyboards to create very unique sound pallets that can only be described as what it would be like if Jackson Pollock’s paintings had a sound, deeply infused with the rythmic style of Freestyle Jazz.  Delta Autumn are certainly an act to look out for. They were joined for their last two songs by an internationally renowned Hip Hop artist Juice Aleem, who made his presence and lyrics fit in perfectly like Tetris into what the trio had created on stage. Oddly enough considering we were at a music festival Delta Autumn was the only act in attendance that could be considered a band, they certainly owned and embraced their unique positioning in the line up of acts.
At the end of this set five members of staff could be seen hastily gathering big brown boxes, it was filled with rain coats, they were at one point being thrown into the crowd at a hasty pace, almost at the pace at which the rain started down pouring two mins later.
I have never been at  MADE when the downpour started this early in the day, and you would be kidding yourself if you think that it was going to stop people from enjoying themselves. You are almost certainly to make a friend at MADE or even rekindle an aquintance, the revellers were warm and open towards each other, hugging and link arms be that for companionship or for balance.
Giggs, Hollowman, The Landlord however you know him has had a very good 2017, being a part of a generation on UK Rappers that paved the way for what we are now seeing as a genre within its own right and the economy around it. Giggs has a very distinct style of rapping with a very raspy voice. This is a very industrious artist that has released 15 Mixtapes away from his mainstream release If Your Talking The Hardest, Look What The Cat Dragged In, Whippin Excrusion, these tracks dragged the loudest cheers from the crowd along with KMT Giggs’s recent collaboraton with international superstar Drake, on the More Life playlist.  Giggs done bits to the crowd then went about his business like a man who swiftly had another appointment.
Chase & Status took over from Giggs and maintained the same standard of energy that was already being produced, as if an agreement was made pre-show.  People were drenched by this point and the weather could do nothing to deter the crowd of loyal music fanatics. Chase & Status  were a man down from the iconic djing duo, but the one whom was in atttendance did his best along with MC Rage to give the audience that had waited a long time to see them. Playing mainly new material from their up and coming TRIBE album out on the 18th August, we were taken on a musical journey late into the night with visuals that were equally on par with the high calibre music, beats and collaboration.
MADE revellers partied on late into the night at the MADE My Night after party, but by this point I was finished. My body ached from dancing, my shoes where a mess, I needed my bed and cup of tea. Until Next year MADE Birmingham, I look forward to seeing what cat you pull out the bag, they never cease to amaze me how this carefully curated festival always strikes the right tone between, up and coming, mainstream and iconic urban music acts.
Reviewer: Chadwick Jackson
Photographer: Kylie McCormick

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