So you remember the yung’en I mentioned in the ONE6WAVE review (Liam Heeley)? If you don’t, go read it again. If you haven’t, go read it. It’s a well spent few minutes. To those that do remember, you will recall me quotin’ a friend of mine sayin’ things happen within reason and that I felt I was somewhat destined to meet him. At the point of writin’ this review, we’ve known each other for 10 days with no previous notion of who the other was. At the point of writin’ this review, in those 10 days we’ve linked up numerous times to collaborate and to co-conspire. At the point of writin’ this review, I’ve already fashioned a nick-name for the ‘young virtuoso’: The Pattern Prince.
Havin’ already freelanced for JD on their Creative Recreation collaboration and Adidas Deerupt event deliverin’ quality content via his Instagram and YouTube channels, I received a stream of imperative WhatsApp messages early Thursday mornin’ (19th) demandin’ that I call him straight away. So I did. What followed was sheer excitement as he relayed that due to the aforementioned, he was invited down to their flagship store on Paradise Street, Liverpool to enjoy a live performance by Mostack and guests. Oh. And he was allowed to bring friends.
So Sunday mornin’, myself, TPP, and his boy Mamo linked up at Pret (Piccadilly Gardens), to get a swift breakfast before we set off on our journey. His other chargie, Osvaldo, linked up with us later in Liverpool. Now, being ‘TPP’, a member of staff that he’s familiar with (who shall remain unknown because you guys are not stealin’ the plug!), lined us with a cup of tea and a sandwich on the house. If that isn’t great customer service, I don’t know what is. Me being the polite human that I ALWAYS am (cue eye roll here), opted for a moderately priced egg cress sandwich, whereas Mamo chose to go hard with some bacon, eggs deluxe kind of madness. To be fair, I picked up mine before I knew TPP had it like that. And besides, man nuh eat pork still yuh nuh. So maybe it wasn’t me polite per se? Thoughts on that…
The journey there wasn’t too bad. We opted for the coach as the trains were infrequent and selected a specific return time to Manchester. A decision which came back to haunt us as the day progressed. But that’s a story for another blog post which shall follow this one soon enough. Arriving in Liverpool around 11:30, we had a wander around the town centre, visited a few shops and played a few games of table tennis courtesy of the great team at Ted Baker providing the paddles and balls, before heading over to JD to touch base. I may as well tell you here first before you hear it from him. TPP is… decent at table tennis. Not amazing… decent. Out of 4 games played, he may or may not have beaten me 3 times to my 1 win. But he won’t tell you about the 6 ball I gave him at pool the other day though… (He’s a sore loser!)
Upon arrival, we linked up with Toni and Minori (pictured), who both work on JD’s social media team. These guys ensured we were cool durin’ the day despite their own busy schedule. Shout out social media duo! They got the green light from the store manager to lead us in the back area so we could stow away our belongin’s. Though this was very much TPP’s shout, I wasn’t gonna miss an opportunity to get content for you guys. Are you mad! This time, not needin’ my brother to pass through with my equipment, we got ‘camera’d’ up, I grabbed my IBTC A3 poster card thingy (shout out Mad Printing) and headed back downstairs to the stagin’ area and plan how we were gonna pattern the day.
By now, you guys know I can’t do heat. If you didn’t know that, seriously, go read 6Wave’s review. So steppin’ back outside into the blast of humidity was a bit mad. These times, the special guests haven’t even arrived and temperature was heatin’ up. Now, if you’ve been to a gig before, you’ll know how the order of play goes. Guests first, then headline act is the grand finale. The night before at a shisha bar, I had a business meet with TPP where showed me a vid on Insta where Champagne Paps was at an event in London the night before, so we thought Puma were on a sly one bringin’ him there. In hindsight, I don’t remember what we saw. I think it was just a video that someone tagged in him. Allegedly he was at some club there? I don’t know. TPP is still young, so maybe the gas levels were a bit high.
After shellin’ down for a couple hours where a decent crowd had formed, the DJ engaged with the audience askin’ if they were ready for the guest act. Regular Sunday shoppers had formed on the outskirts awaiting a free show supplied by Puma and the brilliant staff at JD. The avid fans who got there early to ensure they had a great vantage point were gettin’ tense with anticipation. Creatives were checkin’ batteries, ISO and aperture settin’s so that they could get out the blocks at the sound of the bang. I got my self, locked, loaded and ready to rock. And roll.
Guest act? None other than One Acen. JD kept that one quiet still! In all honesty, I had only heard him via his guest verse on Hardy Caprio’s 2017 summer smash ‘Unsigned’. So when I was heard that track, I was like ‘yeahhh bro, I know this one still!’ The dedicated crowd watchin’ the show were lovin’ the vibe. The creatives were gettin’ the required content. Heck, I even saw one or two ‘Sunday shoppers’ who weren’t miffed by the crowds stop, look, gave their head a few nods before continuing on their way. A family of five approached me queryin’ the nature of the event. I told them: “Puma n JD are treatin’ us to a free show!” in which the mum smiled. Who doesn’t love a freebie? And when it’s music – WINNIN’. As it was only a short set, Acen also performed ‘EIO’ and ‘Best Life’ (both tracks in which he has also linked up with HC). Listening back to these two on the write up, they’re niiiice. The chemistry between them on riddim’ is a madness still. Though I went in knowin’ one verse, by time it was a wrap, I felt the energy. He’s on job no doubt!
Onto the man himself. Man like Mostack! When you’re headlin’ the bill to an event, irrespective of the venue, size, calibre, you’re the GUY! Majority of the audience are there to see you shell it down! So when the DJ announced he was ready for stage, the audience levels were noticeably higher – as expected. You’re the headline for a reason. He came through the front doors of the store, took a right through the barriers onto the stage like la! Again, it was a short set. And in my opinion. This was the brilliance of the event. It’s not supposed to be a full on gig wherein by the time you’ve snaked your way through the crowd, queued up for the toilet, done your business, wash your hands (ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS!), snaked back to your original spot, you’ve missed half the show. There’s fulfilment in things that come in small doses. Puma n JD got this one right. With the limited time he had, his performance included ‘Ussy Ussy’, ‘Let It Ring’ and of course – ‘Fisherman’. That tune is the waaave.
The crowd were on a high. Smiles all round. At this point, I wasn’t even tryin’ to film. I was noddin’ along in my element. There was even a young mum in attendance with her baby up in front row ridin’ the wave. I hope Toni or Minori caught that on their images and livestream. That’s a crazy conversation between mum and daughter when she’s older. ‘Hey (insert daughter’s name here) you remember that time I took you with me to see Acen n Stack?’ Proof again the creative team behind this one got it right. How many people can say they went to a gig with their mum before they were old enough to recall? Babysitters are overrated!
All in all. It was an amazin’ day, wherein I met some incredible creatives. To those who played a part in puttin’ this event together, hats off to you. Free pop up events are a genuine way to give back and say thank you to those who support the movement. Acts like this never go unnoticed. It was fun. It was engagin’. It was entertainin’. Keep them comin’.
Special Shouts to:
@lixmheeley (Feature image)
Also check out Liam’s vlog post of the event here.