With Dublin’s electronic and hip hop scene only getting bigger and better,Dublin’s District 8,could easily claim to be at the forefront of this scene.
Boasting some of the biggest international and Irish names, it’s developing a reputation as a “must visit” venue.
Ally Murty recently caught a show headlined by Irish rapper Rejjie Snow and Canadian DJ Ryan Hemsworth.
Lucky to still be intact, following a self-inflicted confrontation with the Dart security, I made my way past Trinity and down Dame Street, all perfectly rowdily tribal.
Located just past Christchurch was District 8, a sign at its entrance self-proclaiming pledging to “[bring] things back to basics, showcasing a variety of the finest electronic & live music shows in a unique space, powered by a world-class sound system and mind blowing visuals”
Amid a flurry of last-minute oh-crap, where’s my tickets?, you clamber down a short passage, a gritty cylindrical vortex that take you into the venue proper.
The décor is stylishly simplistic, and it’s populated largely by a shape-shifting sea of dilapidated shell suits and sweaty substance usage. Newbies fool-heartedly proceed to the bar, order a line of Bacardi and Cokes and join the ruckus.
Processions of floor fillers are courtesy of resident DJ, Shane Gormley, but most people are only here to see one man the enigmatic, Rejjie Snow.
The mandatory scuffles of unrequited love and jealousy now coming to the fore from within quickly fizzle out, and seemingly nothing can detract attention from his masterclass in rapping he provides onstage.
Clad in pyjama bottoms, a baggy hoodie and a snapback, and bursting onto the stage to an underlying incendiary that climaxes with the crowd ritualistically chanting his name, Snow races through his critically-acclaimed 2013 Dilla-indebted EP, “Rejovich”.
“Loveleen” a touching, insightful, introspective ode to Trayvon Martin is a highlight.
Unperturbed by being tackled to the ground by an intruder, crowd interaction is at a high, with the 21-year-old frequently high-fiving the crowd and urging them to join in with him.
“If it’s unrequited/Then it’s right for me to flee the scene”, his absent BFF, Loyle Carner muses on “1992”.
Given that ours is a land more known for its folk origins and a certain humanitarian prophet fronted four-piece, Snow, “trying to be the first to make it” is spearheading a momentum gathering movement.
As his set concludes, most retreat to the smoking area for some (ahem) fresh air.
With its abstractly shaped, graffiti-plastered surroundings and makeshift benches, this area very much continues with the venue’s urban aesthetic.
Canadian DJ, Ryan Hemsworth produces a hugely delectable set before resident DJ, DJ Deece wraps things up nicely.
But, this night is all about Rejjie, who in the face of adversity continues to shine. Here’s hoping it’s not quite as long until we see him again.
The vibe continues as the venue closes, with most people still buzzing as they negotiate the crowd, search for and rescue their friends and retire to taxi journey’s back to sleepy suburbs. District 8 is clearly one of the best venues in Dublin right now and is sure to become a home for Irish and international talent.