Mike Skinner, Artful Dodger: Arts Club, Liverpool

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Mike Skinner at Arts Club

Mike Skinner at Arts Club

We ‘locked down our ariel’, as Mike Skinner and the Artful Dodger packed out a close-to-capacity Arts ClubGetintothis’ Phil Morris joins the Dots and checks the mic, a one-two. 

Tom Gilbey and James West have a lot to smile about. The creator’s of Liverpool’s freshest house and UK garage night have been pushing the envelope since their 2013 launch in Heebies Basement. The succinctly named Dot. have built a solid reputation amongst student and bass-head circles alike. After selling out February’s Phaeleh show, the duo pulled off a huge coup by landing living legends Skinner and Artful.

Mark Hill, better known as Artful is one half of Southampton garage-royalty Artful Dodger. The act were responsible for UK classics like Movin’ Too Fast and Re-RewindArtful was also co-writer and producer of Craig David’s multi-platinum album Born To Do It, which was hugely significant in the mainstream’s appropriation of garage.
Artful’s reputation as club-meister general hasn’t wained in the years that have elapsed since the sub-cultures hey day. Dropping Disclosure remix Please Don’t Turn Me On, is further evidence of his extended relevance and influence. We’re not sure the juvenile crowd of shirtless whippersnappers were conceived to remember Artful the first time around, but tonight he remains on top of his game.
Mike Skinner is the reason the queues were tailed back as far as Parr Street. The platinum selling artist behind Original Pirate Material and A Grand Don’t Come for Free was taking to the ones and twos.
Selecting with all the accumulated wisdom of a man chewed up and spat out by hedonism, Skinner dropped an eclectic array of grime, bass, trap and house. The chopped and screwed nu-disco vibe of ’Sour House’ that has characterised his tendencies in recent years was toned down in favour of booty bangers and drum and bass inflections.
Skinner is still producing and performing with The Music frontman Rob Harvey, under their coincidentally titled project; The D.O.T. Although the classic pop duo didn’t emulate the same trajectory as The Streets,  both Skinner and Artful ‘became heroes’ that night, as they two-stepped their way though a triumphant first set on the Liverpool circuit.

Photos by Getintothis’ Michelle Roberts

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