urban classic, walthamstow town hall

Urban Classic

Last week, Waltham Forest council put on another concert as part of The Big 6, as a ‘celebration’ of being an official Olympic borough.

You may remember my trip to Party On The Pitch – this again was a free concert with a random ticket ballot.  Unlike Party On The Pitch, I think this was absolutely fantastic.

I have to say, it probably helped in some way that the weather on the evening of July 5th was gorgeous – an unexpected occurance considering the weather this summer.  The crowd was also extremely varied.

Urban Classic is a real musical mash-up – the BBC Symphony Orchestra playing with urban hip-hop artists.  It had its first outing in 2006 to much acclaim and earlier this year it apparently had a very successful run at the Barbican (which somehow passed me by – shocking for a Barbican member, as this is right up my street!).

Luckily, last week it literally WAS right up my street, taking place in the Chestnuts Showground behind the iconic Walthamstow Town Hall.  There were loads of food stalls and I had a gorgeous chorizo, red pepper and rocket roll 😉  No alcohol though, and no food or alcohol allowed onto the site.  they even nicked my hairspray which was a brand new can and I hadn’t taken out as I’d come straight from work 😦  Boo!

There was a great atmosphere with everyone happy to be out somewhere being entertained for free in the sunshine.  There was such a mix, as you can expect, with loads of kids down the front cheering and shouting, unable to contain their excitement for seeing Fazer (from N-Dubz), Skepta, Devlin and Ms Dynamite (who I had actually heard of!) and then others (the oldies, like me) who were looking forward to the 85-strong orchestra (although personally it was the whole mash-up that appeals to me personally!) and (like me) had brought along their foldy chairs 😉

First of all there was a rather random DJ, who, although enthusiastic, unfortunately came across as a kind of local radio DJ with an over-abundance of sound effects, he was particularly fond of a breaking glass one, which after a while we found really amusing.  he even houted “SHABBA!!” a couple of times. I can’t believe that he was cool  even to the yoof, but bless him, he got the party started.

The orchestra kicked it all off with Jules Buckley conducting and then were joined by each of the artists in turn – I even got to sing “Ms Dynamite-ee-hee” which is the only part I actually knew from any of the tracks (I am SO old)…but it was all amazing…I loved every single second.

At one stage, Fazer was joined by Ed Drewett for their cover of Englishman In New York, which was really good, but this was totally blown away when Ed Sheeran joined Devlin (I think they’ve collaborated many times) for their cover of All Along The Watchtower that is being released as a single.  I hate to say it, as the original really IS a classic, but I loved it a hell of a lot more than I should’ve done.

Here’s my vid of that part:

There is A FAR better one here though, which you can actually hear properly.  I’m just shocked that my video already has almost 4,000 hits!  There is also a whole flickr set of offical photos here.

There was an unexpected firework show to end things, and we all went away feeling thoroughly entertained and extremely happy.  this was a total success, as I said it was so much better than Party On The Pitch, and I think appealed so much more to the diverse population of the borough.  I hope there’s the opportunity for more things like that – I would be willing to pay to see such a brilliant show on my doorstep!

Ms Dynamite and fireworks

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