Surprise attack

There were rumours, there were tweets, there were reported sightings around town days before and finally, putting paid to it all – there was the Daddy G DJ set!

Design Indaba 2015’s mystery performer, the founding member of iconic 90s trip-hop band Massive Attack, played a DJ set in Cape Town at the official after-party event on Thursday night – an event that those fortunate enough to have witnessed shall not soon forget.

Crowning a long night of weird, wonderful and downright eclectic musical excursions from some of this continet’s most forward-thinking musicians, Daddy G (Grantley Marshall to his mum), stepped up to the decks on stage last night in a blast of dancehall air horns, red-lit club smoke and old skool jungle breaks. He slid straight into a broken beat remix of his band’s classic 1998 hit "Angel", almost as if to remind the cheering, gyrating knot of people clustred in front of the stage just exactly who he was and why he was there.

Two tracks in and people were doing that dance move with one hand waved in the air at each build-up like so many fevered congregation members at an evangelical sermon. Liking this part of the set to a sermon is not far off the mark as the 50 year-old DJ laid down lashings of the most righteous Amen breaks (referencing the very roots of drum ‘n bass), and nigh unleashing a biblical-proportion apocalypse with a massive attack of deep, dark, broody basslines straight from Satan’s own DJ toolkit. 

Despite having a musical career older than a lot of the people in the place, G spent the rest of his all-too-short DJ hour displaying just why he is the “daddy.” With little time for mixing finesse or other modern DJ cues, the man was intent to show one and all that although his own musical output of late hasn’t been that stellar, he has certainly been keeping up appearances in the record store, throwing down track after track of the very latest bass-soaked dancefloor damagers. In the end, it was his Bob Marley "One Love" mashup that demanded that even the most unconvinced punter join in the groovy reggae dance hall love fest that was happening down on the dance floor.

This will be a night spoken of for a long time to come in Cape Town: it just doesn’t get more massive than this.