Monday, October 09, 2006

UK B-Boy Championships 2006

October sees my annual pilgrimage to Brixton Academy for a weekend of hip hop perfection with superb scratch djs, beatboxing, locking, popping and breakdancing. I've not missed a year yet and had been looking forward to this for some time.

Day 1 was the popping battle and solo breakdancers. The popping was won by an American guy called J-Smooth, who beat Salah from France. This didn't go down well with the crowd at all well. Two years ago Salah was screwed by someone else and he suffered a repeat here. I don't know what the Judges were scoring on, but it clearly wasn't crowd response. Salah is an amazing dancer and wins the crowd over every time he hits the stage.

In the solo battles the final should have been Mouse from the UK vs Reveal from the States but due to sickness Reveal no showed the final and Juse Boogy stepped up having been knocked out in the semi. It was a disappointing final, I guess because Juse didn't feel that he'd made it to the final properly, he didn't really try and not to take anything away from Mouse, he was given an easy victory. The original line up featured stronger competition and I'm sure the result would have been different had they chosen not to drop out, saving themselves for the team battles the next day.

Day 2 started with the locking battles and just like last year the winner was Japan although all four crews were superb and really got the crowd going. There then followed a beatbox vs dj battle with Beardyman vs JFB. Both were absolutely brilliant. Beardyman was better than Killer Kela doing the normal vocal over beats stuff you usually here, but he could also reverse his sounds. JFB was excellent on the decks and the two of them ended up dropping a drum and bass set that had everyone in the venue jumping up and down.

In the group battles all the teams were strong this year with representatives from all over the world. The final ended up with Korea (winner for the last 3 years) vs Pokemon from France. Both team were really strong and having seen Pokemon look very green a few years ago it was great to see them step up and take the crown.

For me the highlights of the weekend was seeing Aichi from Japan, who holds the record for most headspins, doing his tricks. This included skipping (yep, on his head whilst spinning) and even tying his legs together (yep, on his head whilst spinning). There was also some crazy Korean guy who put a helmet upside down on the stage, spun on his head next to it and then jumped, landing into the helmet and he managed to keep the spin going. Totally nuts! There were some superb group routines in the final from both the Koreans and the French.

All in all another great event, and I'll be there at next year's.
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