Zed Bias is a name that doesn’t need much introduction within the underground music scene. His style is synonymous with the 2-step/garage beat, paving the way for the dubstep genre and propelling garage and electronic music onto a wider platform. So, understandably the crowd at Tokyo on the 8th November were anticipating something very special from Zed – and perhaps a change to the sometimes monotonous House music nights that are dominating the clubs. After seeing him on the Harbour Stage at Outlook, where he proved to be one of my favourite acts, I was eager to see how he would balance his old school garage anthems with heavier bassline tracks within the more intimate environment of Tokyo.
The night being put on by YO1 & Breakz meant that the event had a strong support base, and everyone appeared to be genuinely excited at the prospect of big names such as Zed, MC Chunky, Klose One and Loefah coming to York, which does sometimes miss out on some of the bigger electronic acts that circulate the North. The main room at Tokyo was filled by 12.30am, and after an impressive set from Klose One, was ready for garage veteran Zed. MC Chunky was buzzing with enthusiasm throughout the set, encouraging a game of baseline karaoke to Hot Natured’s ‘Forward Motion’ and keeping the crowd involved at all times.
The lighting at Tokyo proved perfect for the event, with a strong strobe and laser providing a perfect visual accompaniment to the music. He played a variety of tracks that ranged widely from remixes of Jessie Ware’s ‘Running’ to some of his own music under the alias Maddslinky. The seamless mixing of Candi Staton’s ‘You’ve Got The Love’ into Ron Carrol’s ‘Walking Down The Street’ showed Zed at his best. However, a personal highlight of his set for me would have to be when a remix of Shaun Escoffery’s ‘ Days Like This’ was played, as this encompassed the upbeat nature of Zed’s set and balanced the deeper house and garage tracks that he played.
After a struggle to flag him down I briefly spoke to Zed after his set, and when I proposed what I would like him to say to summarise the event, admittedly he laughed and said: “York is good good good?! You don’t really need me to say that…” as though this might have been stating the obvious.By Holly Hunt