Fiesta Bombarda opening night with Prince Fatty live at Islington Mill

Henry Lewis went down to Islington Mill in Salford to see in the opening night of Fiesta Bombarda.

Henry Lewis

Date published: 23rd Sep 2016

Image: Prince Fatty

In 2015, carnival collective Fiesta Bombarda branched out of their native Liverpool and began a tour of the UK, hosting sell out parties in Sheffield, Brighton and Leeds. 

The tropical troupe of travellers take with them vibrant decor and an impressive roster of artists versed in the arts of dub, soul, afrobeat and more. (To give you more of an idea, check out the video below.)

This time around they brought the likes of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Gentleman's Dub Club to various dates across the UK, giving fans an unrivalled opportunity to feats on some of the finest roots sounds. 

Their opening event at Islington Mill in Salford featured Mike Pelanconi aka Prince Fatty, accompanied by the unmistakable Horseman on the mic.

Before they took to the stage, the crowd breezed in to the sounds of Kens and Dobson from Manchester party starters Euphony - whose wide range of funk, soul and reggae vinyl was on point throughout.

They were followed by Fuse FM's Handsome Rob who again served well as a slick selector, for the most part making the walls of the old mill shake with deep bass vibrations.

Not before too long, Horseman took hold of the mic, announcing his and Prince Fatty's arrival with one of the most distinctive MC styles in the world over.

The term 'roots' gets bandied about almost thoughtlessly when it comes to dub sounds, but Horseman is one of the genre's truest modern artists, his reggae scat vocal style is lesser heard these days yet he pulls it off impeccably.

Lest we forget about Pelanconi behind the decks. Since 2005 he has been performing under the name Prince Fatty after being asked to commemorate the 25th anniversary of clothing brand Stussy with a single that was inspired by the vivid styles of Jamaica. 

'Nina's Dance' became popular through BBC airplay and so followed The Best Of Prince Fatty, a debut album drenched in dub sounds.

Five records have followed - including 2010's Survival Of The Fattest which featured the likes of Little Roy and Hollie Cook as well as two Ol' Dirty Bastard covers.

At Islington Mill, Horseman delivered 'Shimmy Shimmy Ya' to a joyous crowd, pointing out that it had soundtracked a scene on Breaking Bad (watch above) - much to everyone's delight. 

2014's 'Computer', an ode (or perhaps gripe) about the 21st century's insatiable appetite for online activity, was also given airing. It's fair to say that the song's lyrical content didn't necessarily apply to a crowd who had ventured out on a chilly Thursday evening, rather than spending it goggle eyed behind a PC.

The venue worked as a perfect foil for the resonating reggae vibes, again showing that Islington Mill's creative space is being maximised with a wide range of shows that bring a range of cultures to the city.

It seemed like a fitting home for the evening for Fiesta Bombarda, and together, they created a wholly unique and authentic experience. 

Find more Fiesta Bombarda events here 

Like this? Check out Fiesta Bombarda parties across the UK this autumn