Neighbourhood Watch, Dublin Fringe Festival 2018, The Complex
Creators: Mango x MathMan
Neighbourhood Watch is the closest one can get to what it must have felt like at the birth of hip-hop. Did those in attendance at house parties across 1970s New York know that they were witnessing the birth of a musical genre that would travel around the globe?
A small crowd gathered outside waiting to be allowed in. As the night progressed more and more people tried to make their way in. Queuing up outside felt like waiting to enter a club. The mood was relaxed; everyone was there to have a good time. There were lots of bottles of water, cans of flavoured cider and vodka being added to seven up bottles. Unlike other festival productions on entry, tickets were ripped up and wrists stamped.
The large, white room of The Complex that had been taken over for the night felt a little like a warehouse with its high ceiling and white walls. The night began properly at 11 pm and soon it felt like a night to remember. The music was loud, blanketing everything inside. It was easy to let it seep into one’s body as time slipped away. It is surprising how revitalising music can be. Images were projected onto the wall behind the performers and it was a reminder of how interesting it can be to see musicians and producers at work.
Attending Neighbourhood Watch is the coolest this reviewer has felt for a very long time (however, it is definitely not fashionable to be the first to arrive). Mango x MathMan know how to both pay homage to those that paved the way while also creating something new and distinct to them. They also know how to choose complementary special guests, each of whom added to the atmosphere. Homegrown hip hop has not always been appreciated as it should; this event helps to correct that. One could argue that this was an unusual production to be a part of a fringe festival however it was, without a doubt, a valuable and worthwhile one.