Walking in at 21:30 on the dot, The Crofters Rights was still very much in full pub guise.
A buzzing host of Stokes Croft denizens ate their pizza and downed their myriad brews.
The ever-friendly staff passed me one incredibly citrusy grapefruit beer.
I sat down on the planks that passed as benches surrounding the limited dance floor.
Sound testing was done and the speakers ramped up from the start.
Curated by a surprisingly energetic Duffer, heavily pulsating halftime echoed through the pub.
Confusing many of the afternoon bar crowd into leaving, more were galvanised into entering the darkly lit main room.
Duffer played a huge variety of genres appropriate to his Bassport FM online station (http://bassport.fm/).
Though certainly unexpected for a Collective night, it was nice to hear a wide range of tempos mixed so smoothly, from liquid, to hip-hop, and back to breaks.
As the tunes became heavier and more metallic, the crowd thickened.
Duffer finished with two brilliant selections which completely tore up the dance floor and readied the growing congregation of bass heads for Ill Truth - Deadcode’s ‘Ratatata’ and Serum’s ‘Blood Red’.
It was around this time that I noticed a small sign printed on a door.
It mentioned headliner, Loxy, was no longer playing, citing ‘unexpected circumstances’. Whatever circumstances these were, this was a huge disappointment.
Hearing Loxy on selection duties is so unusual.
The sadness was (almost) made up for with Break and Hydro filling in behind the decks instead.
Yes, Break has played many times, but it was reassuring to see these Bristol boys stepping up to the plate after this small crisis.
Before this changeup, Ill Truth played a brilliantly mixed, vocal-heavy set, which occasionally broke into Neurofunk.
The previously quiet MC Gusto started rhyming.
Consistently and concisely he struck a great balance between rapping and staying on hype duty.
Break lived up to his name, playing a lot of footwork and - you guessed it – breaks.
When it got to the latest hours of the evening, Hydro’s darker array of rollers kept the crowd in focus.
I can’t fault Crofters and the Collective gang for trying with the lineup.
Yet the night seemed a little half-baked.
An effect likely worsened by the mysterious disappearance of Loxy.
It just felt like a warmup for their next main event.
Happily, I can say with confidence, that the next Collective will be unmissable.
Watch out for this one as DLR is launching his new label, Sofa Sound, on August 10th.
MC Gusto will also be making a return, spitting alongside the sounds of Script and Ant TC1.
Written by Tristan Davis - Underground Contributor
Edited by Reece Webster - Underground Editor