Roni Size says his collective are "the best in the world"...

Reprazent, the drum’n’bass collective led by Roni Size, returned to the live arena in MANCHESTER last night (October 7) at the opening night of the ERICSSON/MUZIK AWARDS TOUR.

The show at the 1,800 capacity Manchester Academy saw Reprazent supported by labelmate MJ Cole and DJ Gilles Peterson. The show provided the live debut for material from forthcoming album ‘In The Mode’, released tomorrow (October 9) through Talkin’ Loud.

Speaking exclusively to before the show, Size was enthusiastic at the prospect of the tour. He said: “It’s taken us over 200 shows to get to the point where we are today, and it’s great. We did a soundcheck before and (it) went absolutely smooth, everyone was so on the level, the drums were there. We spent the last 200 shows fine-tuning the whole thing. And now we’ve got 18 songs, we’ve got a two-hour set, no set list. It’s 100% live, there’s no backing tape. I boldly say you put our band or our collective alongside the best band in the world and we’ll sweep them off the floor. I want that – Slipknot, anyone.”

Size also commented about the way the outfit’s sustained exposure at festivals had put them in the same league as such large rock bands. He continued: “We’re there already, we’re already playing before Prodigy, after Oasis, we’ve played all the major festivals. We realise that actually we may not like to think that we’re mainstream but we are, all of a sudden, a mainstream band. But I think they’re trying to introduce a bit of the so-called underground. There’s a really wide mix.”

The night was doubly significant as it marked the tenth anniversary of the venue – an extension of Manchester University Student Union. The Academy opened its doors on October 7, 1990, with a show from Mancunian punks the Buzzcocks. Last year, readers of voted the Academy third best live venue in the country. The tour continues tonight at Newcastle University (October 8) and then visits: Norwich UEA (9) Sheffield Octagon (11) Glasgow QMU (12) Bristol University (14) Portsmouth Pyramids (15) London Shepherd’s Bush Empire (16)

Meanwhile, the Ericsson/Muzik awards take place at The Arches in London on October 19.

To see‘s recent video interview with Roni Size and MC Dynamite, choose your speed: ISDN [url=]Broadband

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