DJ Excalibah's new club night at The Broadway

AN urban music club night at The Broadway theatre, Barking, could become a regular thing and promoters hope the 18-plus clientele it attracts will go on to explore other events at the venue. Former BBC 1Xtra and Radio One presenter, DJ Excalibah heads Clu

AN urban music club night at The Broadway theatre, Barking, could become a regular thing and promoters hope the 18-plus clientele it attracts will go on to explore other events at the venue.

Former BBC 1Xtra and Radio One presenter, DJ Excalibah heads Club Beats, the one-off event on Saturday, September 5.

Excalibah - real name Matthew Xia - was the youngest DJ, at 18, to scoop a contract with 1Xtra when it launched eight years ago. He went on to fill in for the legendary John Peel on the flagship Radio One station because Peel recognised his appreciation of diverse music.

Since then he has focused more on theatre work, and it was his links with The Broadway's new artistic director Karena Johnson that led to the launch of Club Beats.


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He told the Recorder: "I still play loads as a DJ, but theatre is really my first love.

"I met Karena when I was an associate artist at the Theatre Royal Stratford East a couple of years ago. I'm also on the board of directors there."

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Excalibah, who grew up in Leytonstone and now lives in Stratford, was involved in the production of Theatre Royal show The Blacks, which celebrated the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, and, knowing his urban music ties, Johnson saw him as the perfect man to front Club Beats.

He said: "At the moment, it's a one-off event, but we're hoping we can do more in the future.

We're working closely with the police and the council so hopefully this will become a regular event.

"We hope that the young people who come will maybe go on to use a workshop at the theatre, or come and see a show and the theatre will no longer be a foreign place to them."

Held in the main auditorium, the night will feature Excalibah alongside DJ Nonames, with live PAs from five-piece band Kyza, who have worked with Sway recently, and also Wretch 32, who has recorded with The Streets and Chipmunk.

Excalibah added: "This really is a unique event for Barking and the surrounding area - certainly on such a large scale and in such a great venue."

The party runs from 10pm - 2pm, with R&B, hip-hop, funky house and dubstep all on the menu. Tickets are �8 in advance or �10 on the door.

You can catch Excalibah live on www.pyroradio.com at Cargo, Shoreditch on Thursday, Sept 3 and most Fridays DJing in the bar at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

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