Published: 6 May, 2010
by ROISIN GADELRAB
THERE was drama in the streets of Camden at the weekend as police broke up a guerilla street rave, allegedly telling DJs they were “inciting a riot”.
As has become an unofficial Camden Crawl tradition, a group of mobile DJs and MCs, part of a collective known as Red Pill London, keen to entertain the crawlers queuing in the rain, started an unsanctioned street party on Saturday.
They rolled a “pimped-up” rig, powered by a generator, around Camden’s streets, recruiting DJs The Brain, Dirty Little Secrets and Vincenzo “Pepper” Siracusa, as well as electro-pop outfit The MidiMidis blasting out everything from dubstep to rock.
But as people spilled into the road, Camden police swooped in and collared DJ “The Brain”, part of collective Red Pill London, for a public order offence.
He was arrested, still wearing his headphones, under section 50 of the Police Reform Act, for playing music in the streets without a licence.
The Brain, whose real name is Mark Brady, said: “It seems crazy for the police to arrest me and handle it in the way they did when I was just contributing to the festival.
“At one point it was described to me as ‘inciting a riot’. They seemed pretty confused about what they were charging me with.”
As hundreds of people began dancing on the pavements under Camden Lock bridge, the police passed by.
Mr Brady said: “Then a meat wagon pulled up. I was ripped back with my headphones still on and before I knew it I was thrown into the van.”
He was taken to Kentish Town police station where he was held until 3.30am on Sunday morning.
Mr Brady says he is still not sure if he is being charged with anything or if he has to pay a fine.
Officers say he should expect a court summons in the post.
“We did this purely as a way of entertaining people in the queues,” said Mr Brady. “It’s not part of the official Crawl but has become a bit of a tradition to have an unofficial street party. We’ve put our footage on YouTube. It’s a real shame the police had to go and spoil it for everyone. Everyone was having a really great time up until it was brought to an early end and we’ve already received lots of messages asking when we are next playing.”
A Camden Police spokeswoman said: “At approximately 6.50pm police received a complaint of a man playing music outside on a path. The man had been warned on two previous occasions to stop and remove his equipment. At approximately 8pm, officers again found the man playing music outside. The man did not have the correct licence and was shortly arrested for a breach of the Licensing Act. The man has been released and will be summonsed to court.”
• See footage of the arrest at www.youtube.com/RedPillLondon