Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Review // The Closing Party @ WHP

Review // The Closing Party @ WHP
I never thought being offered a badge at 9pm could, nor would, make me feel all kinds of emotion… pre-gin consumption, that is. However, a miniature, robust capsule branded with the text ‘Farewell Victoria’, confirmed that the inevitable had arrived. With an aura of melancholic pride oozing from even the water boys doing their bit from behind a pasting table in the forecourt, in addition to the fact that this periodic ‘closing party’ outdoes itself ever the more per-annum, begs allegiance that a significant night awaits thanks to a profusion of back-to-backs plucked from our wildest dreams.
 It has been impossible as of late to attend one of Oliver Jones’s either solo or Skreamizm-headed outings, without being swept into a syrup-smooth world of disco and funk grooves, yet we ought to have more respect than to measure that this dub veteran would follow the grain of our idle presumptions. Robert Hood’s ‘Paradise’ release under his Floorplan alias this Summer, was a minimal tech-house barrage that included the made-for-opening-your-evening-on-a-high-note ‘Baby Baby’, overflowing with curtailing horns and creditable agility within it’s exhilarating bursts. Skream knows that onslaughts of Detroit-influenced vigour is sure to get the ‘eds respectfully engaged, for the long-haul.
 Paul Woolford and Midland have locked horns in friendly b2b battles throughout the previous year, and despite the pair producing arguably 2013’s biggest dancefloor fillers in the mediums of ‘Untitled’ and ‘Trace’, tonight they opted to take a step back a decade and a double, to satisfy the bulging horde. Double 99’s ‘Rip Groove’ is only ever given the attention it deserves in such a praiseworthy environment with the white-knuckle suspense of its build-up and bass drop, followed by a deeply stringy Tina Moore sample that carries a wealth of intensity. Hold on a second, how does a track so brash even segue into the most sturdy release without nose-diving among the watchful? With the piano house classic of Inner City’s ‘Pennies From Heaven’, causing everyone to spit out their lines of ‘Bring me some love’ with all the toe-tapping and harmonising hands you could ask for, that’s how. As we scope past room one and spy a single Martinez Brother fist-pumping his way through the Jamie Jones- surveilling sea (Sorry for trying to hug you, Chris), two of the UK’s non-producing jewels, Jackmaster and Oneman, came together to perplex the brains off us in room three’s minuscule, mirrored slice of a space.
Although some may see the three hundred capacity room as an ill-fitting choice for such talent that does, inescapably, bring in an audience much bigger than the area can comfortably withstand, thanks to daring track selection and impeccable mixing, everyone is too busy spiralling into a hysterical state of sing-a-long indulgence to care. As near-millennial bangers a la Gorillaz and Basement Jaxx surprise and delight, modern rap anthems from Kanye and Ace Hood max the attitude up- and this wasn’t just variety selected to please the crowds, this was frankly, a special event for those electing what blows out of the speakers, too. Staples across the UK garage spectrum such as The Streets unforgettably intense ‘Blinded By The Lights’ and Artful Dodger’s ‘Movin’ Too Fast’, provide the much-needed antidote to the somewhat unknown soul-jazz of Gregory Porter’s ‘1960 what?’, as well as the downright weird inclusion of a segment entitled ‘Duelling Banjos’ from the 70s movie ‘Deliverance’. There was Drake, The Police, Boddika and Armand Van Helden- I really could go on, yet let it be known that the best set of the season was undoubtedly had here, as unashamed expressions of personality and intrigue were splashed all over the walls…and a spasming Chunky atop Krystal Klear’s shoulders seemed to agree, too.
 Piling out into the baltic Trafford night with the sound of Green Velvet’s ‘Bigger Than Prince’ echoing behind us and an illuminated signed reminder that this really is goodbye, we may be simultaneously beaming from within yet bowing our heads in woe, yet there really is no reason to even slightly take the gloom-and-doom approach. With talks that Warehouse will be moving to a bigger (and presumably better) space with names such as Mayfield Depot cropping up, in addition to a string of one-off events including Moderat at Albert Hall this approaching February, expansion and diversion will only prevail.

Words by Yours Truly // Images by WHP via here X

No comments:

Post a Comment