It’s a great time to be a fan of drum and bass; with record label Hospital’s 15th birthday on its way, October has seen a series of huge events go down with explosive reviews showcasing the best of new talent and old favourites. Saturday night in Manchester was no exception to this trend as Hospitality showed us once again why they organise the most highly anticipated events of the Warehouse Project season.
Warehouse’s Room 2 had a lively atmosphere, hosted all night by Zimbabwean-via-Manchester MC Chunky, but the premier focus was undoubtedly in the main room. As well as using the event as a celebration of the release of their highly anticipated album ‘Cross the Line’, Camo & Krooked drew a huge audience and did not disappoint as the first of the big acts on stage at midnight. In a set full of electric drum and bass, performed from inside a cage, new track ‘Breezeblock’ was the stand out moment pleasing new and old fans alike, and just about managing to ratchet up the atmosphere one more notch.
Rarely must there have been a prouder for Tony Colman to take to the stage. As founder of Hospitality records 15 years ago, on a bill full of artists he has signed himself and helped to grow, his set as London Elektricity included a variety of styles and showed that Dj-ing has not grown old after all this time. High Contrast followed shortly after, with the fantastic MC Dynamite, and kept the tempo fast, the beat fresh and the audience interested. The Warehouse Project’s well designed soundsystem perfectly suits the big sound of these sets and can create an epic feeling for all to enjoy. However, something was still missing and, despite providing a great headline set, High Contrast was still overshadowed by an up-an-coming star.
At 3am Netsky took to the stage and immediately impressed. Recent remixes of Skream and Jessie J are always bound to attract new fans, but there was a real sense of anticipation all the way through this set. Introducing elements of liquid drum and bass for the first time in the night and with no fear of mixing up the tempo, Netsky’s set sounded authoritative and inventive. The crowd spread out and found room to dance (rather than the early moshpits, always a good sign) and exploded at all the right times, hands waving and fingers pointing. Danny Byrd’s track ‘Tonight’ (on which Netsky features) was the undoubted climax of the night and encouraged a passionate sing-a-long throughout the main room. It is a pleasure to know that Hospital Records can still organise such exhilarating nights like these and it makes you wonder what it will be like when these talented young DJs reach their prime.