My Friday afternoon ended as per usual. A sneaky beer after work with the lads. That is where the normality ended as I was heading straight to Unity Radio, Manchester for #48HrsWith @IamLempo. 48 hours that anyone involved will remember for a very, very long time.
We were joined at the studio by his DJ / label partner, Japwow, alongside bitch residents Martyn Russo and Pete Mobey (Pedro) for what was to become, the birth of #48HrsWith. At this point, everyone involved knew it would be a big weekend, consisting of music, banter, alcohol and a severe lack of sleep. However, I don’t think anyone realised quite how much we could squeeze into one weekend, where I would witness one of the greatest club-sets I’ve ever seen, meet some legendary heroes of dance music, chill with local but incredible musical talent and party with the best.
Unity Radio #TheBitchShow – 8pm – 11pm
I’m not a stranger to The Bitch Show but Friday had a real family, party-like vibe to it. Starting an hour earlier, the show was a cracker, with mixes from the mysterious B3, Bitch headliners Kim Fai and Felix Leiter with D.O.D added in for that little extra flavour. As you’d all expect, the mixes from Kim, Felix and D.O.D were all of the highest standard and would have made an incredible show alone but after the B3 promo mix that was released online last week, there was the added excitement surrounding this unknown entity. That intriguing feeling of will this be an absolute smasher or fall at the first hurdle. Judging by the social media and the way the studio bounced for the entire set, we could not see it being anything but a huge success.
As Bitch were launching their very own music label last weekend, it was only fitting that the debut release dropped on air and what a track that is. Hearing it for the first time on decent speakers, highlighted to me the awesomeness and power it had. Felix Leiter has provided Bitch with an insanely huge first single, “Your Future is Digital”, one that will be a really tough act to follow.
On top of the already high standard of music, was the standard of banter. I had a really interesting conversation with the talented and lovely Japwow about her awesome experiences as a DJ, producer and label owner. Enticed by her stories of DJing in New Zealand, The US and pretty much everywhere there is a party, my eyes opened up to the fact that some of the nicest, most humble people around have lead incredible, exciting lives of both highs and lows but also how much dedication it really takes to become a World class DJ and producer.
We also talked about the unbelievable lineup Bitch has in store for Mint Festival in Leeds. If we could share this, we would but what we can say is this is one festival not to miss out on come September.
The comedy highlight of the night comes from the off-the-cuff edit of Cedric Gervais’ Molly, replacing Molly with the tantastic absentee, Griff, which had everyone in stitches.
Has anyone seen Griff? – Coming soon from Lempo, Pedro and Russo!
Pre-party beers with Lempo and Japwow
After the show, we had a couple of hours spare before heading to Sankeys. The trio headed down to Venus to fulfil our thirst for a little bit of trance at one of the North’s finest trance nights, Rong, with Simon Patterson, Jordan Suckley and Heatbeat were leading the line-up.
Sometimes, trance can be a little heavy for most people but when it’s done well, clubs like Venus erupt and that’s exactly what happened when Cosmic Gate’s, Fire Wire dropped to the adoration of the Manchester revellers. If you’re a fan of your dance music, a little bit on the speedier side, the last Friday of every month always goes off with Rong at Venus, so head down.
Our next stop was Sankeys, with a slight detour in the direction of Socio Rehab for a chilled one before the madness really kicks in. A great bar with really cool music at the weekend, easy to chill and talk but ever so tempting to get up and move your feet, another highly recommended Northern Quarter venue that you will definitely catch Dance Music Manchester frequenting if you keep your eyes peeled.
Upon arrival at Sankeys, we were greeted with warm hospitality… and a bottle of Grey Goose vodka. Lempo and Japwow’s set started at 4, so we chilled upstairs in Spektrum then raved downstairs to main room sets from veteran DJ legends, Graeme Park and Todd Terry, who we had the pleasure to speak to in Spektrum, alongside our mutual friend the gorgeous Sarah Whittle. Happy Birthday for today Sarah! Again, an absolute honour to meet such a hero, my mind running through the idea of how cool it would be if the talented threesome combined on a track, blending their backgrounds together into something that would be pretty magical.
In the early hours of the mornig, almost as if they snapped into a DJ state, Lempo and Japwow hit the decks at 4am with a sublime set, a real showcase of their music, the label and their talent, still visibly enjoying themselves in the process. As relaxed as they had been all night, seeing them flick the DJ switch on, hitting every beat but still providing the banter, was a joy to see. As individuals, they are both impressive people. Together, something seems to click, a visible chemistry on the decks. The highlight’s including the Lempo and Japwow remix of Funky Beat by U.M. Project, out now on Applique and their forthcoming remix of “Hey Ey Ey” by Mark Starr on DBR.
By 5/6am, we headed back to the Lempo residence, for a couple more drinks (I began to think DJs are allergic to sleep) before passing out for a few vital hours before we started again. Friday night was an awesome party but Saturday had massive plans for ourselves and the rest of Manchester. With the Applique Music Label Showcase at The Yacht Club, another radio show, interviews on Bitch TV and live sets from Kim Fai, Felix Leiter and a ridiculously memorable set by B3, it was a day and night to remember but we’ll cover that in the next chapters.
Read more from #48HrsWith @IamLempo tomorrow night only on DanceMusicManchester.co.uk
*UPDATE* – You can listen to the Lempo and Japwow set from Sankeys on SoundCloud on DMM!
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