Lesson Number 1 - Don’t try and out-drink a DJ.
Lesson Number 2 – Just because it’s free vodka, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
Lesson Number 3 – Domino’s cures everything.
So I woke up in the morning, feeling like…crap. Nearly, very nearly wrote P. Diddy but then realised I can’t quote Ke$ha and keep any remote signs of credibility. Anyway, we had a few hours sleep, on the comfiest sofa in the World at Casa de Lempo, after talking about the industry, the people and the music until about 9am. The lovely Mrs. Lempo actually left for work with the two of us still drinking outside in the wee hours.
We ordered a Domino’s, went through the plans for the day, the competitions, checked in on the World of social media and headed into town. By the time we had done our daily chores, running around sorting everything, rallying the troops, it was just after 5 and the Applique Music label showcase, “Summer Sessions”, at the classy, chilled, outdoor, Spinningfields venue that is The Yacht Club was already in full swing.
If you haven’t been yet, the bar features in glossy magazines such as Grazia, has it’s own lager, dubbed “Riviera” and is the perfect place to chill out if whether it’s sunny or not, in Manchester. There are huge beds and perfect viewing of the tennis, football or films shown at Spinningfields on the big screen. Even if it’s torrential outside (it’s currently lashing it down with rain), it’s sheltered enough to keep you dry and the patio heaters will keep you warm. As you can tell, we like The Yacht Club at DanceMusicManchester.co.uk!
As we walked into Spinningfields, Bitch resident and good friend of ours, Pete Mobey was already spinning the tunes to a busy Yacht Club, especially busy considering it’s an outdoor bar in the early evening rain! We can’t rely on the weather in Manchester but one thing we can rely on is Pete’s ability to play the right tunes at the right time and he took this unusual scenario at The Yacht Club in his stride. The majority of the bar, even those who were there for a chilled chat, were tapping their feet and nodding along, with some of the more enthusiastic music fans already doing the, “chillout 2-step”.
The energetic, Ben Clarke took to the decks at 6, dancing behind the table, truly enjoying every minute whilst still not missing a beat. As the label is predominantly deep, tech, bass fuelled house, his set aligned well and his moves got the constantly growing crowd on their feet. Still a really chilled out atmosphere but more and more hips started to sway as the party got into full swing. Great way to start a party, Pete and Ben setting the tone for the evening.
At this point, I checked my Facebook, only to find that I’d apparently posted from the Lempo residence.
I really shouldnt leave my facebook logged in at the McGuinness residence. this could have been dangerous but lempos wife is too nice for that!!!! Well played Mrs. McGuiness… Well played!
Lempo and Japwow followed up, after an awesome set at Sankeys the night before, they changed their sound completely, redefining their act to coincide with what the label is becoming known for. Mixing the techy, bass house you would expect to hear, with music from their past, the music they grew up with, Lempo adding his old-school hip hop influence and 80s samples to give the set a bit of spice.
As you’d expect from the pair leading the charge, they performed yet another quality set, enticing more and more people to flock through the (invisible) doors at The Yacht Club to see what all the fuss was about. By now, the bar is busy, the atmosphere buzzing and a lot of chatter was overheard about this new, exciting concept that seems to be a rare occasion in Manchester. Some friends of mine turned up and all commented how much better it is to chill at a gig like that than to just get wasted at home, pre-drinking until 1, so as far as they were concerned, the night was an awesome success already.
The Venus Loves House Show with Chris J Frater was on 7-9, so we headed down to Unity Radio for the second half, a quick chat about Bitch on air and planned to finish the show with Lempo in the mix. His diversity as a DJ really started to show by this point, playing the tracks you would expect to hear at Venus on a Saturday, the big, bounce around the club, hands up in the air house music which, as always, went down a treat. Twitter was inundated with people commenting on the tracks, getting everyone excited for the big gig later that night.
When the Sankeys DJ, who was expected at 9, didn’t show up, Frater and Lempo continued to play a set B2B, completely off-the-cuff. The duo’s first time DJing together made them both look like best mates who had been playing alongside each other for years, showing off their professionalism and the joy the music brings to them. I genuinely wish that I had recorded the set on video as watching them bounce off each other, jumping around the studio was brilliant to witness.
We finally headed back to The Yacht Club, walking from Unity Radio, just off Oldham Road all the way down to Spinningfields, in absolutely horrendous rain. So much for Summer hey? Did that dampen the spirits? Hell no. Walking past a busker behind Harvey Nicks, Frater and Lempo burst into beat-boxing mode, much to the delight of the dedicated violinist, putting a massive smile on his face, even in the miserable weather.
You know what this needs mate? A bit of … boots n cats, boots n cats, boots n cats.
You would think that an outdoor bar in Manchester, during what could only be described as a tropical storm, would be empty. Just the determined few, holding out for their friends playing the music. Well, how wrong you would have been. The entire bar was packed, some people dancing, some chilling but everyone having a really good evening. The atmosphere was brilliant, a really happy, fun and relaxed scene and I believe a lot of this was due to the lads and lady playing the tracks. This casual way of turning up to a gig, not having to sell tickets, not having to worry about guest-lists or being told what to play, really showed off their talents.
Twenty12, Jonathan Lee, Brodanse and Si’Ke DJs topped the night off, with our tune of the evening easily being awarded to Si’Ke DJs. Playing “I Believe” by The Happy Clappers had everyone’s hands up in the air, Lempo and myself looked over and just nodded. A sign that this night was an awesome success, a great showcase to the label and the talent they have on board. If you’re interested in reading more about the individual DJs, check out the chapter I’ll be writing soon from Applique Music, where I’ll be talking about the tracks they play, what they’re planning and a bit more about the guys in general.
As the night at The Yacht Club was drawing to a close, I turned around to see Lempo and DMM’s very own Kurt Johnston clutching 3 jugs of the Riviera finest, Lempo’s gift to the gang before we head over to Venus, showing the true family values the label has, with the DJs and producers acting as best mates, not just colleagues and hopefully a sign that alongside the talent and hard-work, their friendship and teamwork will take them far.
An amazing start to Saturday and Bitch was yet to come. Top class performances from headliners Felix Leiter and Kim Fai, the ever-reliably brilliant sets from the Venus residents, 2 interviews including one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time, the Bitch Music debut release, “Your Future is Digital” by Felix Leiter and a scene on the dance floor that I cannot imagine being topped for a very long time. Read more on Thursday night around 11pm.
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