#48HrsWith @IamLempo – Chapter 3 – DJ Interviews, Felix Leiter, Kim Fai and B3 at Bitch, Venus Manchester
My first encounter with a Bitch night was in April with American, house DJ and awesome performer, Gina Star. The hospitality of Venus, the quality of the DJs and the friendliness in the atmosphere made for one of my favourite regular club nights in Manchester. I commented on how the dress code was smart and that I didn’t think people would be there to rave, at first anyway but the rave went on until the early hours, high heels and all. The friendliness of the crowd made you feel welcome and relaxed and people were genuinely there to enjoy themselves. Naturally, I haven’t missed a Bitch or even many Venus nights since. The standards were already high so I was looking forward to a good night but I don’t think anyone knew quite how memorable it would be.
From the Applique Music Showcase, we met our guestlist competition winners by chance so headed down to the club with them, chatting about how refreshing it was to head to The Yacht Club for a chilled out party before the short walk over for the main event. All of their friends seemed to agree with our thoughts, the cool, relaxed warm-up vibe was so much better than just getting smashed in someone’s flat, then staggering into town, half cooked. Landing at Venus just as the venue was starting to fill, I joined my friends already dancing in the back room, giving Lempo some breathing space. He had been stuck with me for 28 hours by this point, poor fella.
I was surprised to hear a lot of my friends hadn’t actually been to Bitch or Venus but when I caught up with them in the main room, I didn’t need to ask if they were enjoying themselves. Big smiles, big dance moves and huge amounts of banter said it all. Then Felix Leiter‘s new tune, “Your Future is Digital”, dropped for the first time of the night.
You can tell a big tune will be huge when you first hear it in a club by the way the crowd reacts and wow, the crowd reacted. Even the remaining few who weren’t already dancing were bouncing, fists in the air, massive grins on the faces of the Venus faithful. Club bangers like this need a packed nightclub to reach their audio-orgasmic potential. As expected, Felix Leiter’s set was nothing short of extra-ordinary. Technically sound but as I’ve said before, in a club it’s about making the crowd happy. If you’ve seen the Bitch TV episode with the Felix Leiter interview already, you’ll see how up-for-it the whole place seemed to be. As resident at Digital in Newcawstle, Mr. Leiter is used to a solid, clubbing audience and this showed in his confidence in the booth, reading what the crowd likes and playing to their tastes.
Kim Fai also stepped up the game, raising the bar once more. By this point the crowd were well and truly buzzing, Kim concentrating on the audience to keep the mood at the clubing sweet spot Felix had produced. We were stood behind him for a short while, a rare occassion yes as we tend to stay in the middle of the party not posing in the booth and just just observed as hundreds of dancing party animals beckoned to Kim’s every call.
Kim was clearly enjoying himself too, dancing away behind the decks, with Lempo on the other side of the booth pumping up the crowd jumping up and down with excitement as the big tunes kicked in. Playing a lot of tunes from Steve Angello’s Size Records, understandably, the biggest hit seemed to be his remix of “Sun & Moon” by Above and Beyond, which coincidentally ties in with our DMM Raver of the Week Award. And the winner is…drum roll please… Jono (aka Jonathan Lee) from Applique!
At this point, Lempo, myself and Emily, a new friend of DMM’s, headed over to the Renaissance Hotel to interview Felix. Being a packed clubnight, not everything always goes according to schedule, so we were stood chilling outside for a short period when some clearly messed up guy, covered in blood and totally oblivious to his condition tried to get into Venus. Quick note, he hadn’t come from Venus, in fact trouble of any kind is rare but nevertheless he was still trying to talk to Lempo and myself. As polite and friendly as Lempo is, how he kept his patience, I don’t know as the guy was trying to lean on him, rest his arm on Lempo’s shoulder, all whilst covered in blood. He did though and earned even more respect from myself and Emily as many in his situation wouldn’t have been so considerate.
We then crossed over to the Renaissance, for the Bitch TV interview with Felix. We all sat down and before Lempo had chance to introduce us, Felix being the gent that he is, introduced himself with complete sincerity. Now this is a guy who’s just smashed the hell out of a club, releasing an incredible track on Bitch Music and has an incredible past, present and future ahead of him and he still has the time of day to be a genuine bloke. Good game mate, good game.
The interview itself was awesome to watch, a few out-takes were made before we could get the full video but it was very funny to behold. Quite interesting to watch an interview from the camera behind the camera too, letting Lempo take control of the conversation. It was quite impressive too, watching him switch from DJ, to radio host, to clubber and then to interviewer without a blink of an eye. Will have to take lessons from the man himself I reckon!
The final cut of the interview is embedded as part of an incredible video by Jo3 Design that really highlights what is so awesome about Bitch. It’s not just a club night but it’s how club night’s should be, everybody is dancing, all enjoying an epic night and Joe’s skill behind a camera catches it perfectly. It’s extremely difficult to do this night justice writing this chapter but this video should help immensely! Watch it now:
Heading back to the club, we managed to catch the end of Kim’s set, the crowd still manically dancing away. When something I’d been waiting for most of the weekend finally happened. The launch of B3. We had heard the B3 promo mix and knew this was going to be something special. When Martyn Russo, Pete Mobey and Lempo himself donned B3 t-shirts and headed towards the booth, the crowd seemed to go crazy, ourselves included.
These were the lads they have known and loved for ages, lads that knew the audience, the music and exactly how to play together but this was their first live gig as a trio, so would the pressure get to them? Not in the slightest. Using the experience they have as individuals, during Bitch nights and The Bitch Show on Unity Radio, they tore the crowd apart. I have genuinely never seen a more perfectly targeted club set and neither had the hundreds of crazed animals, raving on the dance floor. The set must have been meticulously planned as the three seemed to relay off each other, each knowing exactly what the others were doing at any time, whilst still partying as if they were on the other side of the booth! Adding to this, 80-90% of the tracks were bootlegs, all of which seemed to be perfect for the occasion, the party was immense.
Then this happened:
As we hit that moment of peace, the build up before the big drop on Avicii’s, “Super Love”, the crowd stopped dancing and sat down. Now we know sit-downs have happened before but when the Swedish House Mafia did it at Creamfields, they actually asked the crowd to do it. B3 had nothing to do with this as it was genuinely a sign of the massive amount of respect everyone had for Lempo, Pete and Martyn. When the track dropped, Venus went absolutely mental. Awesome moment, one the B3 lads will remember for a long time.
The set I saw from B3 was something that had to be seen to be believed. I would go as far as to say it was the best 4-5am set at the club to date. They set up Frater & Stent for the best 5-6am set too. B3…The ones to watch. Ben, Manager of Venus Nightclub, Manchester.
At the end of B3′s set, Frater & Stent jumped in with the Bitch trio, massive credit to Chris and Ryan, they didn’t allow the party to fade for one instant, providing the perfect end to the night.
One last thing to mention, is a massive thank you to Eddy Gosht (Oh My Gosht Photography) for allowing us to use the incredible club night photos he takes. If you like them, check out the Oh My Gosht Facebook Page! Also a thanks to Adrian Jones (Reworked Robot) for the Youtube Video of the B3 sit down, Venus for their hospitality as always, Bitch for providing such an awesome monthly event and everyone else involved so far this weekend.
If you’re enjoying the #48HrsWith @IamLempo story so far, don’t worry. There will be at least 2 more chapters, about our day in the Applique Music studio, the DJs on the label and a full interview with Lempo himself, the next chapter being published on Saturday evening!
Boots n cats!