Easter weekend is notorious for its competitive lineups and as nights battled across the country for the biggest names in electronic music, Circus managed to round up a phenomenal group of performers for the grand finale, Easter Sunday at Camp and Furnace in Liverpool.
The main room, ‘Furnace’, played host to Maceo Plex, Steve Lawler, and residents, Yousef and Lewis Boardman. The massive room’s usually decorated with caravans, trees, and pingpong tables with a rumbling furnace standing at the far end, its chimney climbing up the brick wall to the roof, where rafters stretch across. It’s a relic of our a good ol’ industrial era. For this evenings evnts, a sizeable stage stood in front of the furnace with six towering pillars of lights and several spotlights rose up behind. Lewis Boardman and Circus creator, Yousef, led the pack, building the basslines as the crowd grew and grew. A strict entry time of 22:30 made for a full house of perspiration and energy from early on. Lawler pulled out all the stops as people cheered from atop each other’s shoulders. No set was heavier though than headliner Maceo Plex’s. His sounds filled the room, beckoning you closer. There’d be nice breaks here and there, giving you time to compose yourself, but before you could calm down he’d hit back with a heart attack of bass. An unreal performance for the bath hating producer.
‘Blade Factory’ presented the rest of the big contenders, including Maya Jone Coles, Bicep, and The Martinez Brothers. The room wasn’t something I was accustomed to. For starters, you had to push along a narrow corridor, lining the women’s toilets, to a short set of stairs, leading down. Upon entering, you’d find yourself in a small white room, full to the brim. I would’ve expected this to be a room for local DJs, but the level of intimacy you felt with the artists more than made up for that. It was a nice switch from the magnitude of ‘Furnace’. The room pulsed with a regular sway up until the final two acts. Bicep’s set had the crowd absolutely begging for it, dropping low to the ground several times. They took some added time over Maya Jane Coles’s set, meriting a lengthy ovation. Coles took over, poised as ever and the crowd set off again, jumping higher and moving about in complete frenzy.
I might suggest the other large room, ‘Camp’, which showcased Circus Recordings artists, may have been better suited for the key players. To be fair, it was a room of toilets and checking coats, but that still didn’t stop a hefty crowd from forming in front of the stage. I didn’t get to spend much time in there, but I did manage to catch some excellent vibes off local David Glass.
Hands down, this was one of the best nights I’ve seen out in Liverpool. Another triumphant performance by Circus. No chance in hell that I won’t be making my way down to Yousef’s 5-hour set at the East Village Arts Club’s (formerly The Masque) Launch Party this 20 April 2013