Disclosure Presents The Warehouse Project
It was 22 November, a Friday. The soul-sucking, icy winds of the Northern winter had finally crept through Manchester and settled in for the long haul. No bother to the Mancs, however.
A monumental night curated by the one of the biggest names of 2013, Disclosure, was about to begin in Trafford at – what was referred to by the two brothers as ‘probably the best club in the UK’ – Warehouse Project. As expected, the event had an almost magnetic pull to the student population. It had sold out months in advance and was set to be the most in-demand show of the season. The line-up held true to great music, offering a diverse, but fresh presentation. Room 1 was all about theatrics: Tourist, Flume, Dusky, Disclosure, Breach, and Zed Bias. Room 2 showcased the grit, the stomach-flipping house that brought on grimaces of raw delight: Krysko, Justin Martin, Oneman, Bicep, and George Fitzgerald. Room 3 hosted a talented group of artists, some just emerging into the limelight: Henry Bird, Oldboy, Isaac Tichauer, Mak & Pasteman, Friend Within, and T. Williams.
Australia’s Flume performed live with bass-heavy hip hop pervading most of the performance. As Room 1 slowly gained momentum, it became increasingly clear just how choreographed of a set it’d be. Adoring female fans battled to get as close as possible to his hallmark mirror tunnel, sat just below the decks, while all too perfectly timed visuals played on the screen behind. He began with Major Lazer’s ‘Get Free’ (WhatsoNot remix), a track pumped with remnants of the summer just gone. ‘Insane’ and the angelic vocals of Moon Holiday proved to be a hit with the crowd, but its paired black-and-white visuals of a woman amidst revolving shards of glass was a bit forced. Maybe a shift from stagecraft might fare better in the long run. Dusky’s set, following Flume, was truly incredible, delivering exactly as promised. ‘Careless’ brought on such an intensely elated reaction from everyone around me, I couldn’t get over it. This was swiftly ying-yanged with the dark and dangerous attitude and thunderous of ‘Rise For Love’.
Room 2 and 3 exhibited great things, things that apparently lost out to the allure of Room 1, leaving dance space was a plenty. Krysko, WHP’s longest standing resident, held true to why WHP is celebrated. A red wall of light flashed over the dancers as determined, sinister basslines pulsed on in unison to anthemic vocals. No magic tricks necessary. Dirtybird veteran, Justin Martin kept the drums rolling, amidst dirty claps, and audacious amounts of bass. Room 3 hosted an old school, hip-shaker, packed with trigger happy saxophones and African drums, all courtesy of Liverpool artist, Friend Within.
But the event of the night, the reason for it all, was yet to come. Guy and Howard stepped onto the stage to the cheers and screams of thousands about to deliver their live set. The fraternal duo left no amount of effort or energy unspent and the revellers knew this. I don’t know if there was one person in there not singing along. If that’s something that’d annoys you, I’m not sure Disclosure is the right type of music for you… live. The reason their tracks have been a shot heard round the world is due to the inclusive nature of their lyrics – everyone feels a connection to it. It was a little obnoxious, but no more so than the feeling of being packed in a sardine tin. Regardless, the drunken love the crowd felt for the increasingly communal tracks made up for any discomfort. Throughout the entire set, pals boosted pals on shoulders and cigarette smoke snaked out into the atmosphere as trailing formations of security guards pushed through. They began with ‘When A Fire Starts To Burn’, effectively heating up the room, and carried on with nearly every song from their debut album. With the surprise guest appearance of Sasha Keable for ‘Voices’, the set hit its zenith, but the most beautiful track of 2013 was a welcome finale – London Grammar with ‘You Help Me Lose My Mind’. If the first time around wasn’t enough, Disclosure jumped on stage at the end for a back-to-back performance with Zed Bias all with an over-zealous MC to tell you what was happening. Disclosure aside, Breach’s follow-up act was one to remember. His paradigm of anthems, ‘You Won’t Find Love Again’ was a stark contrast against the red spotlight and classy curtains closed behind him. A worthy break from suffocation, to stand at the rear was to catch an even better view of the raw power of the accompanying visuals as colourful towers of light spiraled across the sea. Westbeech appeared damn proud to drop his recent bouncy release, ‘Beroving‘, dancing behind the decks. Special festive mention to Boddika & Joy O’s ‘Mercy’! Short and sweet, the night came to a close at 03:00, undoubtedly causing an enormous attendance to Afterlife, the official WHP afterparty. One’s only regret would be the juxtaposition felt at not being able to be in all three rooms at once. Unforgettable night no less.