For the entirety of the night in the Soup Kitchen basement, the atmosphere was nothing short of super. Those expecting, or even slightly wincing at the thought of heavily pumping, industrial techno being played out all night, would’ve been pleasantly surprised by the exquisite variance of selections from the Italian duo Analogue Cops, who, as their name kind of suggests, have been around long enough to police the use of hardware with a stunning authority.
Currently in the 29th year of it’s existence, Eastern Bloc has long been a pillar of the music community in Manchester, as well as a taste-maker to which all of Europe paid close attention to. These shows will precede a special 30th anniversary tour set to journey around the UK. And so choosing the number 1 club space in city – as verified by a number of polls – seems only fitting.
A look at what else was on offer in the city that night, sprang up a wealth of options, resulting in possibly the strongest weekend for clubbing in the city this year. Though a faithful army still ventured down to Soup, due in no small part to a current member of the Eastern Bloc crew, Ben Marsden aka Means&3rd, whose garnered something of a cult following wherever he plays. Anyone else who has witnessed him upon the decks will agree, he’s wholly deserving of it.
Marsden took warm up duties in the knowing sense that nobody came to stand around. He kept it positively party and the sound system delivered it decidedly punchy. It’s refreshing to walk into a club early on and not be hearing slow, chilled out, deep tracks that barely bring a place into a tepid state, never mind ‘warm’.
When the time came for Marieu and Lucretio to takek over control, things were in full swing on the dance floor even if the cuts of wax were quite straight. Old friends were reunited in cheery fashion, lovers danced in unison and everyone really came together in the spirit of music. Their catalogue is more diverse than many may realise. Tracks like ‘Why You Love Me’ show off their housier side and ‘Second Disco Crime’, that features Steffi, oozes in acid funk and groove.
The groove is what marks them out them as great jocks. It’s constantly interesting and functional and their 20+ years in the industry and definitely goes some way to explaining their sheer knowledge of reading a crowd and rocking a party.
For the last hour Radley, a long time friend and collaborator with Marsden came through with some heady selections that got hands in the air in holy adulation. By then everyone was in such merry intoxication that it really was thrilling to be a part of.
The sheer number of house and techno centric nights around Manchester, means any new comers really have to do something special to hark a crowd, and Eastern Bloc is truly special down to the bone.