When I saw the line up back in September, I knew this event was an essential, so I booked the Monday off work immediately. My dancing body would need to rest after this. Featuring some of the crème del la crème of electronica including Sven Vath, Andrew Weatherall, Adam Beyer and Nina Kraviz the mere thought of it made my feet itch in anticipation.
The Warehouse Project is a beacon of rave-light in the North West: quite simply it’s an essential part of its landscape, helping thousands of 20 – 30 something’s from near and far immerse themselves in warm and satisfying dance floor dedication for a few hours every weekend. A visit here at least once a season is one of the best therapies to help beat off the winter blues, and that is a fact.
As well as a plethora of fantastic line ups every season, The Warehouse Project does the basics of offering a good and functional rave space perfectly – proper party people do not want glitzy nightclubs with naff names. They need dark, large rooms with high ceilings, smoke machines and booming sound systems throughout – to ensure the music and the people jump into the focus. And the Warehouse project manages this, but also responsibly looks after the basic needs of the ladies too – the toilets contain numerous decent sized cubicles, regular cleaners, lots of toilet roll and MIRRORS!
Getting inside isn’t as smooth as it once was however. Even on the guest list, visitors are rigorously checked and we were greeted by two or three sniffer dogs and large bouncers asking where we were from and if we had taken anything illicit which was no doubt a response to this seasons earlier tragedies.
Reassuringly, after making it through the first wave of checks, the lady on the door, bar staff and security folk were all lovely and friendly and we could breath normally again. We excitedly bounced into the den of happy rave time, enveloped in bass lines, and taking in the scent of fun. In the cloakroom queue, we joined in with lively conversations with fellow revellers who had travelled from all over the UK to get their rave on tonight.
The warm, familiar force of a collection of large, quality sound systems lifted my spirits even further, and we excitedly approached the immense main room to take in a set from the godfather of techno, Sven Vath joining around 3,000 other packed in bodies.
And the main room is astounding. The lighting show was encapsulating, mesmerising a room filled with pie-eyed party people. Sven’s timeless Frankfurt techno cemented a sea of smiling, bouncing bodies into a shimmying mass. Sven’s set oozed professionalism, sending bass line whirling down spines and tickling toes. Building rolls of electronica made their way across the room, hypnotising arms into the air in unity. Aggressive and enticing fog horns added to the fierce and pounding German techno and all-night dancing was now in full swing.
Room three was my favourite place. With capacity of about 300, it’s accessed through plastic abattoir-esq sheets and has its own bar and a more intimate feel. Early on Krysko was delivering some nice, warm techno sounds.
Across to room two, Nina Kraviz was mixing dark husky vocals layered over smooth yet bouncy ghetto tech house and her rumbling bass line beats kept the crowd moving in their hypnotic grooves, united on a smoke-filled dance floor.
Back to room three for Andrew Weatherall’s set. His erie and engaging build up was slow and warming and Weatherall fans in the crowd knew he was teasing and an explosion of expertly delivered electronic was on its way. He built up into a collage of low slung proto house and dark cosmic disco and the dance floor rejoiced as a result. He continued to titillate with a journey through the genres, showcasing a medley of divine tunes including gems from Nathan Fake and a version off Get Your Hands Off My Man by Junior Vasquez which was nicely encased in a warbling house melody. The music continued to climax into more waves of deep and sleazy sounds and the crowd rejoiced with dancing joy. Bearded-beauty Weatherall rarely disappoints and played the best set of the night.
Room 3 closed with a set from DJ Chez Damier who ramped up the house flavas a little further from Weatherall, keeping bodies moving until close, and I finally decided that my dancing body needed a rest.
The night, vibe and crowd were faultless and I left wondering if I could get away with a visit the following Saturday… I knew I wanted more!