Cardiff touched down in Liverpool this past Friday, 31 May 2013, for the christening of the Welsh night Shangri-La at no better than Haus. Having only been around for three years, the night has done well to win over hearts in both Cardiff’s esteemed Glam nightclub and in Ibiza. After an introduction from Eton Messy, Duke Dumont took to the decks as the feature presentation of the evening. His songs ‘The Giver’ (2012) and ‘Need U (100%) feat. A*M*E*’ (2013) have already topped the charts over the past year and you’re bound to recognise them even if you have your doubts. Haus, in the heart of Liverpool’s warehouse district on Greenland Street, is the epitome of a stripped down venue without the fuss. With an A-frame roof, make-shift, wooden toilet rooms sans ceilings, a fenced off smoking section out the front door, and rave nostalgic lasers, the sold-out venue night maintained a capacity manageable for dancing room and homeostasis control. It’s relieving to see promoters interested in quality of experience over profit.
Eton Messy, composed of two pals out of Bristol, have been making waves ever since they spawned their YouTube channel Beauty and the Beats back in 2011. Often considered the sound of future garage to some, Eton Messy played a very eclectic compilation of sounds, sometimes anthemic and sometimes a bit too cheese, but largely recognisable. We heard the beloved ‘Knee Deep in Louise’ by Hot Since 82. It pounded and charged to a level we’d never heard. We also heard Disclosure’s ‘Blue You’ and it set the crowd off, but it seems like anytime you drop you Disclosure around this time, it’s bound to go well so it was far from a risky selection. Then we heard songs that were so ironic, they weren’t… From Wave and Odyssey’s remix of R. Kelly’s ‘Bump and Grind’ to Polkadot’s remix of ‘1 Thing’ by Amerie to Gala’s ‘Free From Desire’, one would begin to wonder if they weren’t playing these songs because ‘they were so bad, that they were good’, but rather they just believed they were decent tracks to play. The crowd loved Miami Music Week hit, ‘Let’s Jack’, by Breach which I must admit is now starting to grow on me despite its incessant vocals. Regardless, the crowd responded well, so perhaps that’s alright for an opening night. If I were to see them again I might hope for more electronic experimentation and a bit less of remixed commercial RnB songs.
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