Bohemian Grove Feat. Mike Huckaby – Review by Benjamin ‘Teabag’ Thomson

Islington Mill is strange collection of shapes with a sloping corridor that bends 90 degrees through the centre. After you hand over your ticket you turn the hard right and let gravity pull you gradually into the main room, which is like a 4 or 5 car garage that has been converted into a modest hippie hang out. Shortly before midnight it was already occupied with a crowd unlike any other in Manchester. The energy in the room caused the alcohol in your veins to step aside and let the adrenalin rush past. I remember thinking “strikes” and feverishly texting anyone in my phone that had hinted at coming. This was not going to be a night any should miss.

By the time I had cleared the queue at the bar and found a place in front of the DJ booth – where a threatening stack of speakers stared down at me – Rick Nicholls was beginning his set. Theo Parrish – Falling Up and its evil crackling baseline crawled off the turntables and blossomed into its infamous hair tingling rift. The crowd seemed to be taken by surprise as a flurry of cheers and screams electrified the room. Remember to buy that on Discogs I thought as my brain began throbbing with desire. Then Rick took us on a fearless tour of electronic music that few would dare attempt, playing techno, electro and house music that elegantly defied your average warm up set. Every now and then a track would fade out into silence and the next mood drenched monster would slowly creep out of from the dark corners of the room and up your spine.

As the last record of Rick’s set sank into the distance Mike Huckaby let Lil Louis ‘I called You’ burst out of the system. The atmosphere turned into a frightening and uncontrollable monster as the endless horn section drove arms and elbows into the air. There was no going back. Huckaby then proceeded to kick the living shit out of Sunday morning with what I would label as “real house music”. He would layer accapellas, beats and saxophone samples over a record until it was close to finishing and then mix out into the next track. The momentum nudged slightly up each time. For 3 hours this continued and then shortly after ‘I Can’t Kick This Feeling When it Hits’ came to its epic 9 minute conclusion a rumour swept across the floor that Huckaby was going on until 6am. He coolly levelled out the rhythms and pieced together a selection of his finest records for the next unplanned hour. Easy rolling deep house for those that had dared to stay. The remaining dancing fans wore a set of unmatched grins that confirmed – without question – that this had truly been one of the best nights in Manchester since the cold winter of 2010.

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~ by Bohemian Grove Collective on July 17, 2011.

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