Butter Side Up 3rd Birthday
Friday 11th October
Theo Parrish (Sound Signature, US)
Butter Side Up DJs
Last Friday (11th October 2013) one of the gems of the Leeds underground scene, Butter Side Up, turned 3 with an extended five hour set from Detroit legend and Sound Signature boss, Theo Parrish. Having planned to see Theo for the first time a couple of months earlier at his Plastic People residency, only for the plan to never come to fruition, to say I was up for this one was an understatement – and a big one at that.
Arriving at half midnight, Theo had just come on and a healthy cohort had made the effort to get down early to take in the full extent of his set. Variety was apparent straight from the off as a bumpy Detroit-esc techno track mixed and swayed seamlessly into an incredible piano based samba number. For the first half hour I was pretty surprised by the heaviness of the selections with a distinct bumpy techno feel dominating the vibe, but it wasn't long before things got switched up and and the funk took over – to a resounding cheer around the club.
Believe it or not, next up on the genre hit list was some smokin' be bop (perhaps Cannonball Adderly, or similar) as Theo took heavily to the EQs of the rotary mixer bringing some serious light and shade to horn phrases and drum fills. Completely uninhibited by genre and bpm, a half stepping selection was next on the cards as we went from funk to bebop to reggae/dub all in the space of 3 tunes.
After a world wind of genre hopping, things settled in for the night as heaps of rare grooves were sprinkled with some of Theo's own big productions; Flowers (with Andrew Ashgong) and Black Music (featuring Craig Huckaby) spring to mind.
Around 3 hours into the set came the first real house sounds from the record bag and it went down a treat for those staying the distance, as a slightly more four to the floor feel creeped in 'til close.
Props must go to Butter Side Up for not over selling what was a hugely popular booking. It was a pleasure to see a true master of his art in an intimate venue, without having to fight for a space to enjoy it. Roll on the next edition.
Review by Alex Ogilvie
Images courtesy of Vaine Photography