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[Event Review] Butter Side Up with Craig Richards

[Event Review] Butter Side Up with Craig Richards

Butter Side Up with Craig Richards
Friday 14th February
Wire, Leeds

This time we saw Wire club, Leeds, play host to London favourite and Fabric Resident, Craig Richards. It’s been a busy past few years for Craig as he plays at Fabrics weekly Saturday shows, regularly performing 3 hour warm-up sets which incorporates slow chugging deep techy house and just about anything you can think of in between.

Wire created the perfect setting. A dark and smoky underground club with a limited capacity, which made for a great intimate venue and accommodated Craig’s sound perfectly.

An unpredictable, quirky, tripped-out mixture of techy house, dubby techno and abstract beats lead the way for the most of the night after a smooth warm up from the Butter Side Up DJs and system resident Bobby O'Donnell.

Starting where the warm up left off, the start of Craig’s set was a selective mix of smooth funky techy tracks, each selection expertly blending upon the fragility of the last with nothing too far outstretched in regards to bpm. Craig slowly welcomed the crowd onto the dance floor, and, from there on, he gradually picked up the tempo. As he began to build up the energy in the room, Craig’s tracks delved progressively deeper, creating a flow of spaciness, which made for an uncompromising and unique sound and you quickly began to see why Craig is world renowned for his legendary sets at Fabric as his mixing and reading of the rooms’ energy was simply impeccable.

The rest of the night continued in the same manner, blending dubby, breaky, house music with fragile, ever-funky techno, his sets have continually explored new and emerging genres. At one point deep into the night, Craig teased the crowd for a few moments as he dropped Sleeping Rough, one of his own production released last May on his very own The Nothing Special label.

A sign of a great DJ is one who doesn’t simply follow the energy of the room, but who earns the trust of the crowd and is able to determine which direction they want to take, guiding the crowd through a series of moods and tempos. This is what Craig demonstrated so well, slowly building up the tempo, and as the tension and atmosphere of the room built to an almost climactic point, he released a heavy bass driven tech number that sent a burst of energy flowing across the room. 

Butter Side Up

To finish off the night, Craig welcomed back Bobby O'Donnell to the booth for a memorable back to back to close the night.  Moodymann's U Can Dance If U Want 2 being a definite highlight.

Despite admiring Craig’s work for a while now, this was the first time I managed to see him play and was easily one of the highlights of the year so far. If Leeds is lucky enough to have him again soon, make sure you’re there as he’s not one to miss!

Review by Chris Simpson
Images courtesy of Vaine Photography

[Event Review] Butter Side Up with Craig Richards

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