If you know Leeds and even just a little bit of its rich clubbing and dance music history you’ll know that Ralph Lawson and his 2020 Vision imprint have been instrumental in nurturing some of the UKs most famed DJs and producers. After holding a set of incredible warehouse parties in London, including a marathon session of two events back-to-back at a disused East London railway station and converted warehouse, the 2020 Vision crew returned to Leeds for a special homecoming event with Maya Jane Coles, Ralph Lawson, Crazy P (DJ Set), Simon Baker and more at the new Canal Mills in Leeds.
Arriving around half midnight, 2020 boss, Ralph Lawson was just taking over in the main room as the club began to fill up nicely. As ever, Ralph worked his way through a quality selection, carefully working the main room crowd from a pretty relaxed affair to what wouldn’t have been out of place during any headline set. Taking a break from the main room we ventured to the smaller, more intimate second room, where disco-jocks Crazy P were laying down one of their groovin’, low slung soundtracks to the crowd of smiling punters.
Back in the main room Ralph Lawson was closing up his set with a perfectly chosen remix of Maya Jane Coles’ ‘High Life’, as Ralph proceeded to hand over to the woman herself the crowd went into overdrive. Following up with the original mix of ‘High Life’, the Leeds faithful were in full swing with cheers, whistles and woots echoing around the main room. Accented by the quirky decor and impressive light rig of Canal Mills, Maya’s set moved through her much adored soundscape with a particular highlight being the stunning reaction Manchester lad, Ben Pearce’s Beatport smash ‘What I Might Do’ was met with when unleashed on the main room. Throughout her set, MJC took the main room deeper warming up perfectly for Simon Baker’s introduction, whose hard and edgy set – at times, worlds apart from some of his earlier productions I was more familiar with – took me (and perhaps a few others) by surprise, but definitely a welcomed one. Si and Ralph proceeded to go back to back for the remainder of the night, and as the crowd gradually thinned out the main room took on a slightly more family affair vibe, topped off when Ralph kindly dropped the volume to personally shout “thank you for coming!” to everyone still left stomping on the floor – a really nice touch.
This was a great night all round – an opinion shared by many it seems from some casual social media browsing this morning. Combining the new Canal Mills with the more seasoned 2020 Vision brand resulted in a memorable experience. So, when’s the next one then?..
Article by Alex Ogilvie
Images courtesy of CG Photography