Circular with Ben Pearce, Hot Since 82 & Route 94
Friday 24th January
Mint Warehouse, Leeds
In the hustle and bustle of new nights and clubbing brands to come to the city of Leeds, Circular is the freshest addition to arrive at the door of Mint Warehouse. With a lot hype building around the event and with tickets completely sold out in advance it seemed it was going to be a popular debut in the city. On the bill as well as Circular’s own residents were the chart topping Ben Pearce, Hot Since 82 and Route 94.
Pulling up by the mint green walls of the club there was a huge line of partygoers queuing far down the street. As we got in it looked to have almost hit capacity by midnight, and Route 94 was currently playing to a full dance floor making sure everyone was warming up well with an array of flavours. Piano melodies, deep moogy baselines and plenty of vocals were what played big parts in the sounds of the first few tunes we heard - into the second hour things touched on heavier areas. To have a little breath of fresh air we ventured outside where the wooden decking had been covered with a marquee strung with camouflage netting. We crossed underneath it over the courtyard to have a peek inside room three, which also had people spilling out of the doors. Inside the brick clad boiler room the sounds were a mix of more underground picks and a fair few well known weapons, The Bucketheads’ The Bomb being one that provoked uproar.
Over the terrace once more and we entered the main room again and I was pleased to hear Ten Walls’ Gotham dancing out of the Funktion One system to join the hands that were in the air. Ben Pearce then took over and followed a similar pattern, with a difference of having a frequently more jacking sound. The dance floor was full to the brim at this point so we hung around the edges of the room where we had just enough space to rock our knees as we watched the rest of the room grow. A trip back into room three to dry out had us dancing with a little more energy as another one of Leeds’ local crop was purveying some heavier techno which provided good variety between all the rooms.
To end the night we entered the main room once more to catch Leeds lad Hot Since 82 close the night. Entering through the side entrance meant we could get to the front without having to push from the very back, and after the music faded out and an applause echoed off the walls he opened with Cuartero’s take on Meedew’s A Chipe A Chope which set things off to a fiery start. His use of looping stretched out the build ups so he could bring them to a big climaxes, and stood near the right speaker stack we had a great view of the crowd of heads flooded with coloured light, and as the room had started to filter out slightly there was a little more space to get dancing properly. He played a great set and ended the night on a high with his hard edged house. The synth lead breakdown, taken from Mark Knight and Funkagenda’s Arena, was a moment that created a big build to a drop dressed in Hot Since 82’s own attire, one that was a highlight for us, as well as for the ambitious crowd surfer who appeared from behind our left shoulders - an entertaining sight to see indeed!
The club stayed busy until the very end and the clubbers reluctance to leave after the music stopped was a good sign for the night. The first of Circular’s appearances was surely a successful one, and it will definitely be returning with a party that I think will be a hit just as big.
Review by Josh Plews
Images courtesy of Circular