Sunday 31st March
Camp & Furnace, Liverpool
With the blustery weather still angled towards winter, coats and scarfs were in check before leaving the house. Knowing the venue was out of the way and the temperature had dropped to below 0, there was no way we were being caught in the unsupported gails and frost of spring. Entering promptly, the venue had undertaken a move of furniture since I last partied here, presenting the difference of ideas between promoters.
At the early hour of 10pm, the night was young and eager. Keen to see more of the incredible space, we had a scout around the three rooms checking out Camp - Circus Recordings first. Makes No Sense had warmed up the space nicely with a mammoth 4-hour set underway. (Longest set of the night) Playing ‘Wildchild - Renegade Master’ the room was a combination of early ravers, cloakroom queuers and a familiar face – Russell Reid on T-shirt sales duty. Selling the all famous Circus X design, Russell was trying something new which proved successful as many supporters were seen wearing his prints by the end of the night.
Making our way into the main room, Lewis Boardman had passed the controls over to Circus’s main man Yousef who had begun twisting the room into a much darker, eerier realm. Itchy beats and raw offbeat snares glittered the walls of the empty warehouse, bringing a welcomed techy sound that rang true to the buildings industrial rawness. A red glow from the lighting proved effective as crowds danced like fireballs in more ways than one. I particularly enjoyed the group of skankers to the left of the stage; demonstrating house music isn’t just about the fist pump shuffle.
The smallest room in the venue, Blade Factory was to the very right of the building past the bursting narrow corridor by the toilets. Quite a fight to get to, it was worth it in the end as the Martinez Brothers had started their set in full swing. With the energy much higher than in the other 2 rooms, the brothers subjugated the heated atmosphere with a collection of stomping house and tropical percussion. While taking notes in my phone, the steamy surroundings had condensed my screen, proving this temperature was no match for electronics.
Heading back to Camp – Circus Recordings, Ibiza residents Acid Mondays were taming the frenzy with a much-appreciated combination of Balearic chords and dusty drums. Looking cool and collective, their unfamiliar style was refreshing to see as they changed vinyls and smiled generously. They brought a welcomed calm to the highly energized crowds. Moving into the main room, Steve Lawler had started to unfold an even deeper, darker energy than before. He built the crowd up steadily as they timorously tapped their feet in anticipation, only to uncover an epidemic of plummeting basslines and treacherous undertones.
Passing the baton over to Maceo Plex at 2am, there was no moving for us, we were inveigled and hungry for more. Plinks and piano synths mingled with the rise and falls of Maceo’s unprecedented sound; and for a moment I was in another world, in tune with the music. Pulling away languidly we pushed through the mass hoping to catch a bit of Maya Jane Coles in Blade Factory, but to our dismay, a queue was waiting outside the door and it didn’t look to be moving. We turned back hastily, regaining our positions as Maceo drove the energy on till the end of the night. Overwhelmed with elation and ringing ears, it had been a fantastic night for Circus and Liverpool. All though the same cant be said for my now ruined Chelsea boots, who will need to visit doctor cobbler very soon!
Review by Jess Heaton
Images courtesy of Gary Brown- GB Multimedia