Leeds is a city which many will argue has the one of the best (if not the best) underground clubbing scenes in the country. Already flourishing with many well recognized venues it would seem a hardy task to open another to a caliber which will meet the town’s high standards. However, a few weeks go the team behind the The Warehouse opened the doors to the brand new 3000 capacity space aptly given the name Control. For the clubs first event to focus on the underground sound they welcomed Solomun’s Diynamic label through the doors, which saw Stimming, H.O.S.H. and Solomun himself headlining the night.
We got inside just before 1am and quickly checked out the Geodome before heading into the main room to see Stimming play live. This feature has been the talk of the town and I have to say it is quite impressive, and even as the club's second room, they haven’t held anything back. The booth lies at one end of the huge circular room, which is covered with a structure of LED lined hexagonal sections which flash in countless different ways in unison with whatever the DJ is throwing out. Leeds based label Love Not Money were hosting the room tonight, and at this moment it was Ethan Marin who was the focus of the crowd, smashing out wAFF’s well loved Jo Johnson to a room which was nicely full and had a good energy about it.
Out of the two the main room is my personal favourite. It is a two floored, wide set warehouse style space with a high ceiling and absolutely stunning visuals. The majority of the main floor is just a dance floor, the way it should be. The second floor contains mostly bookable booths and VIP areas which I’m sure will interest some champagne sipping clientele somewhere. Although that’s not for me I have to say the views of the dance floor from up there are great. My only criticism of the main dance floor would be the raised stage-like section in front of the booth meaning from time to time instead of watching Stimming on his controllers I was faced with several sweaty bodies swinging off the railings which wasn’t what I wanted to see. Nevertheless this didn’t spoil the music as he was quite extraordinary. His almost left field house style is known to be deep and atmospheric, and the clubs part-floating Funktion One system made sure the dubby drums were punchy and the synths made your hairs stand up on end. To my delight he played his remix of Blagger’s Mine To Keep which has a strong melody, a crisp vocal and it was taken in with cheers and applause.
Before Solomun took to the decks we had a quick look back in the geodome which was still pretty buzzing with excitement. Love Not Money’s jacking sound was proving to hit the spot for the punters who were all well at it as we ventured back into the main room.
For the headline set Solomun was going back to back with H.O.S.H. for 4 hours, something that I didn’t expect but nevertheless was excited about. I thought the transition of style between Stimming and themselves was great, as the energy stepped up and they took it away. It was a combination of both pleasingly jubilant and contrastingly deeper house music which brought the crowd down and back up again at a nice pace. Their use of effects was generous but never overdone as it re-enforced the synth heavy build ups until they crashed back down, occasionally with the powerful CO2 jet that covers the room from front to back! I had never seen H.O.S.H. before but he succeeded in playing to the standards of Solomun, seeming to favour his chopped up vocals and resonant bass lines.
Altogether I think underground nights like this one will go down a treat here, and the size of the club definitely opens the doors to some new possibilities the city may not have had before. It looks great, sounds really good and with appearances from acts like Booka Shade, Pete Tong and Cassius lined up over the coming months, the future looks bright in Control!
Review by Josh Plews
Images courtesy of Justin Gardner