As many will say, the word ‘legend’ is thrown around a lot these days, however Detroit’s very own Mike Huckaby has a reputation for being a pioneer in the house and techno scene from an early stage, which has earned him the right to that title. For his Leeds debut the guys at Nest flew him over to play a very special set, on which was supposed to be (if the Mayans are correct) the last Saturday night on earth!
In keeping with Nest’s ethos of holding their monthly gatherings in ever changing, fresh venues, this month they brought the party to an out of town warehouse, a stones throw away from the city centre, interestingly named The Holbeck Underground Ballroom. I have to say it was a great venue, which has a very appropriate underground basement vibe with moody lighting, dark corners and a low ceiling. It was a little chilly inside at first but as the crowd grew to have a hefty number of party-goers, we warmed up nicely.
Rikki Humphrey was the first to play when we arrived, a new addition to Nest’s ever impressive resident roster. The punch was delivered from beat number one. It was a great selection of house and garage that got us all involved ready for Huckaby’s arrival.
Mike was next to play and surprised me a little as his set focused mostly on house rather than the Detroit techno which I was expecting. This is no complaint though as he provided a very exciting journey, playing tracks from all across the past few decades, a highlight of mine being Lil’ Louis’ ‘The Conversation’, which had the crowd in full swing chanting along to that ever recognisable sax hook! The energy in the crowd was constant throughout the whole two hours he played and, watching him DJ, it was very apparent that he is a veteran at what he does. Seeing the man himself string together so many good tunes so well, was very special. A performance for sure that both the audience and the event organisers can put down in the history books as being one to remember.
Finally closing the night was Darius Syrossian, who for me has been one of the most consistent DJs and producers from the past few years. Especially for Nest - who are avid lovers of the vinyl record - he moved away from his usual MO and brought along a spicy collection of 90s house vinyl just for us! As well as these he was also showcasing some of his unreleased material, obviously including one of my current favourites, his astounding new collaboration with Hector Couto: ‘Ready or Not’, which takes samples from the classic hip-hop track by The Fugees. Darius’ style is always one that provokes a lot of smiles and cheers, and had the club bouncing at a high capacity right until closing time, something which can be a difficult task.
All in all, a great night full to the brim with top quality music. If the world is really going to come to an end on Friday, I feel that my last Saturday night has been spent wisely. If it doesn’t, then I will be thoroughly looking forward to the next one.
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Review by Josh Plews
Images courtesy of Justin Gardner