SpeedQueen Hot Fresh and Strong
Sunday 26th May
The Warehouse, Leeds
The Hot and Fresh edition of Speed Queen was the fastest event to sell out in Ticketarena history, and any club night that has such a cult following has to be worth its salt. Speed Queen, which has been running in one form or another for over a decade and was recently reincarnated for a new lease of life, is a serious good-time celebration.
The promoters give The Warehouse a serious makeover, with hundreds of balloons, incredible visuals, light boxes, wall hangings…you name it, and they’ve got it. When it comes to décor and ambience, Speed Queen is definitely not about holding back. But it’s the clubbers themselves who really make it – Speed Queen is known for being one of the best LGBT-friendly nights in Leeds, and the brilliant atmosphere is a testament to the friendliness its welcoming crowd. The music might just have been a little too loud for this Speed Queen virgin, but the crowd were loving it, and the vibe was definitely strong – no holds barred vocal, classic, and funky house, and after a few hours the (in)famous Bongo Dave came out to up the ante. Bongo Dave is apparently an intrinsic part of the Speed Queen experience, adding an extra shot of percussion to the euphoric party vibe with some seriously tenacious arm muscles and the help of a few decorative naked Barbie dolls.
By now it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Speed Queen isn’t snootily purist – its selection of residents is up for pretty much anything in the realm of house. There was some incarnation of Pharrell and Daft Punk’s divisive collaboration, as well as the Triple Dee and K-Klass remix of Duke’s legendary ‘So In Love With You’. The sounds were one-hit doses of fun: hands-in-the-air, mass-sing-along kind of music. Speed Queen is a refreshing change in a scene that is in danger of becoming overrun with po-faced dance geeks who’d rather lecture you on electronic music’s history than buy you a drink and have a dance. Which, as well all know, is really what they should be doing anyway…
Review by Tabitha Thorlu-Bang
Images courtesy of SpeedQueen and Tabitha Thorlu-Bang