Now in its 20th year Bugged Out certainly has Manchester imprinted in its veins. Created by Paul Benney and Johnno Burgess in the early 90’s, the brand has become one of the most respected names in the scene and has been a staple part of the Warehouse Project run over the past few years.
Boasting artists that have been part of the history of Bugged Out since the early days, Friday’s show had a distinctly old school feel about it with the likes of Dave Clarke and Justin Robertson playing their part. Sandwiched between the Chemical Brothers in the main room however, were arguably two of the best DJs of the last 18 months in Eats Everything and Erol Alkan.
The catalogue of artists that Justin Robertson has remixed over the years ranges from the Happy Mondays to Bjork and the man who inspired the Chemical Brothers during the early part of their career was just the right person to start proceedings at around 10pm. A disappointingly empty room at the start did begin to gradually fill up, as Robertson flew threw a set of acid house infused selections.
Along with Eats Everything, it has been hard to ignore the rise and rise of Belfast duo Bicep over the past year or so. They were given the task of hosting Room 3, guaranteed vibes all night long. They did directly clash with the Chemical Brothers, but there was still a healthy turn out for the pair who have been championed by some of the biggest names over the summer season just gone.
Bristol born aficionado Eats Everything provided one of the most surreal and spine tingling moments I’ve ever experienced inside a club, playing a rework of The Specials – Free Nelson Mandela. The whole room seemed to stand together in symphony and simultaneously applaud and jive.
After a five-minute period of calm, The Chemical Brothers started their three-hour marathon at 12.30, going through their entire back catalogue of delicately layered harmonies and big beat bouncers. Personally I’d rank Chemical Brothers up there with Kraftwerk and Daft Punk as pioneers of their genre and the feeling inside that room was something I hadn’t experienced at a Warehouse Project show before. The feeling that you were watching masters of their craft who had probably influenced at least every single artist I’d ever seen or heard.
Everything about their live show was meticulously thought out, from the long and teasing introduction to the way they involved the crowd, to the way they finished on an anthem like Star Guitar. Certain DJs are made to play to large crowds and just don’t work as well in intimate environments, Chemical Brothers being exactly the perfect example.
Review by Joe Lanigan Smith
Images courtesy of Seb Matthes