There's nothing quite like having your birthday during the most depressing time of year (January). For many people it means horrific weather, bills and most importantly no alcohol. The first weekend of February however, despite the consistently awful weather, brings in the first drinks of 2016, and where better to enjoy such merriment than the Lobster Boy tour's stop at Rusholme's Antwerp Mansion.
With lots of new material surrounding the label at the moment from the featured acts, it is always exciting to see the high work-rate and variety of production known by head honcho Redlight being mirrored throughout the London based label. With the combined mixture of house, techno, garage & UK bass genres in the collectives arsenal you know when attending your in for a treat.
Upon passing the surprisingly impressive graffiti and post-apocalyptic decor on the way, in Mak & Pasteman were already shelling some of the best tech around, drawing in a large crowd to the dimly lit room early on with those unmistable warbles of Joy Oribison's BRTHDTT. The pair have been producing stellar singles for some time and I personally wasn't sure if they would rely on playing their own material. Overall the Leeds duo were excellent live, dropping a variety of tech that's easily recognizable with the pair amongst the nights roster. (Their newest single Call 2 Me was featured on B-Traits Radio 1 mix the 4th Feb)
As the night progressed the basements capacity began to become somewhat stretched, an undoubted result of the Lobster Boy collective playing the same stage. Next up, and my personal highlight of the night belongs to Londoner Mella Dee. His signature UK bass production style, with more amen breaks than a sunday service always sets off the crowds and created a nice mixture between his euphoric opening choice of Bloody Valentine's edit of the Mancunian anthem, I Wanna be Adored and his own hard techno remix of Mala's Changes.
Special shout outs to the locals at Pirate Material, ruling the upstairs system after a late capacity increase. Having free reign for the evening meant space to cover loads of genres throughout the night, it's always refreshing to walk into a less-densely populated stage to be greeted by unexpected classics such as Benga's Night and H20 Heartbroken.
Having Antwerp Mansion as the venue matched the night really well, no-fuss, no hour long queues, no overpriced tickets just turn up and enjoy!
Words by Daniel Cox
Photo courtesy of Redlight