Mr G (live) & Marcel Fengler
Friday 29th Jan
Since it’s opening, the tucked away, warehouse spaced turned club, Hidden, has been turning heads with his big name bookings, progressive line ups and a forward thinking ‘socialist’ management. This has been recently reflected with Hidden winning the City Life ‘Best Club’ award for 2015, particularly impressive for a club that opened that same year.
Despite multiple big nights each week, it was this evening that seemed to excite the staff and management at Hidden the most, speaking online that they had been looking forward to this one for a while. There is no surprise really when you’re bringing in one of the most influential names in UK House and Techno. Mr G, or Colin McBean has been in the business since the 80’s and has been pivotal in creating a truly unique style of House music which he would bring to his hour long live set later in the evening.
Upon entering the club, I was able to jump straight into my favourite space, the upstairs, and largest space called ‘The Blue Room’ where Hidden resident Paul Kaminski was warming up with a collection of House and Tech-house in anticipation of Mr G’s live show which would be up next. Mr G’s hour long live set was filled with his own productions, alongside the best cuts from Chicago, Detroit and UK based house. It was one of the most engaging and enjoyable live sets i’ve seen in a while. Long, extended build ups, incredible bass and some of the most soulful vocal samples around.
The lengthy sound check which took place before the club opening was posted online and well worth was well worth the watch. Mr G’s production style is hugely unique but particular the way he turns basic samples into glorious sounds. Not only with his use of bass but some of the most crisp and clear high-hats that i’ve ever heard on a House track. This is both a massive compliment to Mr G and the sound-staff at Hidden. The Void system really brought the most of Mr G’s tracks. It is Mr G’s performance and energy that also makes him such an incredible live act to see. After witnessing many stoney-faced techno sets where the DJ seems indifferent to their surroundings it’s incredibly refreshing to watch someone completely engrossed in the music, cutting shapes and clearly enjoying themselves. In an era in which the word ‘House music’ started to be used for watered-down commercial music, it was incredible to be reminded of what true House music sounds like, via the ruthless sounds of Mr G. An amazing performance, the hour long slot seemed to go by all to quickly.
A short drinks run and it was time to head downstairs to the slightly smaller but suitably dark basement space of Hidden. Here Marcel Fengler, a regular at Berlin’s infamous Beghain/Panorama Bar and all round German-Techno hero was shelling down his own take on the genre. 1 and half hours of pure Techno, including his own remix of Skudge’s Convolution. The raw sound of the upstairs Blue Room was going to take some beating, however, when it all got going it was a fantastic way to see of the last hour or so of the night. Personal highlights being when he dropped the incredible Robert Hood Re Plant of Mark Broom’s Front-Line.
This only being my second visit to Manchester’s newest addition to the club scene it has quickly become one of my favourite venues. The space itself, combined with their incredible bookings, mostly impeccable sound all combine to make Hidden one of the most exciting new venues, not just in Manchester but in the UK. I’m very excited to see how Hidden grows and develops as a staple of Manchester’s night-life and i’m already looking forward to my next visit there.
Words by Stan Platford
Photos courtesy of Gemma Parker