Having initially planned my weekend around a night out in Manchester to see Four Tet & his friends, I only realised a few days prior that I would be doing nothing of the sort. This was the first in a series of daytime parties which meant that, although my travel plans were out the window, we had an entire afternoon to grow into the dancefloor. My excitement had turned to frustration and then back again. Daytime clubbing is inherently more enjoyable than a night out. It may be because my body clock is ticking ever closer toward 25 years, but being wrapped up by midnight is becoming ever more appealing. The energy levels are higher and there’s an abundance of after parties for those appetites not sated by ten hours of raving. Four Tet would bring Store Street to a close, but the atmosphere as the clock ticked toward midnight suggested that people were far from done. Earlier in the day Courtesy had laid down a phenomenal set. The highlight of which was when she unleashed Trancemission’s ‘Keep The Party Slammin’, an early nineties banger which reflected her brave and increasingly wild selections.
The card was typically stacked between Four Tet & Ben UFO’s opening b2b and the former’s closing headline slot, but Courtesy tempted a fair crowd over to room two as she left her own mark on proceedings. It always helps when there are quality acts spread throughout the venues different rooms. It helps to alleviate overcrowding and the choice between Courtesy or Josey Rebelle, while a difficult one, leaves nobody disappointed. Switching the layout of the Store Street venue was a smart move, with the only regret being that it wasn’t thought of sooner. Facilities and bars and more conveniently placed and the walkways allow you to segue one from one dancefloor to another without facing the otherwise inevitable crush. It really feels as if the WHP team fully appreciate the venue they’re operating in. The obvious caveat is that this is the final run of parties at the Store Street venue, but I’d be confident that the right team are in place to navigate any potential teething problems at their new venture.
Four Tet had lined up a number of pop and garage edits alongside some of his own signature records. T2’s ‘Heartbroken’ blended into an unreleased Taraval cut. Destiny’s Child sat alongside ‘Lush’ and ‘Angel Echoes.’ There is nobody else in the world who can do what Four Tet does. His eclectic selection had the air of “sixth form common room playlist” about it, but it was superb. I hadn’t expected a Destiny’s Child track to be my favourite of the night, but nor was I disappointed. The whole thing slightly reminded me of when I used to get drunk and play Toxic by Britney Spears when DJing a house party. When Four Tet does it the place remains packed and yet when I do it people ask me to leave. Work that one out.
His closing slot was raucous, but I’m honestly not sure where Four Tet feels most at home. Ever since he started spinning Justin Bieber a couple of years back, apparently influenced by his young children, his own selections have been on an unusual trajectory. Knitting together ambient B-sides, breakbeat and speed garage with Ben UFO, before a Smash Hits solo turn, really is night and day. It speaks of a man deeply in love with music, and who leaves no stone unturned when filling his record bag. It’s a rare thing, it’s two shows in one and, when the stars align, it is magnificent.
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