With the clocks going back and the hours of sunlight rapidly diminishing, the reality of winter is well and truly hitting hard. Festival season seems like a distant memory and thoughts of plans for 2019 are already dominating peoples’ thoughts.
However, for many others, the winter period presents something just as special as festival season - a barraging calendar of music events that are seemingly never ending. The In:Motion series is one of those, and this year it has presented arguably one of its strongest calendars to date.
After an already hugely successful summer with the introduction of Hospitality on The Beach and the return of Hospitality in The Park, Hospital Records returned to their darkened nightclub roots for a Halloween special featuring one of their most eclectic line-ups to date.
Whether it was Kings of The Rollers, Danny Byrd and Metrik featuring in the main room, legends in Fabio, Randall and Krust shelling down classics in the Marble Factory, or the intimate tunnel where the likes of Benny L brought carnage to the small crowd. Hospitality Bristol represented a musical behemoth.
Benny L bringing carnage is something that has become a right of passage at d’n’b raves, and Friday night was no exception - as he took to stage early on, prompting hordes of people to flood the narrow cave and spill out into the bar area at the back.
As a producer who only a few years ago was considered as a relatively little known entity in the scene, he now boasts arguably one of the biggest following in the genre - a reputation symbolised by his raved about b2b set with T>I at Boomtown that had people queueing out of the entrance.
Benny L brought a likewise experience to Motion, with a densely packed crowd before he even stepped on stage. Laying down an onslaught of screw face-inducing gully bass sounds, the small crowd were roaring at every drop, and the cheeky grin on Benny L’s face as he listened to the crowd react was priceless.
Even a glittered up MC Tempza on the mic, who usually is associated with emceeing for the serene tones of Hybrid Minds, was relishing the electric atmosphere. ‘I’m just gonna get in the crowd and rave with you lot.’ he joked, as the audience constantly cheered and demanded rewinds. This was only the start of the night…
As the event progressed, the main room was constantly bustling, and the famous illuminated Hospitality ‘H’ shone like a beacon from behind the stage.
With High Contrast followed by Camo & Krooked, Danny Byrd and Metrik, this was always going to be one of the busiest rooms. And seemingly Motion accounted for this as they had a peculiar one-way system in place around the entire venue, with access to the main room coming via a queue at the rear of the club.
Whilst it is completely understandable to have this system in place, it caused much frustration at times with people not only having to queue outside in the freezing cold with little clothing, but it also resulted in people opting to not leave the room and explore the other music on offer, meaning that the freedom of the usual raving experience was severely hindered at times.
Despite this, the wait was worth it to see Camo & Krooked produce one of the stand out performances of the night. The Austrian duo stepped up and brought a frantic vibe to the room with their scintillating mixing.
A particular moment that stood out was when their remix of Modestep’s ‘Show Me A Sign’ began playing and the room was illuminated by a sea of lighter flames. As the chorus dropped the crowd erupted with noise and the incredible atmosphere around the room was a hard one for anyone to compete with.
Well usually this would be the case, but on the the other side of the venue in the industrial-feeling Marble Factory, something just as special was happening. The sound of rolling drums and the echo of floor-shaking bass grew louder as the room got closer, and the sight of people streaming through the PVC strip curtains meant only one thing - Randall had taken to stage.
Legend, pioneer, godfather, there are many words to describe Randall - one of the d’n’b players who everyone holds unconditional respect for. Swiftly followed by another legend in the scene, Fabio, the next two hours brought about a spectacularly murky vibe fitting to the Halloween occasion.
Their selection of gritty rollers combined with roaring bassline wobbles brought about countless musical sneak attacks, constantly surprising the crowd with flurries of ferocious bass slaps rising from the rolling mixes.
The weird and wonderful sounds coming from the room were emulated by the brilliant fancy dress of the crowd - whether it was seeing giant pumpkins skanking, people wrapped in excessive amount of fairy lights, or clowns throwing gun fingers, the Halloween spirit made the atmosphere that bit more unique.
Whilst Metrik was in the main room bringing his euphoric melodies to the mass crowd that had swamped the room for one of Hospital’s favourite producers, in the tunnel Spearhead Recordings were holding a more intimate showcase - one baring special meaning to one man in particular, Degs.
Performing b2b sets on the mic for Nymfo and Dexcell, throughout Degs oozed huge amounts of humility and happiness. This was a rather reflective and special moment for Degs, as it was only at this same event last year when he made his first trial appearance for Hospital Records on the mic during London Elektricity’s set, a journey you can read more about here.
Ever since that moment, his career has skyrocketed - officially signing to the label and releasing his debut single alongside his first multi-track d’n’b body of work. This time around at Motion it may have been a smaller crowd, but the elation on his face spoke volumes of how he felt.
Stepping up for the last hour of the night in the main room were Kings of The Rollers - a group you would never usually associate with the graveyard shift, but it was a very clever move by Hospital as the usual diminished 5am crowd had transformed into a packed room where even the balconies were still rammed with ravers.
Stereotypically the graveyard shift is supposed to be a more relaxed one, where artists play a refined set to wind down the night. Kings of The Rollers clearly didn't get the memo, as they performed in the only way they know how - constant fire from start to finish.
Whether it was Voltage dropping his renowned ‘Tap Ho’ mix, or Benny L’s unreleased Low Blow VIP, this was the much-needed heavy ending to peak everyone’s depleted energy levels one last time.
It was equally as refreshing to see how much energy the group relayed throughout - from Voltage gun fingering to every drop, to Inja going in on the bars with immense lyricism. It was his rhyme ‘Put a smile on your face if you love drum and bass’ that reflected just how much this group adore the music they outlay, and the passionate performance they produced emulated the same.
Hospitality’s 2018 Bristol events may have come to a close, but the club nights don’t end here for Hospital, as Hospitality will be making a long-awaited London return to Studio 338 for a special twelve hour Xmas showcase on December 15th.
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