Joy Orbison & Bruce
Friday 23rd September
Words by Stephen Daniels
The last couple months has seen the untimely closure of yet another landmark in UK club culture, a grim time in the world of electronic music. While one city seems to be losing their nightlife, many others are rising to the challenge of filling the every growing void. A main centre-point for this growth has been Wire. It’s hard to think of a better setting for the two artists coming together on the night. Bruce, and a 5 hour set extended set from the one and only Joy Orbison.
Bruce, who’s had releases on Hessle Audio and Livity Sound, where he remixed fellow Bristolian and Bass music champion Hodge, kicked off the night after a guest slot for On Rotation the previous day. Having missed out on catching him at Wire a few years back and the 212 warm up show I was keen to check out what he had to offer. Upon arriving pretty early it was a pleasure to see Wire packed and pumping. Effortlessly selling out pre-sale tickets weeks before the event itself, it was clear those who left Leeds for the summer were ready to go back and have a party. Extended sets tend to start off with the slow-burner, gradually leaving the more upbeat tunes for last. However, with Bruce opening, he made sure the energy was persistent throughout his set. Tracks decorated with skittling percussion, bass thumps and synth lines synonymous with Hessle Audio set the tone for a welcome back party.
(Bristolian bass ambassador Bruce set the tone for the night - Photo: Elliot Young)
Following Bruce getting Wire into the groove, Joy Orbison reminded us why he is still one of the most interesting and innovative DJs in the UK. A well-rounded respected artist who has flawlessly conquered each genre he’s moved into. To quote a Youtube comment on a rip of the unreleased “Zoo Talking” from his 2014 Essential Mix, it’s “always an occasion when Joy O decides something is ready for the world”. The same goes for each set I’ve seen him play. You get a real sense of his wide stretching musical knowledge and influence. He also never boxes himself into the genre he is producing. Like his close friends and fellow DJs Ben UFO and Four Tet, Joy O has you constantly guessing, expecting the unexpected. Through his amalgamation of house, techno and wonderful selection of acid I wondered whether he had in fact slipped any new tracks from himself. Hinting at perhaps where he was heading in his own music journey.
Joy Orbison likes to keep things exciting and after a few hours he invited Bruce for a back to back session to the very end. Wire was treated to two captivating artists bouncing off each other and no longer holding back, playing classics old and new bringing their very best for the people of Leeds. Safe to say this was a delight. The madness came to a head when out of nowhere came one of the biggest tunes (arguably) ever made and one of the stand out records of 2013, “Big Room Tech House DJ Tool – Tip”. A tune missing from recent Joy O sets, but still, after all these years, managing to make the crowd go nuts.
I left Wire that night feeling a little more optimistic for club culture in Leeds and am eager to get stuck into the new season. Excited to delve into the minds of the old-timers and newcomers and see what surprises they have in store. It’s good to be back.
(Joy Orbison in the flow of his 5 hour set - Photo: Elliot Young)
Words by Stephen Daniels
Photos courtesy of Elliot Young