Jane Fitz, Tom Drew, Alex T
Wednesday 22nd February
Words by Marigold Warner
2017 has already seen a number of new nights pop up around Leeds. Amidst a growing and thriving night life it can be difficult to break into the scene, as well as to distinguish a party’s own unique vibe and niche.
Relic is Leeds’ newest contender. They made their debut at Wire last Wednesday with a pretty ballsy booking for a school night - DJ-ing aficionado Jane Fitz.
Its founders are hardly new kids on the block. With the knowledge and tried-and-tested methods acquired from previous ventures they’ve been involved with, they managed to pull together something quite special.
Support for the night was provided by two local talents, and fellow promotors, Tom Drew and Alex T. On arrival Tom Drew was building some early momentum with a blend of groovy dance tracks as well as thumpier techno beats. Relic’s ethos of creating a party driven by the love of music was already beginning to materialize, and its choice of selectors echoed this in perfect pitch.
Jane Fitz has built up a solid reputation over the past two decades, being dubbed by Thump as the UK’s most unsung selector. It's not only her extensive record collection and faultless ability to showcase it, but also the success of running her own parties, Peg and Night Moves, as well as her work as a music journalist, that asserts her reverence in the industry.
For Jane, her sets are just as much an experience for herself as it is for her audience, which is probably what makes them so enjoyable. Her relaxed demeanor and bright energy was both resonated into and replicated by the crowd, and the intimacy of the Wire basement combined with the full funktion one sound system was a fitting location.
Her choice of records didn’t disappoint either, meandering through ambient, cosmic melodies, and drifting seamlessly into realms of more heavy hypnotic beats like Human Machine’s ‘Drone’. Jane Fitz could attract the most musically clued-up crowd there is and still have them walk away with most of her tunes unrecognized, contributing to the authenticity and uniqueness of the experience.
The party was never overly crowded; as any good party should be. Perhaps the fact that it was on a rainy mid-week night was a secret blessing, because it meant the crowd was really dedicated, comfortable and most importantly friendly. There was that feeling of safety and ease on the dance floor, like you’re at a party with a load of mates you haven’t met yet.
Closing off the evening was Alex T, who is known around Leeds for running the popular On Rotation parties, hosting shows on KMAH radio, and DJ-ing at the likes of Brudenell Groove, Brotherhood and most recently at Dimensions’ takeover with Soichi Terada at HiFi.
For some, following Jane’s spellbinding set may have seemed intimidating, but Alex T took to the decks to cast his own kind of magic on the crowd. Memorable tracks include Literon’s ‘Freak Function’, as well as the infinite buildup of Butric’s ‘Up’, which was slipped in seamlessly between Nectar’s ‘Mercurial Drums’ and Deniro’s ‘Penal Colony 2’.
It was a shame the night couldn’t go on longer than 4am, as the crowd was still going strong, and perhaps even a bit revitalized, after a final groove to the seductive keyboard blips and cooing voice of Kylie Minogue’s ‘Slow’.
Rumour has it the boys are planning something pretty special for the last weekend of April, so keep your eyes peeled. After Wednesday’s antics, you know your bank holiday is in safe hands.
Words by Marigold Warner
Photos courtesy of Ben Hale