There is no better place to see your favourite DJ dig out some of the rarest techno gems than in Wire, Leeds. Sweaty faces pressing up against the glass divider of the DJ booth, hands slamming down on the steel panelling beneath it, and a crowd hooting long after the last track. It was almost exactly a year ago that Jane Fitz last played at Wire, and those who have seen her play before will know exactly the kinds of scenes she brought down last Friday.
On arrival, the venue is fairly empty, with Butter Side Up resident Johnny Sleight warming up. It takes a couple of hours for the club to fill up, but selections like Kosh’s "Null 212" build the momentum for the evening. This time Jane Fitz is joined by Vera, a DJ known for her elegant presence behind the decks, seamless mixing style, and timeless selections.
Vera’s set was seamless. Her sophisticated aura is reflective of her mixing style, and her presence behind the decks was relaxed and almost blasé. She effortlessly drifted through dark, industrial sounding tracks to more punchy selections with a heavy bass and fast melody. Her sound is distinctly otherworldly, with standout tracks like Lionrock’s “She’s On The Train”.
Vera’s style is refined, but she is also playful. Her headphones are customised with little tassels and accessories that swing to the beat of her techno as she mixes tracks back into one another, shifting the crowd from one dark melody to another.
Unlike Vera, Jane Fitz’s approach to DJing feels more instinctive: she reacts to every song like she’s hearing it for the first time. Her smile is infectious and her enjoyment of the experience is what strengthens the bond between her and the crowd.
Her selections start with minimal, drummy beats, moving through to bassy melodies and tracks reminiscent of Vera’s spacey selections. Jane plays for two hours, to a crowd that’s hesitant to leave their spot on the dancefloor, even for a quick cigarette break. Every track is received with hoots and claps.
Approaching 6am the crowd is sparse, but just as lively. The last song is a mash up of a rapid flute-like and synth melodies over a strong bass, which to many of our disappointment, and with almost all of Jane’s records, is unlikely to be found or heard anywhere other than that dancefloor.
It is worth mentioning how great it is to see two women headline such a distinguished night in Leeds. Not because they are women, but because they have fully deserved the respect that they have earned. Over the last five years Butter Side Up have solidified their stance at the forefront of Leeds’ clubbing scene with brave and timely bookings. Their next event with Nicolas Lutz at Wire, for the first time, is sure to live up to their reputation.
Photo courtesy of Jane Fitz and FMLY Agency
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