Gig Review: Love International @ The Warehouse Project
Ask anyone outside of Manchester how they expect Manchester’s nightlife to be and they will undoubtedly mention The Warehouse Project. Year on year it produces several nights with huge lineups, and people fall over themselves to go thanks to their high-calibre – it is without much doubt that the brand’s popularity draws the guys that run the events under a great deal of pressure. It undoubtedly faces a high risk of condemnation as ‘overhyped’, and that’s without any further weight from a 10:30 pm last entry. Luckily, I fell in love with Love International. For the duration of the night the warm warehouse air was full of high energy, as well as a well deserved appreciation – clubbers were able to find themselves taken back by a faithful permeation of dark samples through a computerised atmosphere.
Kicking off all festivities, Crazy P kept it cool. More than a mere disco band, the outfit was an absolute madness. Featuring Danni’s soft vocals, and a keyboard that wouldn’t leave your attention alone, their rounded performance was noteworthy on its own. It’s a joy to think that this was just the beginning.
Even the toilet queues were full of fun. I can quote wittier-than-your-average toilet-queue-members should you wish to ever discuss toilet tactics with me. Note that with multiple queues, success in the competition for cubicles requires unsurpassable planning, and either a high degree of patience or some worthy companions. I was pleased to have the latter. I feel that the crowd really played to the ‘love’ in ‘Love International’, and were pleased to make room for anyone who seemed to be having a good time.
There were many highlights of my experience this time round at The Warehouse Project – Craig Richards and Larry Heard both offered strong sets worthy of a lot of up and down movement. However, the all-time absolute for me was Joy Orbison. Inky and hard, Joy O sent over some absolute shakers. Forceful and cosmic for a disco-ey night, Love International certainly wasn’t light.
Mid-way through the night, Denis Sulta held the floor in Room 2. Having heard Tuff City Kids drop the beginnings of an acid-infused ‘I Feel Love’ at the main stage, however, I couldn’t leave it for the next ten or so minutes (thankfully though I did eventually make the transition over to Sulta’s hissing and complex disco edits). The speedy, clear-cut mixes were entirely transformative of their components. In a barely-softer moment, Sulta got grooving away to Duck Sauce’s ‘aNYway’ after a furious loop. The chorus came hard and fast at the audience: ‘I can do it any way that you want it’. He evidently was doing it the way that everyone wanted it, for the room was the busiest of any through the entire night. Having played fan-favourite mix, ‘DKY (But I Do)’ on several occasions this year, the DJ used it to close his fast and furious ‘Love International’ set. The DJ’s take on Thelma Houston’s all-too-relatable screamer is to be released ‘soon’. When Sulta’s lights went out, Laurent Garnier closed it all in red.
There was definitely a particular sound to Love International. We just don’t have the vocabulary for it. Unfortunately, the closest that one can get is ‘heavily electronic’. Robotic doesn’t cut it, it was something blacker, deeper – more insidious. This was a pounding night and yet one full of travelling uplift. With its undertones of acid, perhaps ‘barrelling’ describes it better. Love International was classic and familiar and at once futurist and emergent in tone. I imagine that it’d be hard to find anyone who didn’t leave the night in high spirits.