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Live Review: James Blake at Manchester Warehouse Project – 26th November 2011

By on Wednesday, 7th December 2011 at 2:00 pm

For a night that was supposed to be dedicated to dance, it’s surprising how little dancing occurred. James Blake’s Saturday night appearance at Manchester’s Warehouse Project (being curated by Belgian dance label R&S) started early at 9 and ended up finishing at the wee hours of 5 in the morning, with a total of 12 acts performing altogether. Amazing! However, for the purpose of this review, I’m going to focus on the main man of the moment, Mr. Blake. I will admit here that I am not in anyway a fan of James Blake, but I will try and avoid any kind of bias. Honest!

Blake’s keyboard driven beats are hardly what you expect from a night like this; however, the tinkling and wavering of the keyboards is enough to have at least a few dance purists moving. By the time Blake arrived for the live set, the venue (under the Piccadilly railway station car park) was packed, sweaty and every shade of uncomfortable you can imagine. The bass during opener ‘Unluck’ was bordering on unbearable: while the pulsating beats had my heart pumping, it was a complete sensory overload from the start. Uncomfortable for me, yes, however in amongst the sensory bombardment was Blake’s wavering vocals, bringing order to the proceedings.

‘I Never Learnt to Share’ is an intense catastrophe of sound, with the introduction suitably dulcet, moving into an intense collision of keyboards. The post-dubstep sound he is looking for is released in the end with the crowd erupting in a sweaty, keyboard-induced mob.

This performance though was epitomized by the subtlety of this young producer’s music. It managed to fill a room while still remaining g as minimalistic as it is on a record, like the xx for the dubstep generation. The venue’s brick arched setting helped with this, keeping the sound enclosed where it could reverberate into the electronic beast it is meant to be in a live setting.

As I mentioned earlier, in this crowded setting the ability to dance was at a premium, which is bizarre for a dance-driven club night. But I don’t think anybody left the building unimpressed. Blake knew exactly which buttons to push to keep the audience ticking and on his side throughout. For a guy who is only really in his infancy in a live setting, he looks anything but an amateur.


Manchester Warehouse Project Calls It a Day: Last Dance Night Will Ring in 2012

By on Friday, 15th July 2011 at 11:00 am

For the last 5 years, Manchester Warehouse Project has been bringing amazing bands from all over the globe to their amazing underground, subterranean location under Piccadilly train station. But this dance night institution in the North have now announced that the autumn/winter 2011 gigging season will be their last. A special 17-hour marathon dance night has been planned as the penultimate WHP event and will ring in 2012 at Manchester Store Street in style. Tickets for the 2012 goodbye celebration will go on sale next Tuesday (19th of July) at 9 AM.

The full “WHP11 Plan”, to run from the 17th of September 2011 to the 1st of January 2012, will be revealed to the public on Thursday the 21st of July. Considering this is the last gigs of a series of awesome gigs, one can only guess the line-ups for this final batch of gigs will be absolutely incredible.

I know I’m pretty depressed about this news because even though I’ve never been to a single WHP night. Many friends of TGTF have either played or attended WHP as punters and always had wonderful words about the franchise, so this really signals the end of an era. What comes next for the WHP promotions crew? Everyone’s keeping mum at the moment, but I’m sure there will be something brilliant announced down the road. Our hats off to everyone at WHP HQ.


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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