Oct
25

WHP – Minus

With only one day off to rest after the eventful Kissy Sell Out night, a small group of us excited ravers and misbehavers decided to tick a second club off the list of our Around the World in 30 Raves adventures. It was Warehouse Project (WHP) for a Minus night, last Friday 15th October.

For those of you that haven’t heard about WHP, it is located in Manchester right under Piccadilly station. Hosted in a Warehouse, the night only runs on Fridays and Saturdays for a few months a year and are all sell out events. Tickets are often completely snapped up months before each event. I missed out on a chance to experience the WHP magic last year so I was careful to get my mitts on a Minus ticket within a couple of days of them going on sale this time.

For the whole of last week there was an excited buzz going around the email thread that a few of us have started in order to create a bit of extra pre-rave excitement. By Friday it was at an all time high, 5pm couldn’t come soon enough. After a small mishap involving me forgetting to print my ticket at work, running around Old Street looking for an internet Café with only 30 minutes until our train, we found ourselves at Euston station with a few minutes to spare. Clutching a couple of carrier bags of booze and some sandwiches, we met up with my girlfriend and a few of her mates and headed off on the two hour journey to Manchester Piccadilly. I highly recommend the trains as if you book it in advance it is less than a cab around central London, and are a more than adequate venue for pre-drinking. A word of advice though, be aware that pre-drinking with girls involves a lot more fashion magazines and Tweeting than it does downing drinks and chanting…but we managed to get a little bit tipsy and even make friends with a few football hooligans who were hanging out and drinking near the toilets…classy.

We arrived in Manchester just after 11pm and headed straight to the venue. It is only a couple of minutes away and we were pleased to find no queue outside. Once inside, jackets checked and a beer in hand, we met up with a couple of girls who had come from Liverpool for the night, and headed on to the dancefloor where Magda had the place heaving. You wouldn’t have known if it was 11pm or 4am, the raving was in full swing.

There was a little trial and error involved in finding a suitable raving spot. Somewhere that was deep enough into the crowd to get the full force of the impressive sound system, but not somewhere that left you crammed like a sardine between a group of enormously stacked, sweaty, Mancunians, effectively creating a mini mosh pit. The trick seems to be keeping to one of the sides and working your way forward to just beyond half way.

Anyway, the next few hours were filled with the sounds of pounding techno from Magda and Marc Houle, who was performing a live set. The light displays and massive LED screen behind the DJs which cleverly emitted the Minus logo in an assortment of colours, created some awesome visuals:

 The sound was not too dark, but rather a deep, punchy collection of the exciting and evolving Minus sound that we’ve all grown to love and expect.

The night seemed to melt away far too quickly. A couple of cigarette breaks to catch your breath, cool off and recharge, were the only pauses in what was a night spent almost entirely on the dancefloor. A few rounds of drinks later and the group were at their peak. We’d forgotten about the crowd which I will describe as a little rough around the edges, no one even cared about the buckets of sweat that were pouring off our faces and it was getting to that time of the night were we were ready to do justice to the infamous sound of Richie Hawtin…

If you’ve never seen Richie play live, it is far more than just a DJ set. It is a progressive musical journey that takes hold of you and drags you up and down through a jungle of thumping basslines, and clever melodies, leaving you with a feeling of the purest satisfaction once you emerge on the other side. It evolves through a series of tweaks of the bass and trebles, giving you a boost of energy every single time Richie brings back the bass after what I like to think of as the euphoric, melodic part of each tune. As 5.30am sadly approached, he played a couple of the older Minus tunes and definitely left everyone in the crowd wanting more, which seems to be a recurring theme with every set he plays.

At 5.30am sharp, the music stopped, the lights were turned up, people started to take note of the state of the people around them, and the conscious realisation that we probably didn’t look much better started to sink in. Everyone began shuffling towards the cloakroom queue and then found themselves ushered out of the front door where there was significant police presence keeping people moving up the road.

A few minutes later and we were standing back in Manchester Piccadilly and it was hard to believe that the whole night and happened and was over so quickly. The train back wasn’t as painful as some of us had feared. The sun started to come up and the conversation kept us going all the back to Euston. We even found our friends the football hooligans who were enquiring about a potential after party. We politely declined and decided we had a better chance of survival if we went our separate ways.

In the cab home I was overwhelmed with a disbelief of how far we’d just travelled and how much had just happened in a relatively short period of time. Being back at the flat around 8am Sat morning in time for a cup of tea and an epic sleep seemed so surreal, considering I had only left work 14 hours earlier.

As a lay in bed, ears still ringing with echoes of the Minus sounds, my eyes started to close and the last thought that ran through my head was a pleasing knowledge that the weekend had barely begun…oh did I forget to mention that the famous 31 hour Fabric birthday weekender was only a few hours away? And this meant only one thing…Villalobos. See you on the dancefloor.

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