As mentioned in the other thread, I had the choice of Levon Vincent in Leeds (in The Wire, with its crap soundsystem) or going across to Manchester to see Craig Richardson in an unfamiliar venue. In the end we went with Richardson because we couldn't find any recent Levon Vincent sets online to judge what he's playing at the moment. Having spent £20 and an hour on the train to Manchester, we get to the venue where Richardson is playing, we walk in to discover it's basically a Mexican themed bar with a DJ-booth in the corner and nobody there. Apart from the DJs there were precisely two people in the whole place apart from ourselves.
It was already 11.25pm at this point and we had a decision to make - would this glorified bar fill up with people rapidly and make it worth staying, or should we recognise a mistake and get the hell back to Leeds as soon as possible? The next train left Piccadilly train station about ten streets away... at 11.35. After that there was no train until 1am. We decided to give the night a chance and stay until the 1am train in case things picked up, but it was pretty obvious this wasn't going to a serious night out. So after about two minutes of standing at the bar I said "Fuck it, let's try and get that train." Cue a frantic five minute sprint across Manchester city centre, just jumping through the train doors before it departed back to Leeds. We'd been in Manchester for less than 20 minutes in total.
At this point we had to sit for another hour on the train, thirsty as fuck because of the run, caked with drying sweat and almost completely sober. Not really "Fuck yeah, party time" conditions. Nontheless we got back to Leeds at 12.44 and went straight to Wire club. To our huge relief there was a big queue outside and at 1am the place was just filling up properly when we got inside.
So how the fuck was Levon Vincent after all that? Pretty solid, I'd say. I wouldn't really say there was much direction to his set, it was more eclectic than focused, but he did play lots of unusual techno and drummy house, not just standard club records by any means. I'd give him a solid 7/10 - not an essential DJ to see but someone who will make you dance and play some fresh records if you do check him out. The closing DJ Reflec also deserves a mention for playing one of the most relentless marching techno sets I've heard for quite some time. Absolutely pounding non-stop beats with no let-up or respite at all. Which is, of course, exactly what you want at 5am.
Also, after the earplug debacle of the other thread, a word on The Wire's sound. I've complained about the soundsystem of that club a few times (including in this thread), as it mars an otherwise excellent little club that has a great vibe and consistently interesting bookings. The biggest problem with the sound is the really harsh top end. It's not crisp at all, and at higher volumes it becomes painfully shrill to the ears without any clarity whatsoever. Last night, however, we managed to find a really cool spot against one wall where we basically stood beneath the speaker array. Directly below the speakers the sound was projecting away from us, so we could hear the top end without it sounding too loud. Behind us was a wall of bass speakers that were just pumping out sub bass. When a really phat bassline came in the vibrations would go right through my back, which was fucking blissful I can tell you. Anyway, in this spot we were catching all the bass and missing most of the harsh top end. When I came out of the club at the end of the night my ears weren't even ringing at all.
We decided that if we wanted to go to The Wire in the future we would just get early and basically set up camp beneath the speakers where we can get the best bass rumble in the building and spare our ears in the process. It's also a nice spot at the edge of the dancefloor where people don't really push you on the way past.
But yes, I will still buy some earplugs. So shut up, all of you.
> Skipton's Only Prog Night [Warm Up Grooves]
> Welcome To the Future [Driving Progressive]
> Autumn Drive [Progressive]
> The Rebel Alliance [Tech/Progressive]
> The Sunset Session [Everything]