Saturday, January 02, 2016

Gig: Smile High Club @ Tobacco Dock

First gig of the year came on the 2nd of January, at a time when I'm usually working - I hadn't done anything over New Years for a long time and the milder weather meant I wasn't walking out in a snowstorm.

Smile High Club is a promotion that has done a number of events most recently at a Creamfields weekend, and with the smiley face logo they have strong ties to Fat Boy Slim who was headlining this event at Tobacco Docks, a multi-purpose venue that looks like an indoor market but with a couple of large rooms.

Smileys everywhere!

The Acid Converter was to the side of the stage in the main room and allowed people with no sense to be sprayed yellow and have a smiley face painted on. As the day went on (yes this was a day party) their faces started to run and they looked more like a mis-coloured Heath Ledger.

Visuals and lights were great, and the sound was pretty decent too. The promoters had done a good job. Crowd were very friendly too.

The second "room" if you can call it that was called the "Car Park" and once you found it you quickly realised why, it really was a long underground car park with the stage at one end and a much better atmosphere down here. It felt a lot more "real" like harking back to the warehouse parties of a few decades ago.

The set arrangement was a little odd with both headliners playing at the same time. Usually one stage is closed early so everyone can enjoy the main event. But given the capacity I guess they chose to run both concurrently until the end. Given the number of people at the event there was no way everyone would fit in one space, and that's not to say it was overcrowded; it wasn't at all. I guess the promoters were keen to have as many enjoy themselves as they could.

So did I choose the main room with Fatboy Slim, or the Car Park with 2manydjs? Well if you know my music tastes and how I've been stalking the Despacio guys for the last few years I had to see 2manydjs, so I chose to stay in the Car Park.

Managing to make my way down to the front (much easier than it appeared from the back when I entered) I enjoyed Errol Alkan's set. It's not the stuff I'd typically listen to but I've seen him live a few times in support for other acts and he always does a good job getting the crowd hyped.

2manydjs followed and were superb playing a lot of their remixes, some tunes from the Despacio nights, with Harry Thumann's "Underwater" being a favourite. Some silly girl tried to get a selfie with them at the start and in doing so spilled her wine over one of them and over the mixer, much to the DJ's annoyance. 

So, overall a really well run event, excellent crowd and some superb music to welcome me into 2016.
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