Over the years, UpItUp have built themselves a solid reputation for putting on consistently wonderful parties, having brought the likes of Ceephax Acid Crew, Legowelt and Rephlex Records to Liverpool. So, faced with the untimely and inexcusable closure of their favoured venue, The Kazimier, there was only ever one way they were going to go out…
There had been a consistent buzz running rife about this night for sometime, and you could sense that tingle of anticipation hanging heavy in the air from the moment you stepped inside. The atmosphere was electric from the off and didn’t relent until the house lights intruded at the end. I headed straight outside to the affectionately titled Rat Alley, a place that, with it’s decking and corrugated plastic roof, can often leave you with the impression that your Nan’s set up a club in her back yard. As it’s also the smoking area, this place was expectedly busy, but it wasn’t just the plumes of smoke that reached high into the air as Tony Loco tore through what can only be described as an absolutely barn-storming set! Limbs flailed all over the shop, as the mass of bodies filling every available space twisted and grooved to a barrage of eclectic electronic pandemonium. Loco brutalised the decks, ripping between jungle and hardcore, techno and electro, booty and breaks, in a laceratingly fluid style that sent the crowd barmy. The intensity of the music was matched by the expressions on the dance floor, as people’s faces went blow for blow with the bonkers beats assaulting their senses. Truly magnificent.
Towards the end of Loco’s set, I was left wandering how the hell Mark Forshaw was going to follow what had gone before; if it continued at this pace they’d be scraping people off the ceiling by the night’s end! Thankfully, Forshaw took to the turntables with some clinical, krautpop, ushering in a different mood and tempo that gave everyone a chance to draw breath, whilst keeping them locked into an equally irresistible groove. Slowly but surely, Forshaw began to tease the crowd back into full hedonistic abandon, as the vim and vigour of the beats grew alongside their more malevolent intentions. It wasn’t long before Forshaw created a sea of undulating bodies in front of him, all revelling in the full on techno onslaught he was unleashing. Simply stunning.
I stayed for the initial volley of Mr. Paul‘s set, as he picked up the mantle from where Forshaw had left off; a torrent of tough, analogue driven dancefloor destruction pouring out of the speakers and maintaining that level of frenzy the crowd had been driven to long ago. However, set times meant that this clashed with Luke Vibert, so it was with some amount of regret that I tore myself away from the captivating chaos of the Rat Alley to dive straight into the main room action. It was equally as deranged.
Luke Vibert served up a spell-binding set, laced with the ever-simmering presence of acid. Flirting around a range of genres, he ensured that that seductive gurgle of 303 was never too far away. The darkened dancefloor was a sweating, heaving mass of enthralled bodies, as Vibert manipulated the sounds with subtle tweaks and flurries that drove them ever closer to delirium; if you know that exhilarating tingle you get when a bead of sweat unexpectedly traverses its way down your back, then it was like that, but for two hours straight! As the set advanced, it became ever more impassioned, until, by the end, both Vibert and the crowd were locked into a furious furore of a devilish drum ‘n’ bass track that brought proceedings to a suitably climactic close.
In case you’re unsure at this point, that was absolutely magnificent! The various artists all turned in incredible sets and the crowd was with them every step of the way. Much love and many thanks to UpItUp and all involved for a exceptionally good night that will live long in the memory. It’s a crying shame that that’s the last one at The Kaz, but, my word, that is how you go out with a bang!