Review: W&W @ Rong, Venus, Manchester – February 10

By David Keane

Dutch tech-trance duo W&W, so-called presumably due to their forenames being Willem and Wardt, have been on a steady rise to DJ-glory over the last five years, and this was only consolidated with their move to Armin Van Buuren’s Armada label last year.

In the space of 12 months they have leapt from 71st to 36th position in DJ Mag’s Top 100.  And if you were still in any doubt, trance king Armin’s own words should quell your fears: “W&W are truly the rising stars of trance. If I have to put my money on somebody, I put it on W&W.”

So it was about time that the pair made a trip somewhere up north, and where better to make their North West debut than Rong at Manchester’s Venus club. James Rigby warmed the crowd up with an energetic set and Steve Arnold’s pumping trance with lashings of techno tossed in for good measure had those already on their feet at fever pitch come 1am.

Enter W&W.

It was something to behold. For a pair who are still not yet usually spoken in the same breath as the likes of Corsten, Tiesto, Armin or Emery, there was a real clamour about the place as they took to the decks. “I’ve been waiting for these to come to Manchester for aaaages,” and other variations could be heard all around. It seemed the whole venue had shifted into the main room.

The boys didn’t fail to deliver, and looked to be as enamoured by the rapturous crowd as the crowd were with them. Delivering a nice mix of some of their earlier productions alongside newer offerings from their debut album ‘Impact’, it was the record’s title track which really saw the place explode for the first time. The vocal-laden ‘Nowhere to go’ went down well too and provided a welcome break from the faster, techno-inspired grooves.

But the pinnacle for many, going off the tumultuous applause and sheer volume of hands in the air, was their remix of Tiesto’s Delirium ‘Silence’. It’s been a while since I’ve heard someone drop this in Manchester, and even longer since it’s been done so well.

Their set was wrapped up with their latest release ‘Invasion’, gloriously mixing euphoric synth with throbbing basslines, topped with one of the catchiest hooks you’re ever likely to hear.

Rong is one of the few events keeping trance alive up north, and Venus proved to be a great venue to host W&W, boasting a busy and bouncing dancefloor without being packed to the rafters, a nice layout with plenty of seating and an intimate set-up around the decks. Plus, you barely had to wait a minute to get served.

The sole complaint is that the headline act were only given an hour, when surely they could have carried closer to two. But being left begging for more is better than going on too long. And MM are now eagerly waiting Alex M.O.R.P.H’s visit to the venue in April… watch this space for previews and reviews.

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