Just when it seemed that The Warehouse Project organisers had exhausted their seemingly bottomless contacts books for the final run at Store Street, they pull another rabbit out of the hat, Paul Daniels style.
Tonight disco legends Chic hit town, with frontman Nile Rodgers in tow. While Store Street is perfect for a clubnight, its cavernous car-park interiors do not immediately seem ideally suited to a band. But when that band is Chic, such considerations are entirely frivolous. This is music to hearts racing and toes a-twinkling.
Techno don Jeff Mills was scheduled to play tonight, but cancelled at the last minute. With DJs often playing many separate events in one night, this is not entirely surprising (I’ve still not forgiven Zombie Nation for missing his flight when I was meant to be seeing him in Leeds).
But Chic are electrifying, and more than make up for any disappointment at Mills’ non-arrival. ‘Everybody Dance’ gets the crowd going, while ‘I Want Your Love’ demonstrates perfectly how influential Chic were to the development of house music, not to mention the disco-inflected rock of The Gossip or The Rapture. They sign off with an exhilarating ‘Le Freak’, featuring Manchester’s own Johnny Marr.
Simian Mobile Disco’s DJ set leans heavily on the harder sounds of their recent Delicacies EP, a move away from the indie-electro of Attack, Sustain, Repeat, Decay to some serious menacing techno. The crowd laps it up regardless, thousands of dancing bodies sweating in unison.
While the mass majority of the crowd are here to see the headliners, Mancunian Matters does, as always, make his way to room two to check out resident beatmeister Krysko spin some seriously mesmeric house.
As we head to the 24-hour McDonalds, our sweat-drenched shirt hastily drying in the frosty northern air, we can only conclude that The Warehouse Project seems to be raising the bar higher and higher – there’s going to be a sense of mourning among Manchester’s dance community if they don’t come back one Store Still finished on New Year’s Day.
Photograph courtesy of Warehouse Project.