Throughout history, Manchester has boasted one of the most vibrant music scenes in the world. From northern soul and punk in the 1970’s and the warehouse raves in the acid house-tinged 1980’s to Madchester and ultimately the Manchester club scene in the early 90’s, this city has always been a world leader. But it has never quite reached the peak of its acid-tinged heyday…until now.
The Warehouse Project is a series of nights held over the space of three months in the basement of Piccadilly Station. Reflecting the city’s raw energy, this venue is stripped to its bare bones with a red-bricked, dungeon-like exposure, adorned only by lights, 3D screens, some of the world’s finest musical talent and thousands of ecstatic revellers, turning the underbelly of Manchester into an underground play pen for the ‘avin’-it generation. For one night only the inimitable Boys Noize and his Boysnoize records crew take over the Warehouse Project.
Virtual Festival’s first night in town sees another sell-out show as the queues stretch around the station, pretty convenient if you are arriving by train. Packed to the sweaty rafters in true rave style, the line-up is shared between two main stages, opening with DJjedronic on the main stage and Andro warming up the other room. As the crowd pour in, DJ Feadz takes to the main stage as Shadow Dancer pulls in more of the crowd respectively. It seems that while the two rooms are essential, the smaller one doesn’t quite kick it off as most of the crowd are now fully charged in anticipation of Fake Blood who is about to take on the main stage for the next couple of hours. There are big cheers as he drops his remix of ‘Stuck On Repeat’ by Little Boots and the set grows from there on in as the atmosphere reaches fever pitch when he plays ‘I Think I like It’ and the crowd go ballistic. He leaves the stage to adoring shrieks as Boys Noize enters and blows the roof off the place with Alex Ridha’s take on techno.
A superb night and a return to what this city is famous for, as we are eager to return in a couple of weeks for a live show by Doves, Field Music, Steve Mason and Hacienda veteran DJ Mike Pickering.