MIA @ The Warehouse Project 2010

Manchester’s Warehouse Project was in for an Annie Mac Presents night today with MIA heading an otherwise shrug-worthy line-up. But two days ago Ms Mac let slip that that shrug-worthy line-up wasn’t much to do with her. “Hello all, I’m sorry to say that the Warehouse Project on Saturday 13th November is no longer to be an Annie Mac Presents event,” she scribbled on her blog, “It’s hugely important to me that if you buy a ticket for an AMP show that you are getting a line up that I have personally selected. Unfortunately in this case I have not had sufficient involvement in curating the line up in order for me to call it my own.”

Emerging noisesters Sleigh Bells even added the seasoning to the news by cancelling as well. Luckily, MIA is still here to smash it. She takes to the stage to chants of “M.I.A.… M.I.A” in a rain coat, with her hood up over a yellow wig, to the sound of a dial-up internet signal and breaks into a remix of ‘Hustle’.

A couple of dancers join her, one of them, the star of her controversial Born Free film, with his demented, double-jointed dance moves, encourages the crowd to do the same. She goes on to play ‘Bucky Done Gun’ to the delight of her loving audience as she takes off her coat to reveal a 1960’s-styled, bobbed, yellow wig and flower-embroidered leggings.

Her set is seamless as the pleased as punch punters are treated to ‘Boyz’. With her petite yet powerful presence on stage she cries out, “Has anybody got any tequila?” as her dancers split some moves around her. She invites the front row on stage with her as she says, “I need somebody to get up here and party with me”.

In no time the stage is full of young MIA wannabes getting down to the sounds of ‘Paper Planes’. The fan-filled stage is part of the party for most of the rest of the set which includes the broken beats of ‘World Town’ and ‘Bird Flu’ but she leaves without playing her excellent new single ‘It Takes A Muscle’. The Warehouse Project go on partying through the night as Rusko among a handful of replacement DJs kick the caves apart.

Organisers did their up most to make this event work despite being let down by the night’s ‘no shows’. Their northern endurance pulls through once again as we witness one of the best gigs this side of the tracks.