Over the last few years Circus has built up a formidable reputation for itself, consistently selling out venues and hosting world class artists. Tonight was no exception, the owner of Circus, Yousef, played after the massive Heidi in the main Theatre stage, and the Loft was hosted by Defected In The House, the events arm of the UK label Defected.
The Theatre stage of the East Village Arts Club was absolutely rammed all night long, ravers flooding the stage at various points to the delight and/or dismay of the artists.The upstairs Loft area was less jam-packed, allowing from some space for serious shape-throwing and dancing without the too much of somebody else’s testosterone (and I can only assume) steroid flavoured sweat forming upon your lips. This weirdly gross detail was pretty much ignored by all, and perhaps enjoyed by some, thus not detracting from the overall enjoyable nature of what was undoubtedly a spectacular night.
Dubbed as one of the ‘go to events’ on the Northern clubbing calendar, I naively underestimated exactly how hard people are prepared to go to prepare for a night out. Walking into a room awash with partygoers far further into their night than I was, I was taken aback, peoples eyes already glazed, lost in their own bubble and controlled by the beat. Often there is talk of music ‘zombies’ but never has the phrase been more fitting when applied to this crowd, who took dressing up to a new level of scariness to the extent that I very nearly performed the only sort of movement unwelcome on a dancefloor (in so much as I practically poo-ed myself). Zombie is actually an awful comparison, as the lively, responsive and swift crowd didn’t really fit such a description in terms of their mood, which was friendly, in contrast to the sort of ‘braaaiiiiinnns’ atmosphere that the name suggests. Early birds hoping to miss out on a queue were disappointed, as the line to enter got shockingly large right at the start of the night, dispersing at a trickle as the stages filled.
Though advertised as a House night, I heard none of the sort of Disclosure brand House at all during the night, and instead a move towards the Techno roots, rather than Groove associated with the more poppy stuff. It being a Halloween themed night, it seemed only fitting for the music to reflect that, and it certainly did, with a creepy Trance-cum-New NRG vibe blasting utterly unapologeticly through the stacks. With it being the night that the clocks rolled back, there was utter confusion regarding set time, as of course at some point we gained an hour, though exactly at what point it happened, I still have no idea. In my case it amounted to an extra hour in the club (my watch said it finished at four) and a greater period of time spent appreciating whatever artist I was listening to, a blank canvas approach to music journalism. As a result any real criticisms I have of a specific artist shall be kept firmly to myself, for fear of misrepresentation; though it is safe to say I enjoyed everything I heard, albeit some of it totally unexpected.
What was really unexpected was the crowds reaction to the sort of late 90’s Thunderdome-esque Trance waves bashing through the air; people loved it. Donning a mask, or rubber stab wound, or whiteout contact lenses seems to liberate people from any pretensions that they may have about music, and to just really have a good time, pumping to the rhythm. Raving has been likened to mass meditation in the past, and this comparison held true. The hypnotic element to the dancefloor let people drop their barriers, allowing for closer knit dancing, which got to the point of a crush, smaller girls being saved very graciously by obliging lads. Sharing drinks, cigarettes and conversation freely, there was a social aspect to the massive event that is typical of a much smaller night, a sure sign of money well spent.
From a student’s point of view, Circus doesn’t really compare to the other sell out events on in and around concert square, blending tons of character in with the popular music, exhibiting flare found in few other ‘faceless’ nights. I personally had a blast, shout out to everyone I chatted to and helped make a great night better. Big up the artists and big up Circus for pulling off a top event.