Image Credit: Chibuku Shake Shake
I hopped on a bus down to the Camp and Furnace after realising that every taxi company in the city was fully booked by the mass migration to Chibuku. It was a swift entry in to the venue and i grabbed a trendy German lager from the bar and headed straight for David Rodigan.
The vibe was undeniably positive and the combination of solar style strobes and reggae being played made it feel like a beach party with a roof. It was a perfect way to relax and jam after entering a fairly daunting space. Rodigan bounced around the stage in his trademark trilby with a towel hanging from his mouth getting everyone to sing the original dubby version of ‘Cheerleader’ by Omi which got two PULL UPSSSSS. The vibes continued and 30 minutes later everyone was skanking like mad (still singing along) to DJ Zinc’s 20 year old jungle remix of the Fugees ‘Ready or Not’. A credit to Rodigan for being able to curate such a switch up and a very positive start to the event.
I moved from the big warehouse space of The Furnace to catch the end of Leon Vynehall and get a good spot for Marcel Dettman in Room 3. It was a completely different vibe to the rest of the venue; a small and intimate room, almost pitch black with the occasional flash of blue strobe lighting.
Chibuku were somewhat cursed by their own success in booking such big DJ’s for room 3. The amount of people in the room caused not only some hassle getting through the crowd and finding enough space to dance but verged on dangerous at times with people falling to the floor from the jostle for space.
However, as Leon Vynehall drew to a close the room calmed down and opened up a bit. Marcel Dettman played an incredible set to a very responsive crowd. His set was full of driving bass-lines, acid and marching band style snare drums. The sound system didn’t quite have the weight on the low end to make those pounding kick drums really hit you in the chest so Dettman did very well at making sure the set was filled with more groove and high end throughout. In the confines and ambience of the room it worked perfectly.
I made my way back to The Furnace where I had spotted a sign for food earlier in the evening and sure enough there was a queue of ravished clubbers waiting to get a freshly baked pizza in order to refuel. I grabbed myself one and sat in the rear corner of the Furnace and enjoyed my dinner alongside my fellow clubbers. I looked around the expansive warehouse, full of sweaty bodies, eating trendy little pizzas, with DJ Randall blasting out jungle at 7:30pm. With a grin I thought to myself this is one of the oddest clubbing experiences I’ve had.
Everyone allowed themselves 10 minutes to let the pizzas go down before jumping back in to the crowd for the 2nd half of Randall. It was however, Special Request who won the jungle DJ battle that evening, moving smoothly from the neo-jungle pushed by the likes of Lee Bannon to incredible classics such as Doc Scott’s ‘Shadow Boxer’. He finished his set with half an hour of breakbeat techno dropping the BPM down a bit and paving the way for DJ EZ to follow.
Due to becoming slightly too engrossed in Special Request I had neglected to see Bicep headline in Room 3. With EZ and of course Maya Jane Coles both drawing the crowds in to the main warehouse spaces, I swam against the tide in to room 3. The duo were playing a great set and room 3 was more manoeuvrable now than it had been earlier in the night.
As I had spent most of the night showing countless people the line-up on my phone in response to them asking ‘When and where is EZ playing?’ I needed to see what all the fuss was about.
His technical skill and creativity with a pair of CDJ’s never does cease to amaze and like Rodigan he did an excellent job of bridging the gap between the recognisable and the underground. To a crowd of people who grew up in the noughties closing the night to an incredible remix of T2’s Heartbroken is a dream come true. The reaction was best summed up by whoever it was that started yelling in the words of D double E ‘Chibluku! Bluku!’ Hats off to that gentlemen.
It took a lot of guts from Chibuku to organise such an extravagant event and despite the inevitable minor issues around toilets and waiting for drinks they executed it better than I expected. Everyone looked exhausted as we left the Camp and Furnace, some made their way to the after party, probably still fuelled by the small slice of pizza they had stolen off a mate in room 2 a few hours earlier. For the many, it was off to bed after a wild, odd and very fun day in Liverpool.
Words: Rory Hughes