Huxley – Mickey Pearce
The Hold, The Shipping Forecast
Saturday, 11th August 2012
When it was announced that Abandon Silence would be collaborating with Selective Hearing to curate a stage at Mifest, the biggest surprise was that they hadn’t done this sort of thing more often. The likes of Eliphino, Joy Orbison and young heavyweights Bondax made it one of the best dance line-ups of the summer, only increasing the disappointment when it was cancelled due to bad weather and a “less than friendly local council”. In a remarkable turnaround, the three days were divided across three venues in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool for an astonishingly cheap £7 per night.
Swamp 81’s MICKEY PEARCE gets things started, easing us into the evening with the sharply programmed drum sequences and lurking bass lines that has had recent 12’’ Don’t Ask, Don’t Get on repeat all year. Midnight passes and The Hold is already overflowing, with door staff turning people away in their dozens and kids literally leaping over the gate to get in (seriously, one guy actually did this, people clapped and cheered and I’m pretty sure we all hugged). Make no mistake; a sell-out for a local night outside of term time is mightily impressive even with the help of MiFest and Selective Hearing. Next up is Tsuba’s HUXLEY, whose unique blend of UK Garage and Contemporary House has seen him become one of the UKs most sought after producers this year. Within minutes of his set it’s easy to see why, launching into highlights from the brilliant Out The Box and Let It Go EPs, shaking The Hold to its core with some robust baselines and layers of infectious synths and abrasive percussion.
Last up is BODDIKA. Now on his own after he was originally scheduled to play b2b with Joy Orbison, the London based producer had a lot of hype to contend with. Any fears were allayed as he responded with one of the best sets Abandon Silence has ever seen. Being surrounded by 200 revellers punching the ceiling with excitement has become a well-earned tradition for Andrew Hill’s night, but it has rarely seen anything like this. In the midst of all the chaos, Mickey Pearce and Huxley stand alongside Boddika in awe at the atmosphere they have created. Its far too hot, you’re drenched in your own sweat and the lad next to you has knocked his third beer over your new shirt and it’s impossible to care. As the crowd erupts in “Boddika’s a Scouser” chants (still trying to work that one out), the night comes to an end and the exhausted crowd drags themselves back up the stairs and back to reality. This was unbelievably good.
This is what you get with Abandon Silence. Whether its Julio Bashmore, Boddika or just the residents, everyone is there to completely lose themselves in the music and dance themselves into the ground. With “big changes” promised for the new season, it seems inevitable that it will outgrow its current venue. What’s certain though is that no matter where it is, it will take all those hundreds of beaming faces with them. Local producer Mele recently called it his favourite night in the world. Not going to disagree with you there, lad.