A party soundtracked by obscure funk, filtered dub electro and deep house. A venue more suited to drunken karaoke. Two girls limbo-dancing under a piece of god-knows-what held up by their unsteady cohorts. Suffice to say, Naive Melody's Bank Holiday celebration followed few rules.
Inside, decorations of shimmering tinsel strips and balloons with blinking LEDs adorned the tiny space. With ample seats scattered around the dance floor, you could have easily mistaken it all for some twisted wedding reception. As the bar queue revealed itself to be non-existent, or ultra-efficient at worst, the piles of silly string scattered around confirmed that the party poppers had already been used. Still, the night was yet young.
With the clock past midnight and the guest on the decks, an expectant crowd prepared for a night with a legend. From Madchester to Sabres of Paradise, Two Lone Swordsmen and Nine O'clock Drop, Andrew Weatherall has helped to carve and craft more music than most, and everyone inside wanted a piece.
Photo credit: Joseph T Denyer
Starting from near standstill, a selection of strange electronic sleaze dominated his opening hours. Impossible to truly pinpoint, it was a dark, atmospheric sound befitting a man whose fingers have found themselves rooted in the heart of so many flavoursome pies. Couch house, electro funk and disco breaks are the closest descriptions—yet none seem accurate enough.
The bizarre, Broken Flowers soundtracked, Aeroplane remixed "Yegelle Tezete" by Mulatu Astatke perhaps provides the best example of what went down. An afrobeat jazz roller such as this could only really be worked by Andrew Weatherall and, somehow, worked it was. DJs that cater for many tastes risk leaving some wanting. But those who did feel restricted by the laidback pace and relaxed rather than relentless music policy finally got the solid beats they'd been expecting. The closing hour-and-a-half was a crisp selection of chugging four-fours that contrasted well with the overriding sound of the night.
Even so, the punchy house and tech rolling from the soundsystem all wore the stereotypical Weatherall warmth, keeping the dance floor thoroughly rammed until close. As 4 AM rolled in and the hordes moved towards the door, only two questions remained: "What was that music?" and "How did everyone get so disgustingly sweaty?" The answer to both is the same. Andrew Weatherall.