While the Warehouse Project was obviously one of Manchester's biggest draws over the weekend of the October 15th, there were plenty of other parties to get stuck into across the city. Of the many underground events happening in the city centre, Drop The Mustard's third birthday boasted one of the more alluring lineups, assembling artists from labels like Hot Creations, Visionquest and Hotflush. Birthdays are always an excuse for promoters to ramp up their events and attract larger crowds than usual, and this was no different. Held at Sound Control, right next to the city's Oxford Road train station, M.A.N.D.Y. and Benoit & Sergio were locked in as headliners, while rising talents Richy Ahmed and Alexis Raphael were among the other names on the bill.
The club itself, though unassuming on the outside, is relatively big with three floors of music running all through the night. Upon entering, The Basement was steadily building up a nice atmosphere with local talent Indigo on the stage. The Basement is split into two, with a bar acting as a partition in the centre of the room. Upstairs in the middle room, or The Bar as it's known, was where the most people congregated—mainly because the club's main entrance leads into this room. By around 12:30 AM, the top level, The Loft, was just about to be opened, and, as soon as it did, most of the punters in The Bar zipped up the stairs to where Alexis Raphael was starting. The dance floor soon filled out and, in contrast with The Bar, which appeared to be the club's chill out zone, The Loft was a full-on party from the get go.
Raphael made his intent clear from the off, throwing down a selection of tracks that brought about a sea of fist pumps each time one was mixed in. The energy levels were high and the atmosphere friendly and warm, with no chin-strokers to be found. By the time "System Crank" by Wildkats & Russ Yallop brought his set to a close, Raphael had helped the room descend into a sweaty mass of bodies. With that, the night rolled over perfectly to Benoit & Sergio, a duo who have made their mark this year with quirky, catchy house music. Drawing the biggest crowd of the night, their show was easily the highlight. Sergio swigged vodka from a bottle and shared it with a few lucky people in the front row, with crowd interaction, sing-a-longs and even a stage invasion by one plucky young lady all adding to the atmosphere. Supported by their trusty back catalogue and some new productions, they included their own "Revolution 909" into the mix, making for a thoroughly enjoyable hour-long set.
Richy Ahmed followed straight afterwards with another impressive turn on the decks. Carrying the likes of Maceo Plex's "Stay High Baby" in his arsenal, he had no problems maintaining the room's energy level. Meanwhile, down in The Basement, Get Physical duo M.A.N.D.Y. were firing off some rolling techno to a slightly more spacious dance floor than the one upstairs. Undoubtedly though, wherever you were in Sound Control that night, it was a very happy birthday all round.