Sandy Rivera and the infamous “Finally” just go hand in hand these days although I am sure the ultimate house maestro would wish to be remembered for other club classics such as “Changes, Young Hearts and Dreams”. As the driving force behind the hugely successful Kings of Tomorrow the legend of Sandy was out to make a welcome return under the Defected label eager to unleash his prolific talents onto the dance floor.
Well you will just have to wait and read on to see whether this house don delivered or not to the audience of Tank. Before I continue I will briefly like to mention yet again that promoter Strangey and his team come across professional and genuinely want to see the punters through the door having a good time. So from the venue to the staff to the sound system, again I have no complaints. For those smokers of you out there, I can announce that you are now allowed to smoke upstairs, still no downstairs smoking. If you attempt to proficient security staff will be on your case immediately.
Arrived at about 11.30 pm to a pretty full crowd upstairs at the main bar with a few here and there dancing to the beats of Graham Cordery who was playing down stairs to a closed off dance floor. For me this was the first time I had come across Graham and I was disappointed that someone with such an ear for soulful house was playing to an empty floor. My friends and I were chomping at the bit to get down and dirty but were informed that the downstairs did not open until midnight. No, I say, what were the Tank crew doing to us? Graham was playing such old tunes, such as Jazz N Groove Prime Dub mix by Arnold Jarvis “Special Kind of Love”, that bring back such good memories so to be this far away from a dance floor and the DJ himself was sacrilege. Point to self, must raise with promoter.
Midnight came and went and the dance floor became pretty packed quickly gaining momentum and the vibe was fun and uplifting. One of Tank’s favourites and resident Alan Thompson (DTPM) hit the decks to a crowd eager to start the party off for the weekend. There is no doubt that Alan is from the old school and I for one was happy to see some vinyls still being played. As ever Alan never fails to give the punters a good time and with the ultimate crowd pleaser of the moment (although I would say on the verge of market saturation personally) Bob Sinclair with “Love Generation” the dance floor was without question well and truly ripped up.
Moving into the Lounge, local favourites Homegrown along with friends would be playing on the decks and working the room and crowd for the entire duration of the night. The room was fairly empty throughout the night however the guys always knew how to get everyone having a good time playing old club soulful tunes. During this time I managed to catch up with Tank’s promoter, Strangey and pulled him up on my disappointment that the Front Room did not open until midnight. Paul went on to explain that a conscious decision was made to keep downstairs closed in order to get everyone pumped up and ready to party. Fair point or not I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.
Back into the Front Room just in time for the one and only Sandy Rivera aka my hero. Sandy is such a down to earth guy it’s easy to see why he is so respected amongst his peers and industry. The man has played court to so many people at so many venues around the world including festivals that this highly acclaimed DJ was ready to make his mark to such an intimate club environment.
The crowd went crazy as you would expect and I somehow managed along with my friends to push myself to the front of the dance floor to quantify myself as numero uno fan and of course to see again first hand the effortless style that is Sandy.
The entire set seemed to me to last for about five minutes and not the two hours as booked for. All the classics were indeed played. Would he have been forgiven if they had not? I am biased as you can no doubt tell and Sandy is truly as much a part of house as house is as part of Sandy. Yes he was great as usual but that little spark of something special could not be seen and perhaps I have high expectations and perhaps I am awaiting for another “Finally” but all said Sandy is still King.
The night passed quickly and unlike the last occasion this reviewer pretty much snuck off after Sandy had finished but did leave in her footsteps some other die hard fans of Sandy’s on the dance floor – you know who you are – they certainly helped to get the crowd a pumping.
So overall I had a good night, still love Sandy and I certainly was not the only one. However the venue was not as full as on past occasions but then whoever was down to play the night before the Good Vibrations festival would always be a risk to get punters through the door. That said, keep up the good work Tank and looking forward to my next visit.