Tourist is a relatively new fixture in the Newcastle clubbing scene. It launched last summer, with Optimo playing alongside residents Last Waltz, before putting on all night long A Love From Outer Space party last November. For their third event, they booked Daniel Avery, a man who has had recently had a lot of deserved critical acclaim for his 2013 full length, ‘Drone Logic’.
The event was Tourist’s debut in Warehouse 34, an industrial space in Byker best known for hosting Newcastle’s infamous Shindig parties. My best way to describe the warehouse, from previous experience, would have been ‘sparse’. Most parties there just use a makeshift bar, some lasers and a speaker system, and let the music do the talking. However, Tourist didn’t seem to be contented with that, and decided to do something a little different.
They hired a professional set designer and it certainly paid off, with foliage, great lighting and visuals behind the DJ booth adding life to the place. I arrived at around 12, and was also impressed with the makeup of the crowd. It was heavy with locals, along with a few in the know students. One thing that instantly caught my eye, or rather didn’t, was the lack of posers who seem to engulfing some of the more mainstream house events I’ve attended in the past year.
Upon my arrival the warm up DJ was playing a track that was essentially just a kick and a snare, but the functional music juxtaposed surprisingly well with the vibrant décor. While I didn’t manage to ascertain who was warming up, I was really impressed with their set. Usually my expectation of a warm up set is for something nice and melodic to ease me in to the night, but this set was the polar opposite. Heavy, functional club tracks were drawn for: it was undoubtedly repetitive but it also meant that the crowd was much more receptive to subtle changes in melody and rhythm. A great vibe was created from source material that, by itself, would have probably not been that exceptional, and in my eyes that can only be done by a DJ who really knows their shit.
However, despite the excellence of the warm up duties, the main reason people came was for Daniel Avery. Quickly stepping things up from the minimalism of his predecessor he tore through a high octane set of rave-influenced techno and house. He drew heavily on his own work, and despite Drone Logic working as a home listen, the songs sounded bloody excellent on the crystal clear soundsystem. He also picked a few choice cuts from other artists that matched his MO. I honestly didn’t recognise all but one of them, but that one was Tale Of Us’s anthemic ‘Another Earth’, which was met with exactly the type of euphoric reaction it gets at parties up and down the country every weekend.
The only slight downside to an otherwise excellent night was the 3am closing time. It could have really done with longer, and in the middle of an industrial estate it wasn’t keeping anyone up. But with the Newcastle City Council’s super strict applications for licensing apparently being not worth the hassle, you can’t really blame the promoters for this.
– John Hardy