Event: Chow Down with Parris Mitchell

Dance Mania stalwart Parris Mitchell headed into Manchester’s Soup Kitchen for an eclectic mix of tunes from around the world…

Genre-hopping like there was no tomorrow, Mitchell cut a surprisingly stark figure behind the decks, yellow headphones and a hunched back, his whole body was moving to the music and he was an inspiration to watch, completely absorbed in music.

As to be expected from the ghetto house pioneer, beats were a theme of the night, body rocking going on for the majority of his set. Safe to say that the room exploded when Dance Mania classic Paul Johnson ‘Feel My M.F. Bass’ dropped, for the crowd who had obviously come for that traxx injection which doesn’t happen often enough in Manchester.

After a hit of acid house he jumped straight into Ram-Jam’s ‘Black Betty’ and as everyone was dancing to it, seemed like the most natural progression in the world the way he skillfully mixed one tune into the next. Of course with Mitchell’s established background one wouldn’t expect any less but when it came the song selection was on point.

He read the crowd as only the experienced/talented can, dropping in garage and some afrobeat, possibly William Onyeabor but I couldn’t say for sure. The crowd were some of the friendliest around, with everyone genuinely getting down and having a sick time, just moving to the beat or chilling at those amazing tables that quietly reside in Soup Kitchen’s basement next to the dance floor.

Parris finished at three after a blinding set, followed by DJ Croww who took the mood one helluva lot darker with grimey, industrial tracks (traxx) which was actually just what the remaining crowd needed. When music finished there were shouts of disapproval.

After seeing Parris it’s easy to guess why Dance Mania became so big in late 80’s early 90’s. Pioneering and loads of fun the tracks are perfect to dance to if you want to go all out and people were doing that. his experience and talent showed – felt at one point like we were doing a history of USA going through soul, taking it back to the old skool via acid house and trax – don’t think the Soup Kitchen knew what had hit it.

– Kim Kahan


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