For the past eighteen months, Frontin’ has rocked dance floors across Manchester with their unique blend of Soca, tropical vibes and rum. Last Thursday at Joshua Brooks was no different, the promise of Hipsters Don’t Dance and the chance to see Frontin’ boss J Rus go B2B with long time collaborator Orfan, certainly did not disappoint. Sadly the Frontin’ team has decided to call it a day on their massively successful run of parties in Manchester. This news has of course been difficult to stomach but they certainly capped it off with one the finest and most enjoyable parties they’ve ever thrown.
Rolling in at about 12.45 there was hardly going to be any queuing issues, but Frontin’ boss man J Rus was on the door and informed us that it was heaving downstairs. As we got down into the dingy sweat box that we all know and love as the Joshua Brooks dance floor, Hipsters Don’t Dance already had the crowd going hard. This late into the term it was a bit busier than I had anticipated but the quality of music that was on display the whole night most certainly explains why people came out in full force. Soon after we settled in to our spot on the dance floor a few tunes came on in quick succession that really captured the essence of Hipsters Don’t Dance and the set they were playing. Ghanaian artist Itz Tiffany’s ‘SPANNER’ was followed by Trinidadian Patrice Roberts’ ‘WUKKING UP’. The diversity of sources they were drawing from and the range of tunes and vibes they were able to throw out through their set was a genuine treat to listen to. They played ‘BRUK IT DOWN’ by Mr. Vegas which is an absolute favourite of mine and needless to say I went absolutely crazy.
As a team they were extremely dynamic, they clearly bounced of each other well and managed to maintain an amazing energy the whole night. You could see them dancing and singing along behind the decks as they waited to switch around and you could tell they both had a deep and genuine love for the music. A highlight of the night and the defining moment of their set came when they dropped Kyla’s ‘DO YOU MIND’, by this point in the night the whole crowd was in a pretty euphoric and sweaty state and then frontman MC Darka reached over and scratched the whole track back to the beginning. This set the crowd off on an absolute tear and the duo from London responded in fine fashion by dropping the guilty pleasure that is T2’s ‘HEARTBROKEN’ before throwing out a fiery remix of ‘DUTTY WINE’ and finally closing by coming back to Kyla’s ‘DO YOU MIND’. An absolute killer way to end the set and it really did have everyone in Joshua Brooks waving their arms in reckless abandon.
As they handed over to J Rus and Orfan I could see the happiness coming from everyone who was up there behind the decks, these guys are all genuine lovers of the music and that really came through in their sets. As a team J Rus and Orfan worked together seamlessly, just like you would expect from a duo that have been going B2B since the Frontin’ Red Rum days. By this point in the night things had naturally gotten a little hazy and the crowd did start to thin after about three, but I distinctly remember Donaeo’s ‘PARTY HARD’ coming on and re-energising the shrinking crowd. On the back of this Orfan threw down a solid twenty minutes near the close of the night that was completely unrelenting and had everyone in the club throwing themselves around like excitable children, it was tropical fun at its finest. It was sweaty, it was loud and it was brash and at that point in the night the atmosphere was totally electric. Just before the close of the night Michael Jackson’s ‘PRETTY YOUNG THINGS’ came on and absolutely everyone was beaming with excitement, a sensational way to close the night.
As I mentioned previously, Frontin’ have decided to call it a night on their parties in Manchester, knowing this certainly makes the memories of last Thursday a little sweeter. It wasn’t the longest run in Manchester’s club scene but for the short time we had them, the Frontin’ team threw parties that were genuinely about the music and about getting back to basics and having fun. Last Thursday followed that mantra perfectly and their monthly parties will be sorely missed for sure.
Venue: Joshua Brooks