For about a year and a half now the Beatnik team has been taking over Joshua Brooks for one night a month to throw us a party that always delivers on the quality of music, exposing you to some of the best up and comers in the house and techno scenes from Manchester and beyond. They do this whilst still managing to give you that drunken, sweaty euphoria vibe that keeps the crowds coming back. On the night I spoke to one of the guys behind the whole night and he said they definitely try and place a strong emphasis on the quality of music, but of course they want to create an atmosphere where people can let loose a little. There are a lot of house and techno nights in Manchester now and revellers have their pick, from the absolute let your hair down vibe the Meat Free girls throw out, to the mammoth guests Selective Hearing are able to draw in, we really are spoiled for choice. I do honestly feel that if you’re a real house and techno-head you should get yourself down to Beatnik’s next party and see what their throwing out.
Last Saturday was a very last minute affair and as such we didn’t arrive until about 12.50, given this we missed the first two acts, Danny Phillips and resident Miss B. I don’t want to harp on, but Beatnik feels like it’s the kind of night where you could get there early to check out the support acts because the music is going to be of a high quality all night.
We managed to settle down by about 1.10, in time to watch local boys Freeman and Farrelly do their thing. The warm up acts had clearly done their job because the crowd was already going hard and the boys did not disappoint. Watching them it’s clear to see that they’ve developed a serious chemistry over the years. They played the crowd extremely well, they knew when we wanted to stomp our feet and knew when to cool things off a little. What was more interesting however, was watching the developing competition between the two of them. They were both extremely animated on stage and it appeared as if they were going to battle with each other as much as putting on a show for us. They treated each other less as partners and more as respected advisories, something I’ve not really experienced before, and the result was a set that was so dynamic, so well timed and so enjoyable.
That song is a Freeman and Farrelly production, something else they also actively engage in and their knowledge of music clearly came through in their set. What was really evident however, was the unadulterated fun they were having. Perhaps it’s the healthy competition they’ve got going between each other or perhaps it’s their love for the music, either way the physical energy they were able to throw out was contagious and they had the crowd completely engrossed.
Following these two, was serious up and comer Sian Bennett who’s played at a string of quality nights in the past few months. Stepping up she couldn’t really contrast the boys more, their sweaty energy had been replaced with something far calmer and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. No disrespect to Freeman and Farrelly, but Sian Bennett absolutely stole the show. Her song selection was completely on point, I really haven’t seen anything like it in quite a while. The intimacy of Joshua Brooks combined with her track selection created the kind of atmosphere that creates techno-heads. And then she played this.
It was unrelenting belters like this that she threw out through the entirety of her set that had the crowd permanently flashing their bass faces in sheer delight. As her set rolled on and the night got ever hazier, she opened up more and started to engage with the crowd, the extra energy coupled with the madness she was throwing out from the decks gave way to one of my favourite performances of the academic year. By the end of the set she obviously enjoying herself and again you could see that she clearly loves the music she plays. After an hour and a half of unrelenting tunes, she drew Strike ‘U Sure Do’ out at just the perfect time to close the set on a high and close a thoroughly enjoyable night.
Venue: Joshua Brooks