Throwback event: Selective Hearing presents Robert Hood and Sunil Sharpe

Venue: ‘Secret Warehouse in Salford…’

Date: 24th April 2015

Rating: 8.5/10

The spate of ‘secret warehouse parties’ continued with this techno blinder on Saturday, bringing Manchester residents to a small warehouse outside the city centre.

After Robert Hood’s visit was postponed in January, Manchester was crying out for the godfather of techno to pay a visit and on Saturday night he finally did. Also there was Irishman Sunil Sharpe, who’s been making waves in the techno world since his acclaimed release and Blawan and Pariah’s label ‘Sheworks’ and Selective Hearing residents Cleric and Reflec, both lauded names in their own right.

As soon as we arrived it was evident that this was the place – unventilated, the pounding techno was reverberating around the estate and we entered a little apprehensively, wondering if the sound was as good inside as it was out.

We needn’t have worried. Sunil Sharpe was doing his thing – heavy but with playful minimalist elements – with the aid of a hefty Void system at the front and smaller Yamaha speakers down near the back, making for decent coverage all the way through. So good in fact, I’ve made a mental note to invest in some earplugs!

When we got there it wasn’t very busy so we headed to the bar to get drinks. As it was a pop-up bar, serving only small Heineken tinnies, fruit cider and bottled water, we expected it to be about average Manchester ‘dingy club’ prices especially as we didn’t have access to running water. Nope, THREE POUNDS per water bottle! Tiny Heinekens were even worse at £4. Asking the bar staff why it was so expensive revealed that ‘the manager [of the warehouse] is a dick.’

That said, towards the end of the night many of us managed to cadge free water bottles, partially because no-one had any money left after spending everything on drinks…

Whilst those prices weren’t great, the music and atmosphere detracted from this downside.

The organisers put a lot of effort into making the warehouse feel intimate. With mesh covering the ceiling and smoke machines galore,  the feeling of an undercover event was amplified – just the what you hope for in a ‘secret warehouse party’.

Sunil Sharpe finished around half 1 and at this point the warehouse was full of wide-eyed techno lovers stomping away in all corners.

Then Robert Hood came on and people surged from the smoking area to the room as Hood’s brand of soulful techno signalled the start of an immense set.

Dropping heavy, hypnotic beats he drew in the crowd who were transfixed the entire way through, with the warehouse vibrating to the sounds of Detroit’s finest. A high point came at around 3am when the familiar tones of his Floorplan alias’s ‘Never Grow Old’ replant rang out and everyone in the place was jumping, bass-faces were making appearances the entire way through.

Not only was he playing heavier techno but Hood’s religious background was shining through as he mixed the vocals of gospel classic ‘Magnify His Name’…

Cleric played out for the final hour, keeping the remaining punters satisfied with a heavy, jaw clenching set as sweat dripped from the ceiling.

From the crowd’s point of view, the night definitely could’ve gone on for longer thanks to the atmosphere, surroundings and music they were pumped up, seemingly insatiable and eager to keep partying till dawn broke, testament to the efforts from the Selective Hearing crew and DJs.

They’ve raised the bar high. Let’s see if their next one can top it…


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