Throwback event: Paranoid London, Blawan

Paranoid London’s raucous live sets, featuring gravelly vocals of the behatted Muntado Pintado are memorable. When they were announced to play their first headline set at Manchester’s second-largest central warehouse space, Hidden, tickets moved fast. When techno’s golden child, Blawan, was revealed as support, they shifted faster. Surprisingly, even after the initial buzz, the event failed to sell out, which worked in punters’ favour as much-needed dancing space was readily available on the night.

We got into the venue when the P13 residents were on, playing drum-heavy techno, luring the crowd into a bass induced stupor. The die-hards had set their sights on the front so the top half of Room 1 was poppin’ already at the point, although the rest of the crowd wasn’t feeling it, leading to a noticeable divide along the room, with half stood chatting and the others foot-stomping.

Hidden’s punters for the night were a mix of Soup Kitchen regulars – the mellow ones who were ‘there for the music, man’ and the Sankey’s massive – the overtly made-up and drugged-up guys and gals, which gave the whole event a weird vibe. If you accidentally knocked into someone on the stairs it was a gamble as to whether they’d shout in your face or apologise profusely.

We headed below to Room 2 when Blawan was on and he didn’t disappoint, dropping Berlin-style stompers amidst a smokey room full of bodies who were there to see the Yorkshireman. Many of the crowd that I spoke to said they were just there for Blawan, so this lightened up the Paranoid London crowd considerably and worked well to disperse the masses.

paranoid maddy

Paranoid London captured by Madeleine Penfold

At 1.30am, Paranoid London came on upstairs in Room 1 and the charismatic, cowboy-hatted, Milato Pintado began to growl through the mic, accompanied by intense 303 action. Acidic phasers and intense zings would jolt the crowd like lightening as they worshipped the words of Muntado Pintado which were greeted by whoops, cheers and fist pumps from the crowd, unified as one for the whole hour of Paranoid London’s set.

A personal highlight was when ‘Light Tunnel’ came on, the incredible bassline and Pintado’s vox married to create an incredibly sleazy track became pure filth as he laid down the lyrics in front of the crowd which was left clamouring for more.

Hopefully, live acts will become more of a norm in electronic music, which has of late been somewhat lacking in originality. Paranoid London has shown us the vibe that live electronic acts can achieve. A set to remember.


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