Hard Times has always been known as a formidable outfit, and is also widely regarded as the UK's first official US House night. And by god, the West Yorkshire soiree certainly put their money where their mouth is in terms of energy and sheer charisma on this showcase at the suitably legendary Leeds venue: The Warehouse.
For nearly 19 years the Leeds event has wowed with their bookings, and creativity in front and behind the decks. Drafting in the legendary producer David Morales was definitely keeping up with that trend.
Upon arriving at The Warehouse around midnight the dance floor was pretty much at its maximum capacity with around 800 party goers already stomping to the beat of trusted resident Jason Shaw. It's worth mentioning that although the event is 19 years to the good, the crowd weren't the obvious 30+ veterans; there was a certain mix of youth thrown in that knew their music. Jason was brilliant to say the least, adding his take on some old classics that we have always been accustomed too.
- Date: Sunday 3rd June 2012
- Event: Hard Times : David Morales (6 hour set) at The Warehouse
- Venue: The Warehouse
- Artists: David Morales
As it drew closer to the 2am mark it was nearly time for the main man himself Mr Morales to take centre stage. Glancing around the main room and through to the smoking area we passed at least five of the Hard Times fan-club all brandishing tattoos of the beloved shindig. It was a new thing to me, I had never seen that before and it just showed how far and how many lives this event has actually touched over the past two decades.
A t-shirt-less Morales had now turned up, and from the get go he seemed to puppeteer the audience to his every beat. A sexy and classic US vibe chugged through the Funktion One stackers, marrying with his ever so tight mixing. This was a 6 hour set like no other. Not one mix was botched and although this was obviously going to be different than a Laurent Garnier epic it certainly matched up to that in terms of track selection and inventiveness.
Adding to that, it had to be said that the crowd at the event were unbelievable. The energy and happiness created an amazing atmosphere start to finish. One group even arrived with a full Jubilee banner made especially for the occasion. The promoter even spotted attendees that were at the first birthday back in 94 - now that's commitment. Even Wales and London got in on the act as folk flocked from far and wide to see the show; a true testament to a ground breaking brand.
The 19th birthday will certainly be an event to get in the diary if this is anything to go by. And the Hard Times staff have not stopped there, having booked in another true house icon - Little Louie Vega - for their August bank holiday weekend soiree. You would be crazy to miss it.
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