Date: January 1st 2012
Words: Dominic Citarella
Photo: Joseph Denyer
With New Year's Day being not only the final leg of The Warehouse Project’s 2011 season but also the final ever show at the Store Street venue, expectations were naturally high as this clubbing institution celebrated the end of what's been a spectacular era.
Unfortunately, a few blips in the build up to the night dampened spirits a little. Several of the artists on the original line-up had pulled out - notably Jamie Jones (apparently he was never actually confirmed to play), Tensnake and Davide Squillace. No set times were released before the 14 hour marathon began, and the promises of more food options than burger and chips didn't really seem to come off. However, these gripes were soon forgotten once things got going.
Despite an advertised opening time of 12pm, we decided to pace ourselves and didn't arrive until around 6pm, where we found Julio Bashmore mid way through his set showing us there was more than enough talent on the line up to keep us happy. The first major drop of the night was when he played ‘Battle for Middle You’. Judging by the crowd’s reaction, this is easily one of the stand out tunes of 2011. If you’ve been out clubbing in the last six months you will have heard the sound of 2012 is a blend of old skool mixed with new skool house and UK garage. Bashmore displayed this effortlessly throughout his set with underlying hip hop beats, no more so than when he mixed Mosca ‘Bax’ into Robert Owens ‘I’ll Be Your Friend’. Genius!
Up next was Maya Jane Coles, who in typical fashion slowed things right down pushing real deep basslines – and we expected no less. As much as I love Maya Jane I have to say the last couple of times I’ve seen her I have found myself getting; dare I say it, a little bit bored. Not tonight though. She played a perfect blend of deep melodic house with some big hitters to keep things progressing, dropping two more huge hits from 2011 in her remix of Little Dragon ‘Ritual Union’ and Maceo Plex ‘Fallin’. I was enjoying the main room so much I decided to stay and watch Pearson Sound despite knowing very little about him. He continued the UK garage theme by dropping none other than DJ Luck & MC Neat ‘A Little Bit of Luck’, which of course went down extremely well with the crowd.
After a well deserved break in the chill out area we headed back into the main room where Yousef had changed the whole dimension of the night into a party atmosphere. Drop after drop of unknown house beats got the crowd properly going. It's hard to say whether a remix of Stevie V's ‘Money Talks’ and Junior Jack's ‘Thrill Me’ could be credited to Yousef or Derrick Carter, as their sets blended seamlessly into one. Carter continued on the same route laid out by Yousef, keeping things really housey as the crowd moved into its 12th hour of partying.
Watch footage of Yousef's set below:
It is a testament to the man’s quality and fitting recognition of his position at the pinnacle of the house music scene for the last decade that Laurent Garnier was asked to play the final ever set at Store Street for The Warehouse Project. And I say this with absolutely no overreaction: it is possibly the best set I have ever seen live.
It was the kind of set you'd hear on Radio1’s Essential Mix, or from some club or festival you would never get the chance to be at. It seemed like every song was edited, mixed and remixed to fit perfectly into the next. He played a very progressive tech trance set including Radiohead ‘Everything in Its Right Place (Andi Muller remix)’, which was rife with pianos and sax lines. Of course one sax line stood out amongst the others in ‘Man with the Red Face’. The lighting came down and the room filled with a light layer of smoke as that famous line played through the old venue and united everyone. Perfect!
Despite the mix ups before the night it has to be said that the final night at Store Street was still an amazing spectacle of talent and the DJs really shone and stepped up to the mark.
Whether it's the portaloo toilets, the burger van in the smoking area or the unpredictability of the organisers, there is something very special about this venue. And I think I speak for a generation of Projectors when I say so long Store Street it’s been a pleasure!
Tickets are no longer available for this event