Iconic Ibizan party – Glitterbox –hosted the official Manchester Pride afterparty at the Albert Hall for 2018, bringing with them a night of disco and decadence.
Originating from London, Glitterbox has grown into a world-class celebration with international allure. Last summer, Glitterbox expanded its fan base massively with their weekly residence at Hï Ibiza.
With their first Manchester party back in May selling out, and this one coinciding with Pride Weekend, we were expecting another epic party. Excitement about the return of Glitterbox had been gaining momentum with house-music lovers donning their loudest and most glitzy items to kick off the night’s proceedings.
Sequins at the ready, punters entered into Manchester’s Albert Hall welcomed by the iconic melody of Pete Heller’s 'Big Love (I’ve Been Saving My Loving)', suggesting that we were in for a night of sparkly shenanigans accompanied by the finest house and disco soundtrack.
An enticing line-up of Defected's Simon Dunmore, Hifi Sean, Julie McKnight and Roger Sanchez bred a crowd which is testament to the night's far reaching appeal; a younger, older, local and international hedonistic crowd was seen letting loose and connecting with each other through the musical selection of perfection.
The evening began with a show-stopping and glitter drenched warm up set from Hifi Sean, which left the crowd hyped up for what was still to come. Looking around, it was clear that the Albert Hall really was the perfect setting for Glitterbox, with numerous disco balls reflecting beaming lasers, you instantly felt at one with the concept. Towards the end of Hifi Sean’s set, the energy in the room was reaching fever pitch and we couldn’t wait for the remaining acts to show us what they’re made of.
Next up, it was the turn of Defected boss Simon Dunmore to entertain the crowds, who was joined by Glitterbox performers and the odd spontaneous confetti cannon. As expected, Dunmore didn’t disappoint and lit up the main room right from the outset. Both creative and diverse, he threw down classic after classic, treating those in attendance to his dance floor destroying funk.
There couldn’t be a more appropriate act to follow than Julie McKnight with a live PA. The crowd burst into song as she performed ‘Home’ which made for a beautiful highlight to evening. Of course soulful uplifting house tracks including ‘Diamond Life’ and ‘Finally’ were also belted out.
In a night which was blessed to be able to pit its billed acts as pioneers, the legend that is Roger Sanchez took the closing set. Armed with his crate-dug disco gems of the 90s, he delivered hit after hit, including Marshall Jefferson’s legendary ‘Move Your Body’ and the history-making Inner City’s ‘Big Fun’. Sanchez himself looked like he was having as much of a ball as the rest of us, smiling away whilst sound engineers and managers alike danced in the booth behind him.
Continuously increasing atmosphere levels throughout his set, he presented a performance defined by sophistication and authenticity. His mix of disco and funk-fuelled house littered with ingenious edits, re-touches and remixes had immense depth and were exquisitely thick and warm, lighting up what was already a very colourful night for an entirely up for it crowd.
It was one of those nights where we completely zoned out of real life and before we knew it the lights came on and it was time to leave. A packed crowd stepped out onto the streets of Manchester, absolutely everyone with huge smiles and smudged glitter on their faces which had sweat off from all the debauchery and dancing.
What’s so great about Glitterbox is that it is one of the few nights that actually succeeds in bringing back the “real disco” ethos of the past - great music, great lights and a spectacle full of all kinds of crazy characters happily dancing away together without any attitude or pretensions. It’s the party which feeds the soul of music-lovers who like to dig a little deeper, and we’re hooked.