The return of acclaimed DJ and producer Hunee to Belfast had been much anticipated. Made all the more poignant by the fact that it could be last time he'd play at a Twitch in the Queen’s University Belfast Students Union’s Mandela Hall, before it’s closure.
With so much hype surrounding the event, it was upgraded from one room to two. No surprise, as Hunee is defined as a crowd pleaser, renowned for his soulful house and melodic beats, with a track selection and talent for crowd-reading second to none, as his deep knowledge shines through his bouncy and very fun sets.
Hunee immerses his audience into an aura of house, disco, techno and everything in between as he takes you on an emotional and somewhat spiritual journey through music. Belfast crowds and Hunee perfectly complement one another; Hunee was ready to DJ and the crowd were ready to dance to whatever he was offering.
Opening Mandela Hall were the Twitch DJs, consisting of Phil Lucas, Matt Burns and Paddy Towe, who thrilled the crowd by playing Four Tets remix of Bicep’s 'Opal'. In the Bunatee, local DJs Mikey Johnson and Eddy Kennedy were playing all thing acid, from what I experienced in our brief venture in.
Spending most of our night at the front of the main room, waiting in giddy anticipation for the climactic arrival of Hunee himself. He stepped up at around 1am, and the crowd went wild. Removing his signature scarf, things got sweaty very quickly with him behind the decks. Opening his set with disco, and progressing into harder rhythms, hitting the crowd with 'He Who Harnesses The Souls' by Alessandro Adrians, he had the whole room completely entranced.
This night, much like many nights in Belfast, the DJ decks were at the same level as the crowd. Watching Hunee’s hands move and slide across the decks reiterated how much of an art and a skill DJing is, and we were completely in awe at what one man can do and make a crowd feel just through music, particularly when he finished on a vocal version of 'Ancora Ancora Ancora' by Mina.
Although Hunee and his immaculate DJ skills made the night special, we cannot discount the passion and fire of Belfast crowds in making the night what it was. From opening everyone was dancing and supportive of whoever was DJing. If it were not for the adoration and enthusiasm of Belfast crowds for events and music, nights like these would not be half as successful as what it was; no where else would you find as much charisma and joy in a club.