Leftfoot and Shadow City presents Bicep, Hunee, Joy Orbison review

Hannah Brierley caught sets from some seriously good selectors at Rainbow Venues in Birmingham.

Becca Frankland

Last updated: 12th Dec 2016.
Originally published: 6th Dec 2016

Image: The Rainbow Venues Credit: Here & Now

On Saturday night Leftfoot closed their 2016 programme alongside Shadow City with one of the best Midlands line ups we'd seen all year. It was impossible to turn down the temptation of Bicep, Hunee, Gilles Peterson and Joy Orbison all playing in one night; this was guaranteed to be an impressive party. 

The queue was unsurprisingly long and by the time we made it into the warmth of Birmingham’s Rainbow Venues, Joy Orbison had began his set in the Warehouse. There was no messing about with this set, he expertly chose tunes that encouraged the mesmerised crowds to dance.

He’s no stranger to headline slots on big nights out and he often plays an eclectic range of styles flitting from thumping techno beats to more mellow lyrical tunes like 'No More' (Remix) by Sol 2 Sol and the brilliant Mike Dunn Blackball Ezee Mix of 'Take it Easy' by Gershon Jackson.

We then ventured into the Blackbox to witness Gilles Peterson at work. His unusual coalition of numerous genres; hip-hop, soul, latin and afro to name a few, gave the room a feverous carnival energy. 

Although the venue was busy, it was big enough to deal with the numbers. We enjoyed the freedom to move and quick service at any of the three bars. Hunee was next in the Blackbox booth, and with him came soul-infused musical bliss. His expert choices of joyful tunes never cease to amaze.

He took the odd break from mixing to dance along to his ridiculously infectious rhythms, like the funky 'So Much to Talk About' by New Love Ltd and Interstate 95. What was really great to see during this set was the lack of phones, the crowd were really enjoying the moment rather than trying to record the drops, something that is all too common nowadays.

Hunee tweeted following the event, thanking the room for the brilliant atmosphere and the ability the crowd gave him to really let go – there’s nothing better than watching a DJ get lost in the music. We left Hunee’s set, somewhat unwillingly, to watch big names Bicep blow up the Warehouse next door.

This incredible duo have had a monumental year and were probably the main reason the majority of people had decided to attend the event. They have managed to establish themselves as some of the most iconic DJs in the modern day music scene and they didn’t disappoint, blasting dirty techno to a room of writhing bodies.

Their now familiar bicep stamp pulsed in green beside the decks, whilst they flexed their musical muscles with total confidence playing tracks like 'Hydra Effect' – Bodyjack. There was a communal sigh of disappointment when their set ended, it was one of those nights that everyone wanted to carry on forever. A true musical masterclass from all involved. 

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