Warehouse spaces still hold their own in clubland, but over the past few years the rise of the alternative rave venue has been notable, with some jaw-dropping listed venues and unusual locations being utilised for dance music parties in the UK - Blackpool Pier is one of the most impressive of them all.
The sold-out show provided dance music lovers with three different areas; The Sunset and Terrace Stages hosting the more prominent acts whilst indoors, stage three was where you could find the lesser-known names. Since launching more than two years ago, the same team involved with Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse have been responsible for bringing some of the biggest artists to the Lancashire seaside resort, including Basement Jaxx, MK and Duke Dumont.
This past weekend provided another stellar offering. Shortly after arriving, we took our place near the Sunset Stage, with London duo Nvoy continuing the party and being the first of many to play the huge ‘Cola’ by CamelPhat & Elderbrook – a record which has been rooted to the number one spot in the Beatport top 10 for several weeks thanks to its infectious bassline and mesmerising vocals.
As numbers continued to flock through the gates, the pair continued to showcase their fondness of various different genres, unleashing one of Axwell’s most iconic hits ‘I Found U’ closely followed by ‘Instruction’ – the work of Jax Jones, Demi Lovato and Stefflon Don’s collaborative efforts.
Gorgon City were next up back over at the Sunset Stage and quickly had the crowd’s undivided attention when they played the instantly recognisable ‘Dancing (Again!)’ from Eats Everything. The duo, consisting of Kye Gibbon and Matt Robson-Scott, chose to remind the audience about their own triumphant production talents with records like ‘Ready For Your Love’ and ‘Imagination’.
Before their time in Blackpool came to an end they delivered the most captivating of climaxes, unleashing their latest record ‘Real Life’ to a sea of confetti – the track is a collaboration with Duke Dumont, featuring the sun-drenched vocals of California’s Naations.
Next up was Redlight, who sent the whole pier into rapture with the Lobster Boy remix of his most recent record ‘I’ll Be Waiting’. The Bristol-born musician then proceeded to take the crowd on a trip down memory lane, with ‘9TS (90s Baby)’ before going right back to 2012 by giving ‘Get Out My Head’ a spin.
After venturing over to Stage Three it was clear there was no break in the high-quality dance music offering. As we walked in Josh O’Malley was bringing the madness with a Curbi-enthused sound before Matt Cheeze and Mark Johnstone took over and ensured there was no break in the high-energy offering. The pair, from Blackburn and Oswaldtwistle respectively, selected records like Jax Jones’ ‘House Work’ before unleashing a bootleg of La Roux’s ‘Bulletproof’ to great effect.
Back over at the Sunset Stage everyone was preparing themselves for 30 minutes of craziness as grime artist Bugzy Malone arrived. The Manchester MC brought a dramatic change in the musical offering that had gone before, records such as ‘Through The Night’ and ‘Bruce Wayne’ provided a rowdy backdrop as the pier descended into darkness.
Sonny Fodera was the final artist to take to the decks. The Adelaide-born musician, who made his Pier Jam debut last year, started off by selecting the house classic that is ‘Jack’ by Breach. The whole of the pier then began to sing in perfect harmony to the tune of Gala’s ‘Freed From Desire’ before going crazy as Fodera’s remix of Rudimental’s ‘I Will For Love’ followed soon after.
It is safe to say the event proved to be another huge success and continued to reaffirm Pier Jam’s reputation as one of the most enthralling summer parties in the North West.
In less than two months the final instalment of the 2017 series will see the likes of Lethal Bizzle, multiple MOBO Award winners Krept & Konan and Simma Black label boss Low Steppa take to Blackpool’s North Pier. Tickets are available for Pier Jam Part Three here.