What does a night out look like following the debilitating effects of the coronavirus on the entertainment industry? For Manchester’s iconic Warehouse Project, it seems to be merely business as usual, with Covid passports simply a part of the entry procedure before you’re plunged into a familiar vast space of ethereal flashing lights featuring some of the finest minds in British music.
Having moved from its spiritual home on Store Street within an old air-raid shelter at the end of 2018, Warehouse Project attempted to relocate its rustic charm and subversive identity to the Mayfield Depot completing the move with varying levels of success. Whilst the project continues to attract some of the most promising names in world music, it appears to have left a segment of its rebellious identity behind in pursuit of an altogether more commercial future punctuated by mass crowds, rigid security measures and cosmic drinks prices.
Though, just for a moment, the Depot exposed a portal back to 2018 last Saturday, November 6th, when Homobloc took over the warehouse and curated an energising night featuring the likes of Hot Chip, Honey Dijon, Derrick Carter and Avalon Emerson. Scrubbed away was the layer of pretension that has often gathered over nights of the past, and instead, the Depot was engulfed with a spectacle of experience that well merged vibrant performances with eclectic visual extravaganza.
With a manifesto that outlines “a queer block party for all” whilst promising, “No fakers, mugs or thugs. Music is life. We are the late night disenfranchised and this is our church. Stay free”. Homobloc stays true to its morals, taking Warehouse Project back to basics whilst providing a celestial night of entertainment.
As always, the main event is reserved for the warehouse interior of the depot itself, lined with thick concrete pillars that mark out a runway toward the main stage of thunderous disco and house. Here, Horse Meat Disco, Hot Chip and Honey Dijon combined for a mesmerising three hours of disco and electronica, brought to life by a colourful on-stage performance that reached a pinnacle with Hot Chip’s ever-impressive collection of hits. This was wound down with the psychedelic, dreamlike sounds of Avalon Emerson, expertly exemplifying the energy of Homobloc itself.
Whilst it may be the allure of the bright lights of the vast Depot stage that attracts the most feet, it would be wrong to ignore the array of talent on show at the various other stages, both big and refreshingly intimate. Showing off a back-to-back performance of Saoirse and Jayda G, the high energy of the Concourse provided a spirited rival to the Depot, whilst the likes of Will Tramp! established the evening’s tone early on in the Plant Room.
With the arrival of Homobloc, the Warehouse Project accesses the heart of what has made it such a continued success, curating a unique mesmeric space that encourages exploration by providing several immersive spaces. Thankfully, the team at Homobloc will be back at the Depot soon, albeit with their smaller outfit, Homoelectric, appearing alongside Electric Chair, Repercussion and Warehouse Project to present ‘The Riot’ to welcome in the New Year on January 1st.
Find out more right here.