Saturday, 2 March 2013

Closer with Chris Liebing 6hr set Sat 23rd February 2013

Last Saturday myself and DSL took K-dubbaya out for her birthday. K-dubbaya loves techno. I met her at Lost about 10 years ago through a mutual friend but we only really became friends when she needed a cat sitter for a few days for her new stray cat pet that was preggers. I ended up with 2 of the kittens and a new techno chum who bonded over teeny paws and a summer of epic boyfriend troubles and wine drinking.

It was a special night as K- dubbaya barely ever gets to party these days. She works (quite a marvelous chef) and studies (what she can't tell you about your insides and food is not worth knowing) and to get her on a dance floor these days is a feat in itself. If she could be out with us every week she would be. But she can't, so she isn't and so Saturday we had to pack in as much dancing as humanly possible in 6hrs. It proved slightly more difficult to complete this task that anticipated given that there was some excellent music and three very willing participants.

I first saw Chris Liebing at CLR in an East London warehouse in February 2012. It was quite simply one of the best nights I have ever been to. The crowd was amazing, the music was awesome and I did not stop stomping for the entire night apart from one toilet break. I saw him again at The Sidings earlier this year for another great night out with TIR and AB and so when I saw he was due to do a 6hr set bang on KWs birthday I was pretty chuffed and bought us all tickets. I did in fact miss half of my a best friends hen weekend for this. After a day in the freezing cold tearing up dirt in Kent driving a Honda Pilot I left the ladies to go out and get very drunk whilst I came back to London for KW & for techno.

Now the tunes were amazing. I'm a tad wary of extended sets as it takes a special DJ to keep your attention  for that long. Adam Beyer has impressed me with a couple, Carl Cox delivered one of the best 7hr sets I have ever seen at Turnmills one boxing day a squillion years ago, Richie Hawtin - great though he can be - has failed to amaze me with an extended set. In fact I met DSL during a 6hr Richie Hawtin set at The End when I got so bored the only thing to do was drum up conversation instead. And at Sonar one year I buggered off from his set and went for a cup of tea. I look forward to seeing Richie amaze me one day - I know he can... I've heard the sets I've not physiaclly been at!

Back to the night in hand though... Liebing played a fantastic set. Pounding hard beats throughout - building momentum from straightforward four to the floor stomping through to more tribal rhythms, a touch of acid sounds and some great vocals. we bumped into Jammy who was on hand as TechnoShazam to tell me what we were listening to. Here is one of Liebing's tracks of the night:

All we wanted to do was dance dance dance. However, quite often it was all but impossible to move.

The place was packed and there was only one room. Arriving at midnight, we started at the back whilst the place was filling up. Great speakers at the back as well as the front and lots of space to move about. KW got straight to work annihilating the dance floor. Within an hour however we were surrounded by over-inebriated idiots who could not stand up without each other for support and one of which desperately needed to be facing the opposite way to everyone else and rub his butt on mine cheek to cheek. Now I know I can be easily irritated. I do try and keep a lid on it. I just kept dancing and hope that he would realise what he was doing and move a bit - after all there was space at that point. He did not have a clue and when I moved out of his way instead, he turned around as he stumbled backwards and hugged me with a big sweaty stomach to stomach bear hug that I really didn't want or appreciate. This type of thing happened over and over again and their group just got bigger so we moved to the other side of the room.

Here there were those annoying folks who decide that paying for the cloakroom is a no no, so instead they made a mountain of coats and bags that everyone trying to get past then falls over and creates merry hell. And so... onwards to the front.

From 2am to 3am we had a delightful hour of dancing and then at about 3am the place seemed to get even more full. And all the recent additions seemed to be pushing in down at the front by way of 20 person congas - in order to have a nice chat. It is at this point I decide I am never going to a night that only has one room ever again.

It was not a tea party. We were not there to have a chinwag. That kind of thing is for the bar, for the sides, for the back of the room. Not for the middle of the dance floor. We all converse here and there when we dance - of course we do! By all means talk to your friends, laugh, be sociable, have fun! But please do not all stand with your arms around each others shoulders shouting entire 20 minute conversations at each other so that the people around you can hear nothing else and keep getting hit in the face by your elbows. And it was everyone, everywhere. I moved so many times to find a new spot, had my shoes had mops on them the entire floor would have been clean.

It totally ruined the night for me. Drove me mad. I felt claustrophobic, irritated, cross and very very frustrated. In fact we left at 5am and missed the last hour of storming music from the amazing Mr Liebing who took no loo breaks and littered the decks with redbull and water bottles whilst delivering amazingness.

I've not been so annoyed by a crowd in a long time. Halloween Drumcode at Great Suffolk Street was almost unbearable but at there were other rooms to escape to if you needed a breather and chatty people had quieter rooms to go chat in. Had there been a second room at this Closer party, I think the event would have been excellent. A crying shame. At least K-dubbaya had a grand old time and we had a proper actual tea party at mine afterwards, with a new friend and no tea... just vodka... and lots of chit chat in its rightful place.

I am more than a little jealous of MT and TIR who went the night before to CLR in Amsterdam instead:

CLR Amsterdam Chris Liebing 22nd Febnruary 2013

Follow @abbisadventures and listen to

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