Review: Hospital Records crew brought their 'A' game to Manchester's Albert Hall.

Photo: Jack Kirwin
I don’t think I've ever been to a Hospitality night and been disappointed – and last night was definitely no exception. With a line-up of never before seen b2b acts, the night had the crowd hooked from start to finish.

Photo: Jack Kirwin

Opening set of the night went to relatively new Hospital Records signings Krakota and Reso who got the crowd bouncing around with a great blend of darker, techy drum and bass and some old school favourites- everyone went absolutely mental (including the MC, Inja who had bucket loads of energy and kept jumping all over the stage during his time on stage) when Super Sharp Shooter was dropped, and they ended on Shy FX’s Original Nuttah.

Next up was Logistics b2b Lynx. Now I’ve got a proper soft spot for Logistics and I’d never seen Lynx before so was dead excited about what they would bring. I was not let down. Combining Logistics incredible selection and Lynx’s fast past mixing, I don’t think anybody was standing still for the full hour they played. Highlight of their set had to be when an absolutely brutal remix of Noisia’s Diplodocus was dropped and the room turned into a giant mosh pit.

Then the main acts of the night stepped up to the decks and we were graced with the ridiculous b2b combo of High Contrast and S.P.Y. I love both of these guys – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen them play, so seeing them together was pretty much as close to heaven as you can get in Manchester city centre on a cold night in February. A hefty combination of High Contrast’s cheeky bootlegs and classic sing-a-long tunes, with a sprinkling of S.P.Y’s liquid rollers meant this set was my favourite of the entire night (especially because High Contrast played my fave track ‘The First Note is Silent – the one with Tiesto and Underworld) and S.P.Y played a mash up of DJ Marky’s LK and TLC’s No Scrubs – as it turns out later 90s pop/r&b mixes superbly with drum and bass, if you were wondering! Wrec did a fantastic job MCing, as ever. He (as well as the rest of the Hospital MCs) always manage to find that beautiful balance between getting the crowd hyped and staying quiet to let the crowd enjoy the music. (Basically, they are the perfect MCs!)

It needed a stupendously good act to follow on from those two, and Etherwood and Spectrasoul were on top form.  Etherwood’s latest track, Amen Roadtrip went down a storm, featuring a cheeky Fatboy Slim sample and a rather delicious amount of percussion meant that the junglists in the crowd were kept happy. Both DJs were excellent selectors – and you can always tell if the DJs are enjoying themselves as I kept spying both of them dancing behind the decks whenever the other dropped a tune!

Now, Fred V b2b Grafix was absolutely mental. Usually around 2am a lot of nights start to
Photo: Jack Kirwin
take it down a tempo – not these two. They double dropped so many tracks in the first 10 minutes of their set (I lost count). One of my favourite things about Fred V & Grafix, and in fact, all the Hospital Records crew, is that they always play LOADS of their own tunes. Nothing better than hearing the crowd singing tracks back to the DJs as they are being played. I definitely caught my second wind during this set as they played loads of my favourite tracks from the past couple of years including some Sub Focus (hello Endorphins) and a load of tracks of their latest album.

Photo: Jack Kirwin
Rounding off the night went to Shogun Audio's Rockwell and RAM's Rene LaVice. I genuinely didn't know what to expect from these two so kept an open mind. Oh my days.  To say they tore the roof off the place would be an understatement! 3am and with a sizeable crowd still in the building, they decided to go in hard. Personal highlight for me was when they dropped Asteroids by Noisia & Prolix at half 3 in the morning and the crowd went wild – people jumping around, skanking, arms flailing. The crowd also loved hearing Rene’s latest track ‘The Calling’ (which is doing so well, currently smashing BBC Radio 1s A-List).

All in all, it was a fab night. Hospitality always bring their A game and last night was no exception. The only problem I ever have with them is that they don’t come to Manchester often enough!

Photo: Jack Kirwin

Andy C brings his All Night series to Manchester on 14th March. If you've not got a ticket yet, don't hang about!
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