High Hoops at Hidden Manchester: Review

Hidden is a club that has gone from strength to strength in recent times, from winning ‘Best Club’ in the City Life Awards in 2015 to winning ‘Best Small Club’ in the DJ Mag Awards in 2016. The programming of the club nights have also been a breath of fresh air into Manchester nightlife – the majority of which has had a tendency to sometimes be a bit predictable and safe. The night I went to check out there was run by the ‘High Hoops’ clan, who were celebrating their 2nd Birthday with a pretty immense line up of both rising stars and seasoned heads. Here’s how it went down…

One of the only downsides I could find with the night was the queuing up at for 20 minutes to get in, but maybe that’s just me getting old! (and to be fair the security were doing a good job, it must be said). Upon arriving in the venue we wandered up to the ‘Blue Room’ as the main man Omar-S already had the room bouncing with his signature stripped-back and sexy house sounds. The room was pretty packed and it seemed that he had been a big pull on the line up for many punters who would eat up whatever he chose to lay down. A typically great set from the Detroit legend.

After a bit, I decided to head down to ‘The Den’ so I could catch Spencer Parker, the Berlin based Brit with a proper crate digger type reputation which has been built over the last decade or so. The only other negative I found with the night was that at 00.15, myself and my two friends were literally the only ones dancing to the beginning of his set. I understand that many people were here to catch Omar-S but I just found it a bit odd that we were the only people in the room listening to a renowned DJ of his stature. I almost felt a bit embarrassed for poor old Spencer! It wasn’t all bad though, Spencer played an excellent blend of disco and classic house sounds until eventually, the room did slowly grow to a decent level over a 45 minute period after which the tempo was raised a bit. (Yes, we are trend-setters!)

By the time we left ‘The Den’ there were probably 40+ or so people dancing the night away so I felt I could leave Spencer in their hands. We were then back up to the ‘Blue Room’ in which the massively packed out crowd had now thinned out whereby we found Willow laying down some absolute deep cuts. I had been very excited to see Willow after watching a live stream of her mix from Fabric’s main room earlier in the year and she definitely did not disappoint. Willow was playing quite a deep but also heavy house set, which at times got a little trippy, which I loved. The young Manchester lass certainly knows the way around the 1’s and 2’s beyond her years and she is definitely destined for a solid career in the house/techno world. I will be definitely seeing her again next month when I am down at the new London Printworks venue!

It’s not often you get to cross off two DJs who are high on your ‘to see’ list (Omar-S and Willow), but I managed to cross three off in one night! How often do you usually get to say that from a night out in Manchester? Other promoters, please take note. The third DJ I am talking about is the mighty Volvox, who was playing upstairs. Coming all the way over from Brooklyn, New York, it’s pretty fair to say she was packing beats. On her Resident Advisor profile it simply says ‘techno disciple’. I think after witnessing her in the flesh I am very much becoming a ‘Volvox Disciple’! Volvox’s approach to DJ’ing is exactly my cup of tea – groovy but at times banging and twisted techno. She definitely shifted through some gears. The set was definitely the highlight of my night and I found the transition from the earlier DJ’s house/disco sounds to the relentless, acid-tinged techno brought by Volvox was the perfect end to the night. High Hoops and Hidden, I salute you for putting on a blinder of a night. I will be back soon for more fun.

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