Above & Beyond have played the Warehouse Project before but on Friday the production trio brought the entire family down, including their fledgling sister label Anjuna Deep, for a takeover at Manchester’s most famous clubbing institution.
Back at its “spiritual home” at Store Street, The Warehouse Project was treated to some of the most passionate and welcoming fans they’ll probably see all year. Rocking up at 11pm, despite the 10.30 last entry, we were greeted with a venue that was packed to the rafters. Guy J was on first in the main room and span a meak warm-up set from 10 until 12 before he made way for a headline slot from Anjuna’s founders, Above & Beyond.
Above & Beyond played for a generous two and half hours, taking in label classics, Madchester classics and, of course, a few choice trance classics. Highlights included Arty’s remix of London Grammar’s ‘Hey Now‘, alongside Madchester classic ‘Blue Monday‘ which both went down ridiculously well. Elsewhere Above & Beyond knocked out a variety classic staples such as an excellent rework of Cafe Del Mar’s ‘Energy 52‘, fellow label mate Ilan Bluestone’s ‘Tension‘ and fan-favourite, ‘Sticky Fingers‘. Their sets in the main are usually quite euphoric but due to the dingy venue Above & Beyond went fairly hard and it really paid off.
Room 2 was set aside for Anjuna’s Deep imprint and saw future stars Lancelot, Lane 8 and Jody Wisternoff, of Way Out West fame, all on fine form as they offered a counter to the brisk bpms and constant fist pumping of the main room. HBF favourite Lane 8 dropped his latest single, Diamonds Ft Solomon Grey, which is out today coincidently, and almost brought the roof down on room 2.
Anjuna’s greatest achievement since its inception in early 2000 are its fans and the label’s longevity; their fans are some of most passionate and friendly around, and if the label continues to diligently nuture them and its artists, Anjuna and its varying sound will be here for many more years to come.
Photography Sebastian Matthes