!(feature_r)http://relayer.s3.amazonaws.com/articles/spreads/52b44950348b9a00020000c9.jpg!Ahead of the last parties in 2013 for Manchester’s clubbing series Warehouse Project, the organisers have been rewarded with a Best Club Series gong from the DJ Mag Best of British awards. They’ve welcomed 150,000 revellers through the doors of the Victoria warehouse over the last three months, but their New Year’s Day party will be the curtain call for the current space as they look to move to a new venue in 2014. There were difficulties to overcome from the opening weeks, but WHP has bounced back with an impressive series that notched up another hit when Bugged Out! took over with a three-hour headline set from The Chemical Brothers.
The clubbing brand has been around since 1994 and put together a line-up which reflected their long history of putting on nights of forward-thinking house, techno and electro while Feel My Bicep got to host room three. Our first port of call was in room two to catch one of the fresher faces: R&S Records’ Lone. He has developed a unique blend of the old skool with the new skool which his own productions, often switching from warming, modern synth melodies into darting analogue beats of the past. He dropped Outlander’s “Vamp” amongst tracks from Galaxy Garden to get the crowd pumped early doors and we were all set for some room one action.
Clarke was on his usual no-nonsense form, providing for the hardcore with few concessions for the uninitiated.
The vast main space at WHP was already heaving with barely space to move into a good position: Eats Everything was on stage, warming up for The Chemical Brothers. The Bristolian was also throwing the clocks back with a mix of Josh Wink’s “Higher State of Consciousness” eliciting a fevered response, but that would be surpassed by his timely, closing track “Nelson Mandela” by The Specials which created a mass singalong. It was perhaps not the tune The Chemical Brothers have ever followed before, however Ed and Tom were unfazed, launching into their big beat techno for the excited fans. The first two hours of their set was largely devoid of any Chemical Brothers tuneage, instead the duo giving airings to tracks they admired or just loved to play out.
By the time “It Doesn’t Matter” was reverberating around the room, they could do no wrong to the ears of the WHP faithful, though they perhaps went a Chemical Brothers track too far in their finale in what threatened to be more akin to a gig than a DJ set – closing tune “Star Guitar” was perhaps an obvious choice too. Yet the energy felt in the room made for one of those special atmospheres that are impossible to fake. We considered sticking around for Bugged Out’s long-term resident Erol Alkan, but unlucky for him techno baron Dave Clarke was in room two and we wanted some raw 4/4. Clarke was on his usual no-nonsense form, providing for the hardcore with few concessions for the uninitiated.