Eclecticism and ecstasy by the spoonful, Annie Mac brings the party to Liverpool once again. Getintothis’ Stephanie Heneghan loses her bearings.
It’s the penultimate Chibuku of 2011 and far from winding down for the end of the year, tonight’s offering is as eclectic and exciting as always.
The buzz in The Masque seems more heightened than usual and it’s predominantly down to one name on the posters – Miss Annie Mac.
Since taking over the prestigious Friday evening dance slot on Radio One from Pete Tong, she’s made a name for herself in the industry as someone who is unafraid to take risks and break new artists across a wide spectrum.
Her fanbase has steadily grown and it’s quite clear from eavesdropping on conversations as I wait in the queue (although I’d argue it’s not strictly eavesdropping when they talk THAT LOUD) who the majority of the crowd are here to see tonight.
Before we get round to her set though, there’s the small matter of the rest of the line up. In the bar, DJ Monki is bringing a splash of Rinse FM to Liverpool, with heavy basslines playing a large part in proceedings while upstairs Subfocus is setting down beats in his own inimitable style.
Later on in the evening Sir David Rodigan is being welcomed back after his much lauded set last year entered Chibuku folklore and I’m determined not to miss him…
Prior to that I head back down to The Theatre where Riton is being amazing and the mood is about as party as you can get.
Just as an aside, that’s the beauty of Chibuku. Despite growing from humble beginnings into a well respected name they’ve never forgotten the one element that can make or break a night – the crowd.
Over the last 10 years I’ve seen friendly nights morph into havens for scallies and music playing second fiddle to gimmicky VIP booths, both of which you wont find here, it’s the kind of inclusive atmosphere where you can merrily wander from room to room on your own and not feel intimidated or lost.
Anyhoo, Riton is proper banging out electro interspersed with flavours of Carte Blanche house, as the attendance in the theatre swells. As he hands the reigns over to Annie Mac, she makes her presence well and truly known by dropping Janet Jackson as her opening number.
From then on in, the Theatre is under her control and to put it bluntly… she frigging smashes it.
On record as saying that The Masque Theatre is one of her favourite venues to play at, in that dark sweaty room she leads the assembled masses through an array of genres – drum and bass, house, disco – but without ever allowing it to become fragmented or disjointed. Since Getintothis first saw her play four years ago she’s improved hugely, she’s always had the tunes but now definitely has the djing chops to back it up.
As her set closes, the lights go up and everyone starts trooping outside to start the unenviable task of trying to get a taxi home, we realise we were so engrossed in Annie Mac‘s set that once again I’ve missed out on seeing Sir David Rodigan.
So I’m ending this with a request to Chibuku – book him again please, and third time lucky I’ll actually get to see what the fuss is all about.