Liverpool collective Cold Blooded are breathing new life into the city’s techno scene, Getintothis’ Mal Doonikan salutes the new noise at Haus.
Electronic music is of course no stranger to trends and genres suddenly being adopted by mainstream culture – 12 months ago you could have turned up to a Deep House night in some shed in Dalston, full of Vice journalists and vegan café owners instagramming pictures of each other.
Fast-forward a few months and three-hundred Ministry of Sound compilations though, and you could probably manage one every night of the week in Concert Square as DJ Dave or whoever conducts a sing-along to Dusky‘s edit of Don’t Go.
Techno, despite being around for decades, is also enjoying a bit of a renaissance culturally, with more and more young people getting into it on a level that is extending it beyond a cult movement. You can almost compare it to metal: it’s loud, abrasive and seemingly unlistenable to if you aren’t open to the idea. Those that revel in it though, do so because of the physicality of the sounds. These are noises that invade you and make you feel violated, inducing vibrations and sensations in your body that make you wonder what the fuck just happened. Or maybe I’m just overthinking it.
Tonight then, Cold Blooded – the newest clubnight to try and infiltrate the city’s club scene here in Liverpool – have coincided their launch night with one of the popular Free Haus events curated by Waxxx; the lease owners of this cavernous venue in the Baltic Triangle. It is certainly a wise decision, considering the hundreds of dedicated Waxxx disciples that regularly attend this fortnightly event. Even wiser perhaps, is the inclusion of Randomer – arguably responsible for the closest techno has come to a crossover moment with the thunderous Bring – as their inaugural headliner.
With a free entry policy before 11pm, the venue becomes as it usually does at Free Haus – a bit of a melting pot. The bar queue alone offers an interesting cross-section of Liverpool nightlife culture, with your Sunday league footballers who had been kicked out of BaaBaa for doing beak in the toilets and your third year students who thought that techno was what they heard on the Kevin and Perry Go Large soundtrack present in equal measure.
Warming things up, or well, you know, is Josh Hewitt, the founder of boutique club night Less Effect. His inclusion on the bill and general support for the event itself is a refreshing change from the gamesmanship and underhandedness that the city’s promoting scene is becoming dangerously associated with.
And his set, reverent to the evening’s theme, certainly does its best to coax a sparse and sober crowd towards the speakers. It can’t be an easy job though, being first on at a night like this. You can picture some sort of setlist arc mapped out beforehand saying something like: ‘Start hard, have a hard as fuck middle section, end fucking hard, question mark‘. Imagine if Plato was around today, he’d probably have given up on intellectual truth and instead tried to figure out how the fuck to construct a techno warm up set.
Thankfully though, when the time comes for Kevin – one of the founders of Cold Blooded and formally known as Greg Farley – to take to the stage, he has plenty more to work with. It’s easy to see that Kevin is a DJ who has spent a lot of time on the other side of the barrier, cheering and fist pumping each tune as if he can’t believe it just got dropped.
It certainly is an impressive display in the art of crowd-pleasing and set building though; especially when you consider that this is only the second time he’s ever played out. His energy is clearly infectious too, as football style chants of ‘Kevin! Kevin! Kevin!‘ ring from an audience who almost seem disappointed to see him leave the stage in place of this evening’s headliner. And with 500 gurning lunatics bouncing off the walls of HAUS already, Randomer is presented with an open goal.
Thunderous high slaps and rumbling bass lines test the Funktion 1 to its limits, with his set culminating in a riotous sitdown standup during Bring. Allen and Hutch, the ever-reliable Waxxx residents keep the party going, as the bouncers all look at their watches and 4am creeps mercilessly close.
As far as launch nights go, Cold Blooded have hit the ground running and then smashed a big fucking hole through it. Waxxx‘s involvement will certainly have been important, bringing their experience and their audience to the founder’s ideas and ambition. Cold Blooded’s team are preparing to go it alone for event number two next month. And based on tonight’s evidence – as soon as we’ve had a chance to drink a few cups of tea and sleep for 48 hours – we’ll be back once again.
Further reading on Getintothis:
- ARK02: Lunar Modular, Afternaut, Bantam Lions, GhostChant, Acrobat, Kepla, JULIAN: Drop the Dumbells, Liverpool