Nightmares on Wax, Steve Cobby: 24 Kitchen Street, Liverpool

Nightmares on Wax

Nightmares on Wax

Beer and sweat-soaked floors were the order of the day as Getintothis’ Amaan Khan grooved along to Nightmares On Wax at 24 Kitchen Street.

There is a lot of music happening around the city this month and dance music has not been left out. Before the city bites it teeth in the grooves of Cream ClassicsMadness Marauders, Hotplate and BamBamBam offered an event that shows everyone what it is all about.

Dance music has come a long way since George Evelyn aka Nightmares on Wax released Smokers Delight on Warp Records back in 1995. Both the sound and the audience has become bigger since then. A gig like this was bound to be a sold out event.

Read our buyers guide to Warp Records here

While a DJ from Liverpool’s own No Fakin’ Crew got the ambience going with his selection of r’n’b and soul records, the crowd slowly came through the outside drizzle to this end of the Baltic Triangle at 24 Kitchen Street. The place was to get damper by the minute.

Regardless of an interesting selection of tunes by the first DJ, things only picked up when special guest Steve Cobby took charge with the tune Rebirth of Slick by Digable Planets. There was an immediate and significant change in the energy of the place and also in the amount of people on the dance floor. Cobby knew exactly what would get the crowd moving with his take on some downtempo classics. He kept the grooves basic and the breaks absolutely right. Halfway through his set, the venue was totally packed and engaged on the dance floor.

Steve Cobby‘s set was like a time travel where you move, at your own leisure, between different era discos and music-filled warehouses where downtempo was born. He moved smoothly between the basic style of 80s, the cheesier 90s and the more experimental stuff from the 21st Century. With the occasional portuguese tunes and exciting buildups, he successfully kept the set from getting boring or predictable. Each buildup was rewarded by whistles from the crowd. By the time he rolled some New Orleans funk with Cissy Strut, the place was filled to capacity with a sweaty crowd that just left each other enough space to dance at their own place.

The night would have gone down as a hit already if Cobby was the last thing the event had to offer. However, the night wasn’t complete till the place got a taste of Nightmares on Wax. The crowd was already lost in the music by the time the DJs changed, which they did quite often in the course of the night. However, there was a definite change in the style of music with the DJs that kept away the monotony a long night of disco might sometimes suffer from.

Contrasting to the drum-driven music of the former artists, N.O.W. offered a more acid-house selection with it’s in-your-face attacks of basslines. As the night progressed, the set even moved to some electronic reggaeton accompanied raps. Whenever the night started to lose its charm  the very energetic MC Kwasi, our host for the evening, re-engerised the crowd with exhorations to dance and engage more

N.O.W. is a pioneer of his style and has perfected himself over time. His craft has survived the test of time and that is the reason the venue was crammed with people of varying age groups. The dancing was consistent and no noticeable tiredness was present among the crowd though the damp walled venue received a sweat and beer-soaked floor by the end of the night.

With it’s gigantic disco ball and the animated visuals on the stage, the place packed the perfect atmosphere for the music. The artists knew how to put up a show and the crowd knew how to enjoy one. Judging from the bangin’ energy of the night, it is definite that Liverpool is ready for the summer.

Pictures by Getintothis’ Ryan Jafarzadeh