Once again Cream has proved that for two nights only, God is a DJ, having chosen the UK’s biggest cathedral to drive the point home and Getintothis’ Jane Davies went along to pay homage to Liverpool’s super club.
For this latest outing, a most diverse band of around 2,000 dance music worshippers assembled to celebrate the era of house music; lots of children of the 90’s and millennials mixed in with clubbing veterans. Our night club days are long gone, but Cream Classical is famed for being inclusive and welcoming to those who were patrons back in the 90s without them feeling like Kevin’s parents in “Kevin and Perry go large in Ibiza”.
A relaxed dress code gave free rein to dress to impress or dress down from animal print, to PVC, to faux fur, glitter, suit jackets to denim and trainers. This was a much welcomed departure from back in the day when footwear and trousers were scrutinised upon entry by security.
Fittingly the altar area was transformed into a huge stage, with the Cream logo projected above.
At the opposite end of the cathedral was a huge bar area with another of the iconic logos in situ, pointing towards the heavens with the ‘lesson’ from Tracey Emin’s neon piece underneath which reads: “I felt you and I knew you loved me”. God is love after all and we all felt the love this particular evening with the happy go lucky, friendly vibes of yesteryear punctuating the event.
— Liverpool Cathedral (@LivCathedral) February 22, 2019
At nine o’clock, bang on schedule, the choir took to the stage along with the 50 piece Kaleidoscope orchestra directed by conductor and arranger Tim Crooks with DJ/Producers K-Klass presiding over the evening. A cheer of recognition welcomed in every tune, like reacquainting with old friends you haven’t seen in ages. The breath-taking light show pulsated and danced to the beat of the music with a constant myriad of colours moving backwards and forth striking all four walls of the cathedral. “Waterfall” by Atlantic Ocean from the first Cream album was an early favourite and we all enjoyed N-Joi’s “Anthem”. Of course K-Klass were allowed a little indulgence with their own “Let me show you” and that went down a storm.
It certainly wouldn’t be Cream without Alison Limerick’s “Where love lives” and this was a standout track of the evening. Felix’s “Don’t you want me?” and the bouncy “Beachball” by Nalin and Kane kept up the tempo. For the major part of the evening, the orchestral contribution blended seamlessly into the electronic input, save for the incidental instrumental breaks which highlighted a wide cross section of instruments such saxophone, strings and xylophone.
The evening’s performance certainly succeeded in shattering a popular misconception that orchestras are stuffy, elitist and irrelevant. Even the conductor was dancing along to the music.
Considering this is a busy place of worship with numerous services throughout the day, one had to appreciate how difficult it must have been to fit in the rehearsals for such an ambitious show, practising with choir, orchestra, djs and the light show. Full credit to the production staff on a stunning and flawless collaboration.
The appropriately named “For an Angel” by Paul Van Dyk offered up a suitable devotion to elements of the celestial audience presumably in attendance. In a nod to long term resident DJ Paul Oakenfold, the evening was brought to a conclusion with “It’s not over“by Grace.
Take it as a reassuring message that the party is not over for team Cream. The party is still in full swing with the ability to sell out a venue in no time.
What we learned from the performance was that it’s not the building that matters, but the music, energy and atmosphere that it generates.
As beautiful and iconic the gothic cathedral is, if you transport the Cream anthems to any sort of pop up venue, that alone will invoke the spirit of the club and make for an amazing evening like no other.
Images by Getintothis’ Chris Flack