After some highly rogue pre-drinks featuring mass sing-alongs of classics such as Where Is the Love and All American Rejects, we arrived at the Lemmy in a not-so deep House state of mind. When we arrived Kiwi was on the decks playing some funky retro house beats. The mood was subdued in anticipation of the Duke’s grand arrival, and it was a shame that Kiwi didn’t get the crowd he deserved as the audience arrived in dribs and drabs and positioned themselves around the bars in search of jaeger bomb refreshment. This in part was also due to the set – while his mixing and technical skills were top notch, it didn’t feature any particularly memorable songs or moments.
When Duke Dumont came on, (around half an hour late) everyone flocked to the dancefloor to hear him open with his number 1 smash hit Need U 100%. He followed this up with Won’t Look Back, which, along with his new single Ocean Drive, got the best reception of the night. However, some of the material which linked the songs together was either underwhelming filler or overplayed commercial house tracks such as the dreadful House Every Weekend, which was disappointing coming from a renowned turntablist like Dumont. Also unsatisfactory was the short length of his set as the headliner – at one hour the shortest of the Blasé Boys Club members. The dancefloor at the peak of the show was around 2/3rds full which did detract slightly from the atmosphere of the show, even though the reaction of everyone when Duke dropped his hits was very enjoyable.
It was surreal hearing The Giver in the Lemmy, a nice change from the usual Teenage Dirtbag on Saturday evenings, and it’s great to see that the Preditah gig has been moved to this venue from the Phoenix, though hopefully it will be more packed than Duke’s was. Fono closed the night off, with for me the best set, though it is difficult to say whether this was simply as I was feeling a bit more ‘merry’ at this stage. The set combined the solid mixing from Kiwi and an ability to drop big tunes – Watermat’s Bullit was a particular standout from this section of the night.
Overall I would say that the night was a success as a club night, but as a pure musical spectacle I don’t think it was worth the £16 that many people there had forked out – there are plenty of equally good or even better House nights for a quarter of the price at venues like Cavern, Mosaic and the newly reopened Cellar Door.