Leaning on the queue barrier outside, we’re speaking to the Cellar Door’s owner and manager Dan Paulson while last minute preparations and final touches for the night are well underway. With new recruits and last-minute party-goers already queuing (it’s just after 9 o’clock), he’s telling us about the Cellar’s sound system. Apparently only one other club in the world uses the same combination of dance-inducing modules (location: Copenhagen) and it shows – there’s certainly something unique about the low-ceilinged cellar that the Thieves have continued to channel throughout the second year their of Tuesday night quayside residency.
With previous excursions to The Cellar having seen the likes of Shadow Child, TCTS and Duke Dumont taking to the decks, the booking of Waze & Odyssey in celebration of the collective’s second birthday came as little surprise, especially given the widespread critical acclaim the duo have received over the past two years.
After heading downstairs for a quick preview of what was to come later from Our House resident Vandeleur, I headed up to The Revelry for drinks and an eclectic mix of downtempo and disco-house, with the bar and tables filling quickly as the night drew on. With on-point Thieves veteran Southpaw adding his own twist to the mix and the influx of the few who managed to secure a coveted online ticket filtering down into The Cellar, a tangible buzz of anticipation began to build among the crowd, who were well prepared for the party vibes taking off on the dancefloor.
Another of the Exeter vanguard, Aerial’s arrival onstage was very nearly surpassed by the arrival of the birthday cake. Celebrations were now in full swing – the packed dancefloor was hot and sweaty, with revellers old and new undoubtedly spurred on by some unorthodox dance moves from behind the decks. Though alone, Waze’s hotly anticipated entrance received a welcome fitting for one of the UK scene’s rising stars, raising levels of mixing proficiency, joyful enthusiasm and dancefloor temperature yet again. Having played Manchester’s legendary Warehouse Project with names like Rob Da Bank, T.E.E.D and Pedestrian gracing the line-up only the week before, it would be easy to expect a less than wholehearted performance. Yet this was far from the case, with Waze lighting up the Cellar with a stellar set, keeping the crowd entertained and moving ‘til the end.
Vibes continued with Tonic taking over until closing, providing a rock-solid conclusion as the crowd gradually thinned out, dispersing onto the cobbled streets of the quayside. A great night, and one that will surely live long in the memory of Thieves regulars and newcomers alike.