LIVERPOOL DISCO FESTIVAL29/10/16
On a Halloween weekend to remember Liverpool partygoers were spoilt for choice with massive events all across the city, the teams from Suncébeat and Hustle on their first attempt put together their disco extravaganza, with a collection of warehouse spaces turned into a frenzy of disco, funk and house-infused Baltic ballrooms. With packed out venues spread across Constellations, The Great Baltic Warehouse and newly opened Hangar 34, all in front of a crowd that partied effortlessly and endlessly, it can’t be downplayed how well the festival was brought together, all on its first attempt.
I think to myself it’s only be fair to start the day with the day’s cherry on top, the roller disco, a very welcome surprise that gives me the feeling I’ve been blasted through a vortex into a 70’s film scene. Skating …well squeezing my way around the festival I find the roller disco sums up the mood of the day, a happy go lucky attitude to partying in the face of a sprawling circus over at the Camp and Furnace. Like Hal from Malcom in the middle (minus the morph suit, not brave enough) I sped back to catch a glimpse off the hour long Prince and Michael Jackson sets, quite simply a boss idea. Beaming down them positive vibes from the raised coach’s office, groove spills over to the floor where toppling disco legs can hardly contain the hilarity of what they are doing.
With legendary spinner JOHN MORALES beginning his set, I moonwalk on over to the Great Baltic Warehouse with a bit of Dutch courage to get my two-step on as we’re treated to a two-hour set of classic after classic. With stand-out tracks like Morales’ own edit of Jackie Moore’s This Time Baby and Rufus & Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody gives the crowd full of space helmets, flared pants and antenna popped collars, exactly what they’re looking for.
Before the main attraction of the day, ODYSSEY, I decide to weave from venue to venue to check out artists that catch my eye. Over at the Constellations garden, with winter winds starting to roll in, DOWN TO FUNK do exactly what it says on the tin, warming the crowd and keeping them fists pumping. SPEN & KARIZMA offer up some thumping house beats to those wanting that heavier get down all the while social sardines pack into the Gin garden, surrounded by plumes of smoke, chatter and fist bumps; if only this could be the soundtrack of life.
Throughout, one thing remains constant, that in every venue the crowd are ready to jive to their heart’s content and with queues out the door for Odyssey’s seven-piece band I can’t help but think I’m witnessing a special moment as lead Steven Collazo christens us all with a “Can I get a Hallelujah?!”… you certainly can. Aside from hits like Native New Yorker and Back To My Roots, it’s the show of guitar solos, bass slapping, keyboard flexing and vocal melodies that really creates that special crowd interaction that seems to connect everyone in the room. It truly does feel as if we are witnessing the Odyssey of the late 70s.
Mythical Southport Weekenders have been the subject of house-garage duo MASTERS AT WORK before and as the sun descends and the disco ball takes over, Louie Vega and Kenny Gonzalez shift the pace of the night before people take their groove on over to after parties. Unfortunately, my legs can take no more disco and I retire my skates for another year.