Review: Ape 10th Birthday @ Warehouse Project

Art & Culture

Such was the force of my Halloween weekend that I spent the whole of my Monday in bed, weeping inconsolably into a large Domino’s stuffed crust ‘Mighty Meaty’ pizza, with 20 ‘Chicken Kickers’ strewn about me like bullets in a mafia crime scene.

The reason? My third Warehouse Project this year since its opening in September; and with it being the APE’s 10th Birthday line-up, I was just excited to go as any before. With names like Run The Jewels, Shy FX, Toddla T and General Levy, it was no less weighty a collection than should be expected from the perennial barnstormers at Store Street.

Arriving to the sounds of Toddla T tearing down Room 1, the crowd was already buzzing and lapping up the mix of bassline, garage and Dn’B he was serving up. He was so good in fact it seemed a little strange to have him on so early as he was clearly a crowd favourite but there was so many to come it was hard to complain.

Swiftly taking over the reins was Shy FX, who was my favourite set of the night. Clearly, he was there to play a load of heavy Drum and Bass drops.  But there was so many cheeky little songs he threw in on top, like getting the crowd to sing along to ‘The Specials – Message To You Rudy’, and when he slowed everything completely down to play Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’, only for him to drop another sub bass monster straight afterwards, much to the frenzy of the crowd.

Hearing Oneman play a solid set of bassline and garage was really enjoyable, and throwing up gun-fingers and having little mini-mosh pits to every ridiculous speed garage wobbler with everyone in the crowd was one of the most fun moments I’ve had at a night in a while.

Skepta briefly came on and tore through a half an hour set, in which he seemed to play ‘That’s Not Me’, ‘Shutdown’ and ‘Rhythm And Gash’ twice over. He obviously sees Manchester as a second home and the crowd love him up so much that it seemed strange to have him on for only half an hour but it was furious and enjoyable nonetheless.

The only snag to the night was our attempts to retrieve lost property at the venue. I spent a good 45 minutes trying to reason with stonewall bar and lost property staff about a mates phone and bag, meaning I missed most of Run The Jewels set, which was a shame as I had come up specifically to see them. 

But I guess it’s unavoidable sometimes when staff are told to religiously adhere to protocol so I moved on to one of the highlights of the night, General Levy. Obviously he played pretty much every jungle tune you wanted him to. Obviously he played ‘Incredible’. Obviously everyone went nuts, as it was brilliant.

Goldie played out the night with a varied set that has come to define Goldie more and more these days. Not content with just playing DnB rollers anymore, he mixed it up similar to Shy FX previously with the odd mix of hip-hop and pop in between his usual knee trembling basslines.

Overall an enjoyable night, not as strong as some of the previous night’s I’d been to at Store Street and a bit marred by strict and unwavering staffing but nonetheless still the benchmark for those looking to see nights filled to the brim with the best that the UK dance scene has to offer at the moment.