New Year’s Day | Motion, Bristol
New Year’s Day celebrations of this magnitude are appealing to those who’d rather power through than start the year groaning in agony, or a redemptive opportunity for people who didn’t grab an event ticket in time and had to relegate their celebrations to an evening slumped in front of the Hootenanny. With a solid line-up and a sense of euphoria among the crowd, In:Motion and Shapes’ NYD party turned out to be a total banger that, for plenty, will have cemented the memory of the 2012/13 transition as an all time classic.
It feels like it’s the first time in recent memory that a promoter in Bristol has thrown a New Year’s Day party of this size. With WHP pulling together mind blowing line-ups for the 1st every year, the idea of New Year’s Day being a momentous party date is firmly embedded into the culture of Manchester’s music scene and maybe this is something that Bristol has lacked. So there was an element of experimentation about this event, and it turned out to be a total success.
It was a risky move putting one of the event’s most head turning names, the Norwegian nu-disco Tsar Todd Terje on so early in the evening. But the crowd steps up, and the tunnel is densely populated by the hardcore punters (special shoutout to anyone still rocking their Alfresco costumes). Terje’s motive seems to be to create an atmosphere of pure, unadulterated fun, and he succeeds. Then, you know, he goes and drops that tune…
Over at the main room we’ve got high expectations for tastemaking Radio 1 stalwart Heidi. She demonstrates her expertise by delving into some bouncy techno, subsequently delaying the impending exhaustion of those running on little or no sleep from the previous night.
Italian-raised, Berlin-based duo Tale of Us have a trademark sound that some might say is best digested at home or in headphones. Their mixes veer towards a pensive and highly emotive sound which meanders between house and techno. But when geared up through the impressive soundsystem of tonight’s main room, they fulfil their duties as a headline act, adding an extra level of muscle to their sound while sending out warm clouds of melody to drift between each sturdy kick drum.
As one of the UK’s most in-demand DJs, you’d imagine Eats Everything would have had a pretty hectic schedule for the last 48 hours. That said, it does feel as if there’s something special about this particular show. 2012 was ludicrously successful for Dan Pearce, and this set was both the finale of an epic victory lap, and a courteous gesture to his hometown. And as he takes to the decks, he’s bearing the grin of a man who knows that he’s the fucking champ. It seems as if every DJ has played harder than usual tonight, and as a man who’s partial to wedging plenty of thump into his beats, this is the kind of zone where Pearce flourishes. He’s been known to chuck out DnB tracks during his sets without warning, and tonight he trumps his own party trick by dropping Justice’s Phantom Pt.II, inspiring hilarity and total mayhem, proving that every one of us still harbours a secret, unyielding love for unfashionable noughties electro.
With a massively impressive line-up, some clear but hefty soundsystems and an up-for-it crowd, In:Motion and Shapes pulled off an event memorable enough to see many of us through that ill-fated January detox.
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Words: David Reed
Photos: Ben Price