Everyone knows NYE is for the part-timers.
So when NYD falls on a Friday (with a precious weekend between you and Monday’s alarm clock) there’s really no excuse not to see in the new year in mischievous style. Across the UK, some of the country’s key promoters had saved their big guns for 1 January, and Bristol’s In:Motion was no exception with a stacked line-up of house and techno artists and not a tiresome midnight countdown in sight.
With everything knocked attractively out of kilter by an early evening start time, the venue’s five rooms were jammed by 9.30pm and one of the headline acts, Adam Beyer, had already completed his set. An early highlight was Bristol’s Pardon My French, building a stylish sense of momentum with disco-edged house and electro in the Tunnel nestled next to the main room where Radio 1’s B.Traits was keeping things fluid with golden rhythms and tailored techno swing.
Hodge has moved swiftly into hallowed DJ territory, lauded by the leftfield but lapped up by the heads-down techno crowd too. Unexpectedly, his set didn’t quite click, and there was a definite sense throughout the evening that the DJs couldn’t quite read the crowd – perhaps discombobulated by the unusual start time and ‘still going from the night before’ atmosphere. As a result, at times things felt slightly stuck in second gear, although deep house masters Ame took control much more successfully, coaxing delicate melodies and deep swirling rhythms from their live set.
The intriguingly-billed ‘toilet party’ (headlined by Fabric stalwart Craig Richards) was in fact a hidden space accessed through a fake Portaloo entrance and was a consistently raucous highlight. Richards’ sleek and angular rhythms provided the soundtrack to a room bizarrely decorated with toilet paraphernalia, while Joy Orbison held things steady as the crowd finally began to thin out back in the main building.
Parties like this don’t come round all that often, and In:Motion’s ambitious and expertly programmed lineup captured the chaotic camaraderie of a NYD party with flair. Bring on 2016.