At Shapes’ 6th Birthday, an under-capacity crowd was treated to some really outstanding music.
Despite the impressive line-up (minus Audion, whose absence was unannounced and unexplained), this night was far from a sell-out.
I was very much looking forward to having my first full warehouse experience since February, but Motion definitely made the right call in scaling-down the event to avoid the club feeling too empty.
The Tunnel, which hosted George FitzGerald, became Room 2, and the Cave became Room 3.
Motion had clearly ramped up their security for the night, presumably in a response to the tragic death of a clubber the week before.
Searches at the entrance were extremely thorough, more so than I have experienced before.
The security did not stop at the entrance, though.
Throughout the night, bouncers were walking through the club with flashlights, likely in an attempt to catch clubbers with drugs.
It’s a shame this has been their response (though doubtless much of this has been imposed by the police/ local council), as it’s fairly obvious that having people walk around shining lights at clubbers will not stop any deaths.
All the additional security managed to do was ruin the atmosphere.
It’s hard to immerse yourself in the music when there are people in high-vis jackets walking around and shining lights at you.
For me, Or:la played the set of the night.
Her blend of high-energy house and techno was unpredictable, exciting, and kept her crowd dancing non-stop.
Unfortunately, a combination of the low-ticket sales and her clash with George FitzGerald and Tale Of Us meant that not many people saw her set.
At most there were 40 people in the cave.
By the end, at 5a.m., only about 5 dedicated ravers remained to give her some deserved applause.
To be honest, she was wasted in such a small stage.
A DJ of her quality does not deserve to be playing to a room that is basically empty.
If you are a local promoter and you are reading this, book Or:la.
Give her a great sound system, a room full of dancers and the peak time slot that she deserves, and you will have yourself one very successful night.
Throughout the night, George FitzGerald was on form in the Tunnel.
I dipped in and out of the room throughout the night, and was very impressed each time.
It is a shame there were so many other DJs on the line up that I wanted to see; on another night, I would have spent much more time there.
What was not so impressive were the lights in the tunnel.
Just two red lights that were on constantly all night.
Given the truly extraordinary lighting in the Main Room, I would have hoped that they could do a little more with the tunnel.
I wandered into the Main Room at around 1a.m., and found myself unable to leave.
The second hour of Moscoman’s set was unexpectedly wonderful.
I had no intention of seeing him, but his set was full of energy and kept me dancing throughout.
He created a special dancefloor moment for me when he dropped Josh Wink’s “Higher State of Consciousness” towards the end of his set.
Tale Of Us are specialists in playing sets that take you on a journey, and they did not disappoint.
The entire room was transfixed; people who were tired and wanting to go home suddenly found some more energy so they could stay.
The music they played combined with the stunning lighting and sound system in the main room to create a truly remarkable experience.
Overall, the DJs were on top form and created a wonderful night, but I would say Motion itself can do better.
Motion is meant to be the best club in Bristol and the 2nd best club in the UK.
In my opinion, a nightclub that charges nearly £20 for a first release ticket has a responsibility to not just book the best artists, but to create the best clubbing experience for the punters.
The main room experience was incredible, but there was room for improvement in the smaller rooms.
Written by Jamie Mitchell - Underground Writer
Photography by Khris Cowley - Here & Now