Northwest Clubbing Highlights – December 2013

There's no such thing as a silent night

Preview by Thomas Short | 03 Dec 2013

December traditionally marks a quieter moment in the clubbing calendar, as our attentions turn away from warehouses towards awkward festivities, DVD box sets and rummaging through selection boxes. Don’t worry, though: for those of you who’d rather be grinding inappropriately against a group of sweaty strangers than your embarrassed colleagues at the office Christmas party, there’s still plenty on offer.

After the relentless scheduling of big-name events that saw out November, Jessy Lanza’s gorgeous, skeletal R&B should provide a much needed breather at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen on 1 Dec (£6). Support comes from ethereal synth-pop duo Bernard + Edith. Meanwhile in Liverpool, Factory Floor bring their industrial techno mischief to The Kazimier on 5 Dec (£10). Expect abrasive sounds and the urge to surrender your unmentionables; this is a band whose primal grooves regularly convince their audiences to strip naked. (In support, East India Youth’s electro-tinged krautrock promises to be equally mesmerizing, if slightly less indebted to Nelly’s Hot In Herre.) The same line-up visits Manchester’s Gorilla on 7 Dec, so no excuses for missing out (£10).

In an impressive booking by Manchester promoters Triangular and Gold Teeth, Todd ‘the God’ Edwards comes to Gorilla on 6 Dec. After a star turn on Random Access Memories and one of the best Essential Mixes of the year, the garage pioneer’s skills seem more relevant than ever. For those itching for some swinging 4/4 beats – or wishing the summer of disco had never ended – he’s your man (£10, £12). One for all the chin-strokers out there, the Slip Discs showcase at Soup Kitchen on the same night promises to be an evening as beard-tickling as it is danceable; there’s a headline set from Heatsick, whose slow-burning sets produce massive psychedelic collages of sound with the most basic of tools. If you’re having doubts, check out his Boiler Room sesh, in which he deconstructs classic house tunes in front of an up-for it crowd with only a set of battered Casio keys for company – that should be enough to convince you. He’s joined on the night by Warp signing Mira Calix, whose esoteric compositions take in electronica, string orchestras and, er, the sound of live crickets being conducted (6 Dec, £6 early birds, £8 on the door).

Kaluki celebrate their seventh birthday on 7 Dec at The Warehouse Project, inheriting a stellar line-up that originally belonged to Circo Loco and including original gangster-house badman DJ Sneak, tasteful techno pioneer Michael Mayer, and Hot Creations' newest star Miguel Campbell (£25). Those looking for a cheaper night out could do a lot worse than to check out Hoya:Hoya resident Jon K at Odder on Oxford Road – his mastery of all things freaky, funky, and disco-y has won him praise from DJs such as Skream and Jackmaster (£2). Or, check out renowned crate-digger Mark Seven at The Roadhouse (£5); his legendary performances are a loving tribute to dance music’s formative years in NYC’s gay clubbing scene. Listen to his Salute to the Men of Vauxhall mix for a fabulous taster. Also on the same night, Liverpool sees Freeze host their final party of the year in the historic surroundings of the Williamson Tunnels for a lucky 300 people, with Christian Smith and Peter Dundov on the decks (sold out, but have a gander on the Facebook event page closer to the time); while over at The Shipping Forecast, Irish house legends Fish Go Deep show the youthful upstarts how it’s done at (7 Dec, £4).

Now Wave’s Sounds of the Near Future event on 13 Dec boasts one of the more diverse line-ups in The Warehouse Project's calendar, with a headline set from Steve Ellison aka Flying Lotus, and a European debut from his rapping alter ego Captain Murphy. Those looking forward to hearing the cosmic future-jazz found on his albums should be under no illusions: on tour, Steve’s laptop is full of TNGHT, Gucci Mane and Schoolboy Q bangers. If trap isn’t your bag, Beat Junkies founder and regular Madlib collaborator J Rocc will be spinning some smooth-ass Dilla-fied samples earlier in the evening, while Room 2 is blessed by sets from the ever-popular Jamie xx and John Talabot; the latter’s recent DJ Kicks mix is already looking like a crossover success, testament to his unmatched ability to combine the seductive tease of deep house with melancholic, poppy hooks (£25). Elsewhere on the same evening, a new night called four20 launches at Joshua Brooks, with retro house-borrower Urulu headlining alongside Transmission Collective (£5 early bird, £6), and So Flute bring Eglo records head honcho Alexander Nut to The Roadhouse – his Saturday afternoon Rinse sessions being a personal favourite (£5). As ever with So Flute nights, you’ll be pestering the good people at Shazam for track IDs all evening.

The following Friday sees master of the re-edit Greg Wilson celebrate the tenth anniversary of his return to DJing at Manchester's Underdog with Danny Webb and Solid State in tow (20 Dec, £10). Ambitiously billed as a celebration of the last ten years of dance music, Wilson’s selections are sure to keep you guessing, while doffing a cap to the electro-funk classics that he was known for breaking in his 80s heyday. On the Saturday, there are Christmas parties from meandyou at Soup Kitchen (line-up to be announced, but it's sure to be a cracker, £5 early bird, £7 advance) and Hustle with deep house don Jimpster at The Shipping Forecast (£8). Both 21 Dec, they should tide you over nicely until the festive season reaches a climax.

Boxing Day used to be reserved for picking bits of turkey and tinsel out of your navel in front of The Great Escape, enjoying all the benefits of an elasticated waistline. Nowadays, ruthless promoters demand attendance at your favourite nightspots with ever more impressive line-ups, and raving your tits off is seen as the modern way to combat that Santa-esque bulge. On 26 Dec in Liverpool, the ‘people’s producer’ Duke Dumont can be seen at HAUS Warehouse, along with some unannounced special guests, for £25. Say what you like about the guy’s chart-chasing antics; he knows how to get a room moving. Expect a similar incentive for vigorous physical activity at the Circus party at East Village Arts Club, with a return from last year's participant Loco Dice plus Yousef, Shadow Child and more (26 Dec, £25) – while back in Manchester, Guti brings a spot of Argentinian sunshine to Gorilla (26 Dec, £12, £15). His warm, Latin-flavoured house has a loose, improvised feel – perfect for shaking yourself out of that post-festive funk and gearing you up for the onslaught of NYE.

Ticket prices are advance unless otherwise specified; some may be more on the door<./p>