More accustomed to throwing parties in secret venues and unusual spaces, it was quite an ‘overground’ move for That Amazing Thing to put on their first night in a regular clubbing space in the centre of town for a good long while. This was in aid of ‘Euroculturured’, a two-day day festival, where the musical and arty action took place on the diminutive New Wakefield Street.
Just after the clock had struck eleven, the stiflingly sweaty Attic filled to bursting point. The beauty of this free event taking in a high profile venue, on a bank holiday Sunday, meant that the crowd comprised of ‘TAT’ regulars, people who’d stumbled into the venue (admittedly it is a little difficult to stumble up the Attic’s spiralled staircase!) and those who were just looking for somewhere to extend their evening. This meant that although the atmosphere was perhaps a little different from other parties instigated by Wooff and Haran, it was still vibrant and any who left were soon replaced by other bank holiday revellers.
Often, That Amazing Thing’s resident team of Francis Wooff and Mark Haran do the record playing by themselves, but on this occasion, James Baseley joined them in the Attic’s cosy DJ booth. Baseley is a Brit who has relocated to the Czech Republic, where he runs his Red Salamanda record label. Mark Haran and James Baseley took DJing duties for most of the night on this warm May evening. Haran dropped a mixture of pleasant Housey numbers, party Hip Hop vibed cuts and a slew of broken beat monsters such as the devastating Bugz mix of 4 Hero’s “Hold It Down” and Seiji’s angry “Loose Lips”. James Baseley took over later on, regaling the crowd with straight-forward house cuts, pointed techno and energetic jump up Jungle.
The pair behind ‘That Amazing Thing’ excel at putting on clandestine social get-togethers in central Manchester. Using undiscovered venues and those overlooked by other promoters, Mark Haran and Francis Wooff’s nights work because of the pair’s ability to pick the right spot for their events.
The party on the 20th of November took place in an intimate bar-type venue, which lies slightly off the beaten track, but isn’t particularly out of the way. The cosy nature of the place combined with a particularly friendly atmosphere made for a pretty special night.
The elevated DJ box gave those spinning the ideal vantage point from which to watch proceedings unfold. Musically, the night started off in a rather relaxed manner, with lowslung soul, content hopped numbers and mid tempo numbers like Piranhahead’s hopeful “Dreams” warming up the crowd on a particularly cold night.
The tempo slowly crept up, with cuts such as the Bugz’s desiring “Booty La La” and the Deacon’s magical “Soulsaver” going down well. Later on, the music went a little harder and a hail of deranged acid-house bangers bombarded those on the dancefloor. Perhaps a tad presumptuous to think every one of their nights will be ‘Amazing’, this party was certainly ‘Very Good’, by anybody’s standards!)