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Live Review: One Night Only

8 January 2013 | 2:18 pm | Andrew Wowk

It’s important to stress the music all night was fantastic, but the organisers would do well to go back to basics, so to speak, for the next ONO.

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Future Entertainment's One Night Only series of events has hosted some immense names playing extended sets in intimate venues, but for the latest incarnation they went for more of a “mini festival in a big club” vibe, which although resulting in plenty of amazing music, really hurt the night in terms of crowd and venue quality.

About as live as live dance music gets, Booka Shade worked their way through new material and a few classics such as Mandarin Girl and In White Rooms, with Arno's live drumming as impressive as ever. However the poor sound really made it difficult to appreciate. Up next, The Chemical Brothers' three-hour set was chock full of grinding basslines, rugged breakbeats and screaming acid, with the occasional nod to the diehard fans with tracks like Swoon and Star Guitar. A few questionable electro house tunes littered the set, but for the most part it was proper underground rave goodness. Carl Craig rounded out the night with his 69 Live project, featuring the Detroit legend single-handedly manning multiple machines to produce a beautiful mix of warm, soulful chords (often played live or improvised on the keys), jacking, punchy beats and heavy basslines.

Up on the Terrace, Scuba and then Maya Jane Coles kept fans of house, techno and bass happy. The Hotflush label head worked his way through a contemporary mish-mash of house, techno, garage and old-school electro, from the dark, grinding sounds of Mercy by Boddika & Joy O to the warm, uplifting goodness of his own tracks Talk Torque and Never Ever; while the lady behind one of last year's most-loved additions to the Essential Mix series followed with some more bouncing, funky low-end-led grooves from the likes of Dusky and Andrés. It's such a pity that the sound on the Terrace was so bad that the tunes often just sounded like a distorted mess. And let's not even get started on the crowd, other than to ask “what kind of degenerates start a fight during a track as uplifting as Talk Torque?” Nonetheless, it's important to stress the music all night was fantastic, but the organisers would do well to go back to basics, so to speak, for the next ONO.