With the Warehouse Project now having shut up until next season, Transmission has stepped up to fill the gap it has left in the city’s nightlife. With this transition involving a significant change in venue, it was interesting to see how the contrasting atmosphere of the beautifully restored Albert Hall compared to the murky depths of Store Street.
Ten Walls took to the stage shortly before midnight, by which the point the room was full to bursting point. From the vantage point of the first floor balcony, looking over a sea of ravers grooving away, it was impossible not to get swept up in the rapturous atmosphere. Ten Walls (a.k.a Marijus Adomaitis) played an ambitious hour-long set, despite his rather limited repertoire of material. However, what his set lacked in quantity, more than made up for it in quality, with the crowd reacting wildly to ‘Gotham’ and ‘Requiem’ in turn, and to early hints of ‘Walking with Elephants’; his visual and light show was second to none on the night, with ten beams of light cutting down vertically into the crowd at throughout the set.
As ‘Walking with Elephants’ brought the Ten Walls to a raucous close, the hotly anticipated duo Dusky took to the stage. The euphoric set that followed was truly one of the best that I’ve seen during my time in Manchester; highlights include the thumping ‘Inta’ – its eerie horns blaring and echoing through the room – and the old skool ‘Yoohoo’ sending the Albert Hall into a frenzy. When it came down to Yousef and Sasha to close the night, bar the tech sounds of ‘For the Terraces’, their set couldn’t quite reach the height of Dusky’s thrilling set that preceded them.
Looking back, there was something about both Transmission and the Albert Hall, which made it preferable to the Warehouse Project. While the line up may not have been as strong as some of those of the Warehouse Project, the combination of the beautiful surroundings of the Albert Hall, and the lack of crowd movement due to its layout, made the night – in a number of ways - much more enjoyable. The greater emphasis on visuals gave the feeling that Transmission doesn’t seem to be taking the hedonistic manifesto as seriously as its sibling. It’s a shame though that room 2 stays vacant most of the night due to its location in the venue. There are still plenty of Transmission nights still to come, so it’s definitely worth trying to sample some of its unique atmosphere if you can.
Words: Matthew Staite