Andy Weatherall helped 303 celebrate part one of their fourth birthday celebrations with an extra-special all-night-long set. The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight was on hand to catch the performance.
You always know you’re in for a right old treat when you go to a night the the crew at 303 have had a hand in. Obviously, when you throw The Guv’nor into the mix, then you can pretty much rest-assured that everyone will be leaving with a smile on their faces.
As 303 kicked off their 4th birthday celebrations in style, inviting none other than the inimitable Andy Weatherall down to give all present a lesson in how to techno, obviously we here at The Waveform Transmitter couldn’t resist heading down to catch a whole evening in which Weatherall was given free rein on the wheels without interruption.
For those who are unfamiliar with Andy Weatherall, then you really want to get out more (or learn to use Google properly). The man was behind some of the UK’s most influential electronic music acts. Not only did he produce a whole raft of critically acclaimed solo work, cementing his position as one of British Techno‘s most prominent producers, but he was also 50% of Warp Records faves Two Lone Swordsmen, alongside Keith Tenniswood (AKA Radioactive Man), AND 33.3% of seminal 90’s experimental techno act, Sabres of Paradise.
OK, now that the uninitiated have been given a very brief education, on to night in question. As The Waveform Transmitter arrived, the venue was already fairly busy, which is no surprise and reflects well the legendary status that Weatherall carries with him. In fact, by 10:30 pm people were already practicing the now infamous “stoop-and-run” manoeuvre to try and traverse the sides of the tunnel past the throngs of clubbers in the middle.
As expected with a seven hour marathon, Andy started things off at the bottom end of the bpm range, which is fairly characteristic of his sets. Particularly those of this kind of length. Weatherall likes to take his audience on a journey, which he certainly did as we were all firmly in the palm of his hand for the entire duration of his performance.
As always, Weatherall threw down some epic music which saw the entire tunnels flex under the atmosphere created, as if time had folded in on itself. Any DJ who can drop the likes of Wolfstream‘s Precious Bodily Fluids, Hercules and Love Affair‘s Blind, Blasé’s The Third Wall, and finishes up with Erol Alkan and Richard Norris‘ Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Creation, is bound to cause all manner of gloriously cataclysmic atmospheric ripples to traverse the underground venues in which we were situated. The connection felt with the sound snaking down the Williamson Tunnels towards us was palpable.
With people beckoning the wonderful sounds emanating out of the speakers into their very core one moment, and having furiously contorted acid-offs the next, it is fair to say that Weatherall delivered a set which undoubtedly transcended the 7-hour performance he gave as part of 303‘s All Night Long series back in 2016. Brilliant stuff from the Guv, as always.
Now we’re ready for part 2 of 303‘s birthday fun, as they welcome none other than the almighty Birmingham techno protegé, Surgeon, to the Williamson Tunnels for some lovely, live, modular techno on May 28th. See you all down the front.