Saturday, 31 May 2014

Greg Wilson - Williamson Tunnels - Freeze - May 31st 2014

It was in a tent called Stonebridge, at the back of Glastonbury festival last year, that I first heard a set by Greg Wilson. My friend, an ever reliable source of information on all things danceable, had suggested we all make the journey over to this tent and I had no fear I was in for a decent night. This was far from a decent night; this was one of the best nights I have ever had in my 28 years on this earth. It truly felt special in that tent. My friends and I still constantly listen to this set when going to other nights to get us in the mood and I listen to it at work to get me through. In truth I will find any excuse to give it a cheeky listen. From the opening swirls of the Fatback Bands "I Found Lovin'" to the Rolling Stones "Honky Tonk Woman" at the end. I instantly feel happy and ready to dance. 

Let’s forward to now. May 2014 and Greg is playing in the Williamson Tunnels, Liverpool. Just walking around Liverpool at the moment seems to give you a buzz. We are being blessed not just by some fantastic football this year, but also by a thriving scene that is showing no signs of slowing down. We, in truth, are starting to get spoilt by some of the events being put on in this quite incredible city. I can’t be the only one feeling blessed to be around while this seems to be happening around us. The Williamson Tunnels is a cavernous venue. The dance floor seems to suck you in from the back of the room until you have helplessly shuffled your feet to the front. It feels like every note of every track bounces back off the walls of the tunnel and straight into your ears. So in many respects I could not have wished for a better venue for the second coming of Wilson in my life.
Freeze Event Poster

I'm not sure whether it’s coming across to you. But I had built this one up in my head long before this evening and sometimes there is no living up to the hype you can create. But it seems the dance Gods were with us for this one and not only had we already assembled a decent size dance crew to attend this evening, but a couple of extra mates were thrown in last minute after winning even more tickets. The Party Steed as ever would also be in attendance and so, conditions were suddenly perfect for another evening of Greg Wilson magic to occur. 

We arrive around 11ish and Derek Kaye is on before Wilson. This makes the night a little more exciting. At the Stonebridge set last year, Greg dropped a Derek Kaye remix of "Ain't Nobody" by Rufus & Chaka Khan, again it's one of those tracks that has stuck with me ever since that night. So I had been looking forward to what Derek had to offer. He didn’t disappoint. He started with Carly Simon's "Why" and over the first 60 minutes he gifted us more beautiful tracks; "Thinking of You" - Sister Sledge, "I'm Goin Out of My Head" - Late Nite Tuff Guy and then just before the hour mark he dropped my track of the night: "Suck My Sausage" by Voodoo Whiskey. 

I was already uncontrollably flailing and thinking "I’m John Travolta" by this point. Even before I heard "Turn the Music Up" by the Players Association but then he well and truly finished me off with "Soul Power" by Space Echo. It’s a stunning and mesmerizing 1 hour and 45 minutes. It's hard to believe that this isn’t the main act. It is that good. He did more than enough to convert me into a fan and I will be looking forward to any future opportunities to dance in front of this man.

Party Steed

It hardly seemed fair that after such a fantastic couple of hours already we were now to be treated to another couple by Greg Wilson. But I’m a greedy, greedy man and I was now salivating for the next part of this night. He continued where Derek left off playing those disco classics. "Oops up side your head" by The Gap Band and "Saturday Nite" by Earth Wind & Fire. But it was within moments of gracing us with his presence, Greg dropped  "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers. This was truly the special moment of the night. One of those times where you could feel everyone’s euphoria over a simple laid back track. Everyone can put their arms round each other and sing away. It's a simply flawless pick.

Wilson then began to shift upwards through the gears. We flowed effortlessly from the 4th gear disco vibes that had been the theme of the night to 5th gear. Absolute dance floor classics. "Good Life" - Inner City followed into hyper drive "Strandbar" - Todd Terje. I would happily dance to this song if it was on a two hour loop. Its pulsating bass line sends the heart racing, its samba beat sends you into a dancing fever and then that piano hits you and your body just loses control. It was hard to believe anything could follow this, but the tunes just kept on flowing. "Chime" by Orbital and "Blind", a Frankie Knuckles remix of Hercules and Love Affair.

Now reaching the final stretch, we were flipped back again to those classy disco vibes with Patrice Rushden’s "Haven't You Heard" before sending us out of this world with a psychedelic mix of "Tomorrow Never Knows" by the Beatles. Finally leaving us on America's "Horse with No Name". It was a perfect way to end by Wilson, as again we were left swaying and singing along. It was simply breathtaking to witness, a joy to be a part of and lived up to whatever hype I had set out previously. 

Whoever you are and whatever music you enjoy listening to, I find it hard to believe that you can't come to a night like this and let your hair down to music like this, played by DJ's who clearly know when and what songs to spin at any given moment, in sets as wonderful as these. I was converted last year and I’m sure anyone who was there on Saturday night was converted this year. Did you miss it? Fear not. Greg is playing another set in Liverpool at the Bombed Out Church in July. I would encourage you all to come along and have a dance. It may just change you in the way it changed me. I'll be the one at the front, in the dodgy shirt, thinking "Tonight, I'm Travolta"

You can listen to both sets and also the Glasto set by clicking the links below:

Derek Kaye's set

Greg Wilson's set

Greg's Glasto set

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