Moments from The Warehouse Project: WHP16 Launch Party
Coinciding with the untimely closure of London’s Fabric, Manchester’s annual event series, The Warehouse Project, returns this year to represent one of the last standing testaments to free clubs in the UK.
Since it’s launch back in 2006 at Manchester’s iconic Old Brewery, The Warehouse Project has been running for ten seasons. The Project has grown and spreads across some of the city’s most interesting and historic spaces, including the Old Granada Studios and Manchester’s Albert Hall – the former chapel with incredible stained glass windows.
The Warehouse Project has been making a name for its insanely varied and on-pulse lineups that keeps bringing together the best in hip-hop, grime, electronic and dance – this year being no exception.
This year, WHP welcomes Mercury Prize winner Skepta, M.I.A., Zomby, Lone, The Black Madonna, DJ legend Laurent Garnier, Daniel Avery, Autechre, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Bicep, Lee Gamble, DJ Shadow, Four Tet, Rødhåd and Moderat promoting their new album, III.
Air shelter-turned-car park-turned-venue
The WHP launch party kicks off the club series at Manchester’s Store Street, which is considered to be the spiritual home of The Warehouse Project.
The live acts and DJs echo off the brick walls under the arches in tune to celebrate the WHP’s tenth anniversary at this newly improved venue.
The 2000 capacity Store Street venue is a re-purposed air raid shelter, morphing from an inconspicuous office car park by day into the underground super club space by night. The venue has played host to some of Manchester’s most forward-thinking club nights, pushing its unique and subterranean music scene.
Here are a few of my personal highlights from the opening night of WHP16.
M.I.A. onstage. The Boys and girls say wha!
The headlining act of the WHP opening party is a genuine rarity. M.I.A. only ever plays a handful of shows in the UK each year.
It’s one in the morning. The crowd waves towards the main stage as M.I.A. is due to unleash material from her latest album alongside classics at her first show in two years.
A gate drops from the ceiling, M.I.A.’s very own border. The iconic rapper is revealed calling out from under a sheer red burka and the crowd goes wild.
We get Galang, Bucky Dun Gun and Bad Girls, as well as newer material such as Go Off, Borders and Freedun from her latest album, AIM released just a few weeks earlier.
Watch this short teaser of M.I.A. live from The Warehouse Project 2016
+ Jungle (DJ set)
Another WHP16 highlight. Following a set from David Rodigan, were South London’s Section Boyz, who thrust on to the main stage performing break out hits, Trapping Ain’t Dead and Lock Arf. The night keeps on giving as BBC 1Extra DJ, Sian Anderson, gives the revelers an hour long set of the latest and greatest UK grime and bass cuts.
Taking the night to a dancier place are Jungle. They spin an irresistible set playing anything from Grand Theft Auto music to Can’s Krautrock to the The Beach Boys, as well as few of their own hits, bringing 70’s Miami funk tropics vibes in WHP’s Room 2.
Watch the official video to The Heat by Jungle
Over at Room 3 we get an NTS Radio showcase of up-and-coming acts. Gang Fatale, Finn, Akito and Endgame to name but a few, playing a mix of R&B, Baltimore House, Jersey and London.
Make your way to The Warehouse Project
The Warehouse Project is an experience – a brilliant crowd, venue and line-up. Don’t fret, the WHP 2016 season runs between 23 September to 1 January and there are still plenty of upcoming WHP16 nights.