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Bicep & Jon Hopkins - Warehouse Project

When we say Bicep everyone who knows UK music will have heard of the Irish Duo who slams every single year when they play. No matter the event, their gigs are always sold out, and for reason - December 5th 2021 was no exception.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the night before which was Feel My Bicep – had artists like HAAi, Mall Grab and MR G but I’m sure it was outstanding. (as other reviews have reported). Next time, when I am not working, eh!

This gig was perhaps the best light show I had seen at WHP since its move over to Mayfield Depot, it was vibrant and full of life and the people were relaxed which I think is a rarity for WHP. I have always liked this venue, an old Train station, little grimy and dingy (keeping to the old Manc aesthetic) but utilises the space well. I personally see it as a massive upgrade from Store Street Warehouse, acoustically speaking, and the venue is much more accessible. Firstly, you can see the stage clearer for a start, bonus and you can feel the bass, which as a raver… you want.

Bicep playing songs from their 2021 album Idles
Bicep playing songs from their 2021 album Idles

I have to say that this year at WHP saw it to be more expensive, and with their new state of the art airport security scanners – safe? Let’s not forget the promo for free vapes in the smoking area. Capitalistically clever, needed? No.

Anyway, let’s look at the music. I arrived just in time for Jon Hopkins, who I have seen many a time in the past – one highlight being his Singularity tour back in ’18. People rallied towards the main stage as his set was about to begin, a buzz in the air and my warming cider in hand. People were ready.

Jon Hopkins ethereal set at WHP 2021

It felt intimate yet not overcrowded as people chatted freely, enjoying his music and grooving in succession – his euphoric intros always beam me to another place, he experiments with ambient and electronic like a waltz and never lets the crowd fall into the shadows with his trance like light show. I appreciate music where they can fall out the conventional attitudes, where they experiment and warp sounds to create art. Jon Hopkins has always done this with style, playing a few tunes off his most recent Album Music for psychedelic Therapy.

Finally, it was time – Bicep. Andy Ferguson and Matt McBriar not only curated a brilliant set with their signature deep house making love to ambient techno, but kept the power flowing out their fingertips slamming out tunes from their latest album Idles which is beyond fantastic BTW. 'Atlas', 'Apricot’s' and obviously 'Glue'– can’t leave us without playing that banger now can they? I hope I can get to see them again in the next year, and if you haven’t already then you need to get on the bandwagon, think of your grandkids when you’ll have stories to tell.

I remember when WHP was about the music, now I feel like it’s become more mainstream which isn’t bad – it gets more coverage this way, but it has lost its sense of nostalgia and identity. Ciders were a fiver

for a can… outrage. I will be going again but now it seems like a normal venue rather than an experience.

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