Bristol’s once grimey but endearing venue, Lakota, has undergone a serious makeover. Now featuring a one-way system to cater for the expansion into the next-door venue, Coroner’s court, it’s lost some of its grittier older character but at least now it can host mega line-ups like the one Shapes and An Evening With put on last Friday, with more efficiency.
The main room’s DJ booth had confusingly been elevated to where the booth would have been in the 90s/early 2000s, which made it funny to watch dancers trying to work out where the music was coming from. At first it seemed to take away focus, but actually it was the removing of the focus that let people dance together rather than all facing the same direction – an unfortunate feature of today’s contemporary dance clubs.
Jackmaster’s midnight set pummeled away with the occasional rewind, not without much of his playful characteristics and large high hats, but seeing as Move D was playing all night long in room 2, my attention was certainly held there.
Moufang is one of house music’s most loved DJ, with his best sets being a presentation of joyous dance music as well as some of his signature dance moves, which are unequivocally one of my favourite spectacles to witness in a club. Moufang wasn’t quite on top form, possibly down to the very distracted crowd and not quite tuned new sound system, but nevertheless he provided an excellent all-nighter playing his current favourites like the new Laurence Guy EP on Rose Records all while sipping on red wine.
Meanwhile, in the excellently-tuned Coroner’s Court main room, Tama Sumo was doing what she does better than most: curating a mechanically perfect house set, utilizing her fine array of tooly tunes to provide a flawless platform for the DJ following her, all with an adorable smile on her face.
Just next door in the “Dark” room of Coroner’s Court, Rommek and Black Amiga fed the Bristol techno side of things. The two major resident DJs really provided an excellent heavy escape, leaning on industrial and more broken UK style techno, really driving a contrasting tangent to the rest of the line up.
The big name of the night was of course The Black Madonna, who many, including myself, have been patiently waiting to see for a good couple of years in Bristol, while she’s been rising to raging popularity. Her enthusiasm behind the decks really is a spectacle that heavily augments to the stompy Chicago techno she blasted out. I found myself watching her from the top balcony, smiling the whole time both at her bouncing around and in amazement in how she was able to mix whilst at some points having both feet in the air.
The night really lived up to its title. It was a Summer Show that must have opened the season’s gate for many who had just finished exams and for others who were simply excited to spend their Friday night among some of the finest DJs money can buy, put on by two of Bristol’s most tasteful promoters.
Photos by Khris Cowley for Here & Now.