RELEASE YOURSELF II @ Wharf Chambers 15/12/12

What an incredible night!! Difficult to actually express in words how much fun we had at Release Yourself II at our favourite Leeds venue Wharf Chambers on Saturday. Amazing live sets from Runners and Unmade Bed, great DJ sets from Matt, Pat, Henry, Dom, Brigit, and Gav, beautiful dancers, a great vibe, our best decor design yet, and a packed house.

The night kicked off with a beautiful set from Sheffield band Unmade Bed, on only their third gig and debut Leeds performance. Hannah, Robert and Dorian describe themselves as “No Wave bedroom disco”. We’d say that’s a good description. James Chance-style abrasive, scratchy guitar playing, raw, glitchy drum machine dance beats, great bass hooks with that warm semi-acoustic tone, and incredible, soulful singing. Not only do they have great songs, a sharp style and look incredibly sexy on stage, they are also friendly, forthcoming and a delight to spend time with. Personally we hope they come back very soon.

Find them here:

We were very sad to hear about the recent demise of one of our favourite Leeds bands and Stargaze Records label pals Runners, so it’s fair to say that we watched their set with heavy hearts. Having said that, it’s impossible to watch Runners without feeling incredibly uplifted by their particular brand of live dance music. For us it’s just a great mix of elements, neatly packaged into a very tasteful and considered whole. It’s part-krautrock – the foreword momentum and motorik style, part-ambient techno – warm, rounded, repetitive bass synth hooks, part-house – euphoric, polyrhythmic synth melodies. What’s not to like?? So, farewell Runners, we shall miss you. On the plus side we have new ex-Runners projects to look forward to, namely Girls Water (Jonathan Nash / Toby Gamlen) and Chrononautz (Leon Carey / Dominic Clare) and we have been informed that Runners plan to record their remaining unreleased tracks before they finally call it a day. This pleases us greatly.

Find them here:

The DJ sets all really went off at this RY party, and it was really satisfying to see so many people whooping, hollering, high-fiving, and generally losing their shit on the dancefloor. Beautiful smiling faces and a very well-dressed and friendly crowd, just what we like to see. The sets from Matt, Pat, Henry, Brigit, Dom, and Gav pumped out house, boogie, disco, post-disco, techno, hi-nrg, italo, two-step, garage, electro, krautrock, and no wave. It was LOUD, and we utilized those in-house subs as best we could!

Here’s a selection from Matt’s two sets:

Big Fun – INNER CITY (1988)

Optimo – LIQUID LIQUID (1983)

I Believe (feat. Lindsey Caldwell) – ELI ESCOBAR (2012)

You’re My Number One – RADIANCE feat. ANDREA STONE (1983)

Let’s Do It – CONVERTION (1980)

Inspector Norse – TODD TERJE (2012)

You Can’t Have It – STARGAZE (1982)

From Here To Eternity – GIORGIO MORODER (1977)

Bax – MOSCA (2011)

You Are In My System – THE SYSTEM (1982)

Track 2 – EROS EP (2012)

Walking On Sunshine – ROCKER’S REVENGE feat. DONNIE CALVIN (1982)

Get Off (You Fascinate Me) – PATRICE RUSHEN (1984)

I’m Caught Up (In A One Night Love Affair) – INNER LIFE (1979)

Weekend – CLASS ACTION (1983)

Bad Times (I Can’t Stand It) – CAPTAIN RAPP (1983)

Hopscotch (Larry Levan remix) – GWEN GUTHRIE (1983)

Trent was on hand again and took some great shots, here’s a selection of those:

So, on behalf of Release Yourself we would like to say a huge thanks to all the staff at Wharf Chambers who worked both the day and night shifts (Lotte, Andrew, Tommo, Eleanor, Rob, Alex, Anna), everyone who worked on the door for us (Gem, Rachel, Jed, Martha, Jess, George), the bands (Nash, Toby, Leon, Dom, Hannah, Dorian, Robert), our guest DJs (Dom, Gav, Brigit) and everyone who came, danced, hung out, shook hands, held hands, kissed, hugged, drank, and hooked up. We hope you had a chance to release yourself and we hope to see you at the next one!

Matt xxx







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