Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Saturday night at Manchester’s Pronk! run by Matt aka Rod Hotly who’s in the ‘beat-heavy’ (but song-centred) Real Dolls. They take over the upstairs at the Deaf Institute and bring in their own clear and crisp system rather than using the club’s, and there’s projections and the club logo in evidence. I heard dubstep, some wobble, hard new percussive/digital tunes, bit of older hip-hop, funk and breaksy stuff later on; a really good mix. Still like the way nominally ‘trance’ sounds can meld with in the global beatmix these days (and it needn’t have Taio Cruz on it). Marc was a bit nonplussed by some of the abrasive stuff and crunching synths, but it tweaked my desperate node for novelty.

We bitch about the night’s contingent of ‘normals’ with their shirts, over-assertive dancing, wraps for their birds (probably) and Ernst & Young contracts, and the bitching hits a peak when a few do the big show-off dancing please-get-in-a-circle-and-look-at-me-spazz-off routine. But you do need a few of every type of crowd to get a party going, not just scenesters and those just there for the music, man. Ultimately, there wasn’t enough of any type there, although they broke even. Upstairs can be a hard place to fill with everybody nipping out for fags, the old theatre-style seating at the back and the temptations for some of populism and pulling downstairs (where they eventually play not one but two Roses tunes in succession – howl). Matt, whose been on some good hip-hop tunes to come out of MC/r over the years, acknowledges a different venue may help. Check the Dolls’‘para para’ J-Pop latest, Electro Tsunami, below, and a Dolls mix by Peter Parker of the band.

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