Skip to main content

Tag: soup kitchen

Live Review: Goodness x Bok Bok at Soup Kitchen

As I walked down the stairs into the Soup Kitchen basement, there was a feeling of excitement in the Mancunian air. Friday night saw forward-thinking promoters Goodness bring some energy to the city in the form of bass-heavy duo Bok Bok & L-Vis 1990 with warm-up duties on the night coming from the equally as talented Bolt and Afrodeutsche. As the temperature outside began to drop the basement of soup kitchen was just heating up.

Soup kitchen has been racking up some impressive bookings recently and is surely becoming a real favourite for Manchester’s music lovers/party goers. With its dimly lit basement, it seemed one of the more fitting places in the city for the night’s festivities. After spreading their wings to Manchester earlier this year, following success in Oxford and London, Goodness have brought some fantastic artists to the city including Hessle Audio’s Joe and Timedance main man Batu. Both occasions have proved to be riotous affairs, so I knew I was in for a treat.

As I arrived BOLT, a member of local collective VAM was handing over the reins after a well-received set to Afrodeutsche, who dived headfirst into a blend of electro & techno, easily grabbing the attention of the room. Her set was a definite nod to the old Detroit electro legends but it was combined fluidly with her own unique sound; the Manchester-based artist showed real talent and I am looking forward to seeing more from her in the future.

This was my first time catching the night slugs head honchos, and after rinsing their boiler room from way back in 2014 I was looking forward to seeing them in the flesh. As Bok Bok & L-Vis 1990 took to the decks at around 2 am it didn’t take long before the basement was shaking. With a genre-spanning set from UK funky to grime, no area of the bass music spectrum was left untouched, the following couple of hours were extremely entertaining.

In a Noisey article earlier this year, L-Vis commented on the way Night slug sets don’t really have a ‘peak time’ as such: “Our sets are not building to one specific moment, it’s more about different waves of energy throughout the set”. Energy was something that definitely wasn’t lacking down in that basement. The reception from the crowd was warmly appreciated by the DJ’s who looked to be enjoying it as much as the revelers on the other side of the booth. The front of the crowd was feeding off this energy as the tempo was upped and classics such as Lil Silva’s now legendary ‘Seasons’ got a predictably huge reaction alongside new productions that had the crowd roaring.

In an industry that sometimes struggles with representation, it was also great to see an equal split of genders on the line-up without the promoters using it as some kind of marketing tool. Hopefully, this positivity can continue throughout the scene.

I can happily say I struggled to find any negatives about this one and I look forward to the next Goodness event. Smiles were aplenty as the crowd headed up the stairs into the cold Manchester morning.


Review by Adam Parker

Live Review: Gazelle Twin at Soup Kitchen

For us human beings to peacefully coexist with one another, an element of performance and disguise is critical.  We exaggerate our best qualities and conceal our worst.  We take on characteristics abnormal to us to resolve our differences with others.  However, as much as it helps us prosper as a species, this personal compromise is the source of our unhappiness, frustrations and terror, and makes us fear our own individuality.  Maybe Freud or someone wrote something about it, maybe in Civilisation and its Discontents, maybe in, I don’t know, chapter two?  But who am I to say?  I’m no shrink.

Gazelle Twin is a producer and vocalist from Brighton.  She had a new record out recently.  This is about all I know about her and I’m not sure I want to know any more.  She played a gig at Soup Kitchen on Thursday 4th October, charming and scaring me in equal measure.  Bar an anonymous knob fiddler hunched over a desk to her right, she was alone on a stage devoid of embellishments or decoration, placing the visual focus of the performance entirely on her costume and body.  She pranced around onstage in full red and white attire like a giant tin of Red Stripe channelling Godzilla, leaving only her lips exposed.  Sometimes her performance was reminiscent of rap gigs I’ve been to in her confrontational, just-me-and-the-mic-in-this-bitch demeanour (see above).  But however she carried herself, her physicality was always like an extension of the music itself, and her idiosyncratic dance moves synced perfectly with music.  She yelped, screamed and whispered over broken synth loops.  The huge kicks and shimmering industrial snares scarcely held the tracks together, leaving the crowd asking themselves ‘‘Should we be dancing to this?  Is it going to look bad if I go for a cig?’’.  Her songs are very formulaic and her sound niche.  But it was never boring.  You can get away with it with such musicianship and finesse.

My favourite moment of the night came when she burst into an unexpected acoustic recorder solo.  Somehow she had appropriated this infantile, undignified instrument into something capable of paralysing Manchester’s young scenesters into stunned silence.  If before she was a rapper, now she was an otherworldly nymph, enchanting those who dared enter her realm.  It sounds strange saying that the sheer ridiculousness of her act seemed entirely normal.  At the end of the day she is an illusion, a contrived hodgepodge, a sum of a million different cultural sources, yet with such an original sound and aggressive demeanour.  If she wasn’t so relatable, perhaps we would be laughing at Gazelle Twin instead of lauding her.

Review by Joe McGavin

Photo by Hannah O’Gorman