Wax:On Leeds 25/10/0

"Big Beats are the best, get high all the time"
- The Big Beat Manifesto

The man who would become Fatboy Slim was born Quentin Leo Cook on July 1963. Now Quentin is obviously a very dorky name, so the big beat pioneer did the obvious thing and changed it. To Norman. Whoops.

Wax:On appears to have recovered from its brief flirtation with skinny jeans, Mission and Sundays. It sidled back into the forgiving embrace of the union like a guilty husband who had a bit too much fun on a business trip. In the place of empty promises and supermarket flowers it attempted to appease poor Stylus with a Halloween fancy dress special. And jolly good it was too. It was very cute that many of the acts on the line up seemed to have been booked because they have vaguely Halloweeny names (Disco Bloodbath, Fake Blood, the Bloody Beetroots), but they missed a trick by not getting Skream involved.

The heavily hyped Japanese Popstars are an elusive bunch. So elusive in fact, that they completely failed to show up. The Plump DJs and the Bloody Beetroots were the big headliners in the main room, and performed admirably, but for many the main draw of the night was to be found lower down the bill and tucked away in room 2.

The no show by the Jappy Pops (as they're apparently known in Derry) lead many to abandon Stylus in favour of Mine, and we were welcomed with open arms by Wax:On's newest superstar resident DJ, Mr Martin Doorly esq. He’s a guy who really knows what he’s doing. You’d be happily dancing along and then all of a sudden he’d nonchalantly slip in something like ‘Breathe’ by The Prodigy, that Caspa mix of ’Where’s My Money’ or ‘Never Be Alone’ as if it’s no big thing. And obviously it is. Predictably, everyone lost their minds. Magnificent.

How good is Mine by the way? The answer? Very very good. I love it in there! It's all cool and tunnel shaped and there are nice sofas if you want a little rest. Perfect.

When the first Fake Blood remixes started to surface on them internets about a year ago they got a lot of knickers very twisted. Not only were the tracks all unbelievably strong, but this Mr. Blood chap was keeping his identity a closely guarded secret. Word got out that it was a side project by an established act, rather than just some guy (like Burial), and names started getting tossed about willy nilly.

A lot of people were really totally sure it was a new alias of Norman Cook, others had been told by a bloke who knows a guy that it was Armand Van Helden, someone told me it was a super group made up of Tiesto, Diplo, Banksy, Batman and Lord Lucan. What a fuss. Then everyone found out that it was Theo Keating (DJ Touche) all along. When he started DJing as Fake Blood, Keating didn't bother with a mask or any silliness like that, and his secret identity was forever compromised. Obviously his set was ace, he played nice bassy tunes that had the crowd in Mine bouncing very happily along. He gave it 110% and, fair play to the boy, at the end of the day that's all we can ask.

But enough of the things of the past! Let us leave them bouncing on their spacehoppers with Timmy Mallett and look instead to the glorious future, to a time of hovercars, teleportation and armies of eager subservient robots to cater to our every whim.

In November Wax:On is filling the union with a smorgasbord of tasty treats to tantalise even the tricksiest tastebuds. Annie Mac is helming this bejewelled behemoth, spoiling us with everyone's favourite Teutonic twosome in the form of Digitalism, lovely retro Ladyhawke and one of the most impressively bearded men to ever squelch a bassline, the Don Corleone of fidget house, Switch. The deliciously voluptuous line up also includes DJ Zinc, Brodinski, Plastician, Digital Mystikz and the effervescent Doorly. I, for one, am already moist with excitement.

Hail Xenu

Bad Robot with Herve 15/10/08

"Fascinating creatures, looks like a lady but really it's a man. I don't find them attractive, it's just confusing."
- Alan Partridge

In Samoa they have three genders: male, female and fa’afafine. Fa’afafine are boys who are raised as girls from childhood, assuming traditionally feminine roles in society (caring for the elderly, the young and occasionally providing sexual encounters for the pubescent). Lady boys are boys who tired of being boys, sort of went for it but didn’t commit the whole way. Currently some of them are in Leeds challenging the curious to games of sexuality Russian roulette inside their big top of iniquity. It reminds me of the time my friend told me he “really fancies the girl from Hanson”.

Remember when they showed you how to make a Tracey Island on Blue Peter, for all the losers whose parents didn't love them enough to buy a real one? I have invented a thing, similar to the Blue Peter thing but more lady boy themed. It’s a fun little game you absolutely should try at home. Simply take a playmate of the opposite sex, find a full length mirror and strip off. The gentleman then positions himself behind the lady and pokes his man parts through her legs, creating a delightful optical illusion! It's every little girl's dream to one day be a lady boy, and now the dream can become reality! Take some photos! Set them as your facebook profile! What a way to take a loving relationship to 'the next level'!

Apparently Herve (Josh Harvey to his mother) is going out with Annie Mac. I know this because they were making out at Wax:On last new year's eve. That night he was there as half of Speakerjunk, playing with the geriatrically monikered demon of magnificence that is Trevor Loveys. At Bad Robot he was Herve, but he also produces as the Count (hit me on my beeper, beeper, beeper), Action Man, Dead Soul Brothers, Voodoo Chilli, Young Lovers and he's part of the fidget house Harlem Globetrotters known as Machines Don't Care.

So here’s a question: Why the hell isn’t Bad Robot rammed every week? Doesn’t anyone realise that it’s just the same as Wax:On, but a third of the price on the door and with £1.50 drinks? Seriously. £1.50. And yet Stylus was only half full (although at least five people were dressed in home made tin foil and cardboard robot costumes. Heroes). On the same night thousands of people crowded into the soulless cess pit of mediocrity that is Oceana to worship at the alter of the blandest most uninspired crud ever to masquerade as music. What the fuck? Anyway, Herve was predictably amazing, coming as no surprise to anyone who heard his recent Mixmag cover mount CD or the Essential Mix he did with Sinden, his chief co-conspirator and the headliner at an equally splendid Bad Robot a couple of weeks ago. The beats banged and the bass wobbled, as is their wont.

In conclusion, go to Bad Robot, it’s amazing. If you don’t they’ll probably shut down and you’ll only have yourselves to blame. And I will be sad.

God save the Queen.

New Bohemia with Danny Breaks 3/10/08

I learnt a thing recently. The thing is as follows: MacDonald's will not let you have a Happy Meal after 11 at night. They've got all the various bits there, they just won't put one together for you. It's an active choice they've made, that there will be no late night happiness at MacDonald's.

By the sound of their name Northern Hostility should be the sort of nasty little pikeys the right wing press are currently soiling themselves about, a group of unpleasant spalpeens (look it up) running around putting knives into the elderly. All in all, not a very happy group of lads.

Actually they seem a fairly amiable bunch. Also, there are fucking loads of them. According to their myspace they are a collective of 17 mcs, 8 producers and 4 djs. They come across a bit like the Liberty X to Blazin' Squad's Hear'Say, they're not as pretty, but you get the impression that they may have a personality or two between them, and maybe even be capable of original thought.

Despite not nearly being able to fit on the stage at the Fav they were pretty good, doing that distinctively UK kind of hip hop you get from guys like Skinnyman, Mark B and Blade and fellow Leeds boy Kid Acne, and they talked in Yorkshire accents between songs, which is always funny., and one of their tracks contains the priceless line: "We get your attention like a pair of fake tits". For that I can only praise them.

New Bohemia is a lovely place where lovely people play lovely music to other lovely people. Tonight's lovely person in chief was Mr Danny Breaks, the rave pioneer (as 'Sonz of a Loop Da Loop Era') turned drum and bass pioneer turned hip hop experimentalist, turned actual proper legend. Recently he's done a (storming) collaboration on Mr Scruff's new album. Mr Scruff is a pretty good reference point for Danny Breaks, they both favour quality hip hop and share a love for a prize winning marrow of a bassline.

Just as Danny Breaks was getting into the swing of things, we were joined by some very special visitors. A delegation from the North Yorkshire constabulary paid the lovely people a visit, lured in by the splendidly wobbly bass line of Danny's track 'the jellyfish'. More numerous even than Northern Hostility, they sidled in, sealed perimeters, dispatched a posse in the direction of the toilets then just stood around for a bit. Then they left.

Either they quickly realised the futility of attempting a 'Dirty Disco' style drug bust or they were imposters, a stunt set up by Northern Hostility to make them seem a bit more edgy and gangsta. Perhaps we will never know. Or care. In conclusion, go to New Bohemia, it's great. Much better than MacDonald's.