Less than a minute away from Piccadilly station, nestled in the industrial landscape of Manchester, lies the Mayfield Depot; Warehouse Project’s 8th event space since they opened their doors in 2006. Manny’s most prestigious night in the clubbing-sphere was then an abandoned Boddington’s brewery, hosting HipHop heavy weights Public Enemy, and jungle pioneers in the calibre of Roni Size. This year promised to be their most immersive yet, and with a 10,000 capacity venue, it is easy to see why the likes of Flume, Bicep, Four Tet and Skepta are all jumping at the chance to headline a date there.
Ravers treck from far and near to experience WHP’s unique nights - this years venue is an abandoned train station; It’s hardly noticeable in the day, but the area truly lights up after dark. The sense of anticipation is truly immense the second you begin cuing to enter the depot.
Supporting Flume was Ross From Friends, who brought his critically acclaimed live show to Manchester. The Colchester native’s expansive, lo-fi house rhythms were a perfect way to role into Harley Streten’s more anthemic hits. When ‘Talk To Me You’ll Understand’ dropped, Weatherhall’s woozy cut from 2017, fans bopped in a state of profound euphoria, eagerly waiting for the entrance of Australia’s finest of artists.
Walking around secondary school with Flume blaring out your phone was unquestionable a few years ago; his hits blasted from just about every speaker of every house party when we were 16, and so we came to Manny in search of nostalgia. From the go, this is what we got. In 2017 we flocked to Reading Festival to see him headline the NME tent, which was quite possibly one of the most incredible musical experiences we’ve had. Then, Streten opened with ‘Helix’ - which he replicated last week in Manchester too. The schizophrenic production encouraged the lasers to jolt across the audience, creating prisms of colours that mesmerised for the whole hour and a half he played.
‘High Beams’ followed; a collaboration with Northampton’s Slowthai, the track is a standout on Harley’s ‘Hi This Is Flume’ mixtape. The unconfessed scrappy trap banger brought cheers from the 10,000 intoxicated teens that found themselves in the depot that night, but it were the classics that got the loudest reception. The meticulous transition between ‘Holdin On’ and ‘On Top’ sent shivers down our spines; It’s easy to forget just how many belters he has. Flume's remix of Lorde’s ‘Tennis Court’ is particularly legendary, and somehow we had forgotten of Its existence until Streten span it.
The whole of his set went off. There wasn’t a tune that didn’t send the crowd crazy - even Flume’s latest singles, which we had been slightly skeptical about prior to last week, went down a treat live. Tracks in the vein of ‘Drop The Game’ are timeless, and remain in his set 6 years after their creation. Ending with ‘Tiny Cities’, acollaboration with none other than Beck, was nothing short of breathtaking too.
The only query we could possibly have with Wednesday was it simply wasn't long enough. With a back catalogue as prestigious as his, Streten could have played for a few more hours, but it was a gig and not a full night at WHP after all. It’s been a busy year for the Australian, whether he is releasing mixtapes, singles, or being filmed getting fruity in night clubs, 2019 has seen him finally return to the forefront of electronica.