Monday, 18 January 2010


Louche firmly planted it's place in the big time with a stonking party at the Mint last weekend; having made the bold decision to move from their monthly friday slot to the 3rd Saturday of the month, the night now faces stiff competition for the Saturday night party crowd from scene stalwarts Back to Basics as well as a host of other established nights each month. There was also a question mark as to whether the younger and more student crowd that Louche attracts each month may have been put off by the increase in both door and drinks prices that a primetime Saturday night slot dictates. Alas... I believe they have nothing to fear!

At a time typically reserved for adopting the foetal position as everyone recovers from the previous 12 months of excess, the Mint Club was jam packed as what must of been 800 plus revelers squeezed in to fight for dancing space as Louche hooked up with Twaddle to fly Martinez in for his first appearance in the city of Leeds. As midnight struck the dancefloor was slowly beginning to fill but typically on a Saturday at the Mint, 12 until 12.30 is the time that makes or breaks a night and although the night appeared steady, I definitely was not prepared for what was about to come. Sneaking out the side door for a crafty rollie at half past the hour, I was shocked to see a queue snaking back past the alley and all the way up to the entrance of D:Fusion; where had all these people suddenly appeared from? Maybe yearly jaunts to Sonar, Berlin and the like are finally beginning to take effect and a more european attitude to going out is finally beginning to be adopted on a large scale in Leeds; maybe this time next year it will be the norm to not even think about jumping into the shower until Hansen and Shearer have summed things up on Match of The Day.

Whatever the case, as the night pushed past 1.30 and the Louche residents tidied things up before beginning their handover to Martinez, an energetic young crowd bounced away on the Mint Club dancefloor. With a bad mix of people a stupendously busy dancefloor can really ruin a night, but one of the things I like about Louche the most is the friendly and smiley crowd that the night attracts; there is always going to be the odd brute or ibiza cunt in sunglasses (maybe even more so on a Saturday) but I have found the Louche crowd in general to be one full of nice people. Martinez took over the decks at around 2pm and began to ply the crowd with music that was decidedly less 'louchey' than previous incarnations of the night; maybe it was the collaboration with Twaddle but the stuff Martinez was playing was a lot more 'techy' than the Oslo/Cecile house grooves I have become accustomised to. Not that this was a bad thing in the slightest; the music being played was of the highest calibre and despite my knowledge of Martinez being very limited before the night, I have definitely walked away a fan. One of the things I have found about Louche is their knack for picking guests not so much 'out of the unknown' but ones who are just about to land it in the big time; the Seth Troxler and Miss Fitz night was well over a year ago but you only have to look at the waves the two have made since they played the Mint 18 months ago to realise the point I am making.

The Twaddle residents took over for the last couple of hours to bring the night to it's end and a nice selection of house grooves (including the J Cub Lonley Club remix - what a fucking record) kept well over 150 people lodged onto the dancefloor until the 6am finish... It may have been even longer if it wasn't for the confusion between the DJ's and Mint Club staff as to when the music had to go off! A three of four minute silence at 6am meant that the vast majority of the club had already headed for the cloakroom before the music finally came back on. Still, the party continued on down at Wire until the wee hours of Sunday morning for those wanting to abstain from the bed for that bit longer. I also have to say that the use of the lighting panel and the smoke/ice cannon were both spot on tonight; since being implemented in the Mint around 18 months ago I've often felt they weren't being used to their full potential but over the last few months they really have been firing on all cylinders (to excuse the pun) and I really think the club now does rival the club it was based on (Watergate) for it's lighting and visual show. Louche also seems to go from strength to strength and on the basis of it's first Saturday night at the club it looks like it could hit the heights of the number one weekend event in Leeds this year.

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