The re-opening of Sankeys Manchester felt like four parties in one. In the new look Basement we had Rossko & Seb Zito going back-to-back representing FUSE, Audiofly representing Flying Circus, Darius Syrossian representing VIVa Warriors and upstairs in the Spektrum Article and Treehouse combined as one with special guest Mosca as the main attraction. Some may say that this party lacked an A-list headliner to open the club with a bang, but I disagree. What this party showcased was the artists that have taken the brand of Sankeys to a worldwide audience and it was only right that these artists took centre stage to reopening the club that in 2010 was nominated the best club in the world.
Sankeys Manchester is a club that lives in the tradition of the Hacienda and the first thing on entry (other than the obvious turn-around of the DJ booth) that you noticed was the black and yellow striped poles that are a characteristic of many Manchester venues. What I liked about the new look venue the most was how the Basement remained raw and intimate, before it was too easy to get distracted by heading outside or into ‘The Bar’ area where a local DJ would be flicking through his collection playing music that had no relevance to what was going on in the Main Room behind a door and a wall of L.E.D lights. With the thin strobe lights flicking between red, blue and green creating a colourful mist all night long, ‘The Basement’ was looking as good as it’s ever looked and the new DJ Booth position and set-up will no doubt be a favourite of artists from all over the world.
The first two DJs who got to break in the new Sankeys set up was Rossko and Seb Zito. With three hours to play with the duo who are no strangers to playing together took the opportunity to experiment with their track selection early on before settling on a groove that blended their early garage routes with heavy basslines and broken, hip shaking rhythms that has become internationally accepted as ‘Fusic’. With this being the opening, people were here for a party and immediately you could sense there was a relationship between the DJ and the crowd.
Although the crowd was young, there was an element of trust and that continued into the early morning as Audiofly took to the decks to take us into a deeper and darker vibe. With my personal taste getting darker and darker, this set was my favourite of the night. Audiofly took us into a different realm, focusing on long progressive build ups and break downs that controlled the movements of the dance floor around me. The highlight, no doubt was the beautifully crafted ‘Leonix’ (Marcus Worgull & Peter Pardeike) whirling around the Basements four walls, sending shivers down my shine. There may have been more hand in the air moments in the sets before and after, but the feeling of floating in the clouds while your feet stay firmly on the floor is a feeling I have missed since the closing of the Ibiza season.
The man who will take away all the plaudits from this opening night is Mr. Darius Syrossian. Joining his set about an hour in, the jacking house sound created a completely different vibe to the Basement, an electric party atmosphere you would associate with Sunday nights at Sankeys Ibiza. The vibrations could be felt underneath your feet, as Darius took the crowd in a number of different directions. The Sankeys and VIVa resident is an artist with a loyal following and he could do no wrong with his track selections, making it all seem so effortless, showing his versatility ranging from the sounds of Deetron, to Sis to Carl Craig to the Happy Mondays. With an entourage cheering him on from inside the booth, stand out moments came towards the end as Todd Terje’s Inspector Norse got everyone dancing with a smile on their face before the break down of Hot Since 82s collaboration with Joe T Vanille – The End provided one of the strongest connections that I have felt between a crowd and a DJ! Emotional stuff!
It was a pleasure to watch three acts (four DJs) from three different parties showcasing their unique sound under one roof. With the Sankeys brand about to head into their third decade, The Basement of Sankeys has been the main event and these three parties are set to play a huge role in the 20th Anniversary of Sankeys.
Fuse residents Rossko & Seb Zito have uploaded their incredible three hour set on to their Soundcloud. Listen below.
Photography by Gemma Parker Photography