Soul Out @ Mint Lounge Friday 29th February 2008
Review - T2 Bad
A hurricane was a blowing on this cold February night. But undaunted by the task ahead of me I grabbed my trusty camera and headed off into the tempest which was of Biblical Judgement Day proportions!!! It was a rather unnerving drive into Manchester City Centre as the wind was blowing my Jalopy all over the place and I was struggling to stay on the correct side of the road.
On my arrival I found a parking spot at the first time of trying which was a relief as my previous experiences of parking near the Mint Lounge are usually a frustrating affair. I quickly headed into the venue and was rapidly processed by the door staff and passed through with great ease into the main room where the action was taking place.
The first thing to hit me was how packed the Mint Lounge was, it was heaving!!! The second thing to hit me was the cosmopolitan crowd who were there; it was a mixture of the sophisticated side of the Northern Quarter set and the usual suspects from the Mancunian Soul Scene which is a first. Mmm… interesting I thought to myself, let’s see how this one pans out.
Alex Bad Ass was on the Wheels of Steel and was dropping the tunes with his usual aplomb. There was nothing spectacular about what he did, but it was a solid performance from one of Manchester’s Soul grandees and it provided the platform for what was proving to be an enjoyable night.
DJ Mike Stephens came on after Alex and continued in the same vein and there was no let-up on the dance-floor as the Soul Out Masses just kept on going. Again there were no surprises where the music was concerned with either DJ, but looking at the cosmopolitan mix of people, this was probably not the time or place to go baffling anyone with science!!
I must say that I’ve always had the feeling that the sound system in the Mint Lounge has never been used to its full potential, as it’s always sounded weak to me. This isn’t because of a lack of power, I think it’s more to do with this Hippy type Dude who’s the resident sound engineer and the fact that he doesn’t fully understands the essence of what Black music is about!!! It was no coincidence that the system sounded heavyweight for once and that he was nowhere to be seen!!! Hopefully this will continue because if this night proved anything, the Hippy is more of a hindrance than a help!!! (Someone should send him back to Woodstock, rapido!!)
It was good to see everyone enjoying themselves and it was strange hearing so many people mentioning how good the night was as I was making my rounds!!! Yvonne has certainly found her groove again!!! At around 2.30am the DJ’s then stepped up the pressure and moved away from the usual tried and tested tracks which have become synonymous with the Mancunian Soul scene and this proved to be the beginning of the end of the evening.
A lot of the crowd who’d danced constantly all night to their favourite tracks were less forgiving when equally as good, but less well known tunes were played at this part of the night. It’s a curse with our Soul scene that people complain about hearing the same music wherever they go, but vacate the dance-floor when they hear something out of the norm…What is a DJ supposed to do?
Soul Control Verdict:
Credit where credit is due, Soul Out at the mint Lounge was a good night out for all concerned and the best Soul night that I have been to in 2008 so far. It was a pity that the night went rapidly downhill for the last 45 minutes when the DJ’s tried to extend themselves musically, but not to worry, this didn’t detract from an enjoyable evening.
Soul Control Rating: