Ether 2008 is well under way, and last night Radio Soulwax Presents… made sure to kick it up a notch. For the UK premiere of the tour film Part of the Weekend Never Dies, Belgian electro band Soulwax had taken over the Royal Festival Hall, and as well as showing the film in the auditorium (twice), guest DJs such as UK DJ Riton played sets throughout the night.
The film paints a picture of life on the road - the stereotypical longing for home and the displacement felt wandering through endless corridors and airports. What makes the film great, however, is the amazing concert footage, which manages to transfer the exhilaration from the crowd to the viewer, prepping us perfectly for a night of partying on the dance floor. The film is littered with sound bites and stories from collaborators and fans (amongst them American artist Peaches) who express a deep admiration for the band. Particularly disarming is the young British lad, who with a mixture of embarrassment and cheek recalls having dabbed a 14-year old girl in the face with his naked cock during a concert that by the looks of it could rival night out with Caligula.
The highlight of the evening was the set by Soulwax themselves, transforming the Clore Ballroom into a heaving mass of dancing revellers. While this Londonista doesn’t do much dancing these days (resembling an accomplished, on-the-job albeit misplaced bricklayer on the dance floor), we found ourselves throwing shapes like there was no tomorrow. No one knows quite how to build up to a climax like Soulwax and the atmosphere was almost glowing with joy. There was room for everyone, caners and popsters and ravers and ordinary London folk looking for a good time.
From 1 to 2 am, Soulwax again took to the stage, this time behind the decks in their incarnation as 2ManyDJs. Only a shame that while Soulwax operates on sensible continental hours, poor old London Transport is still stuck in pre-historic times and many a gig-goer had to leave before time to catch their last train home.
When we leave, there are no fights, no vomit and no drunken arguments. Just happy party people, rosy of cheek and sweaty of armpit, who’s been dancing the night away to rock hard beats that you may not be able to sing along to, but you can sure as hell try.
Image from dominiccampbell's flickr photostream