Hannah Wants – PLAY Tour at Motion 10.03.2017
Work Hard. PLAY Harder.
Having played sell-out shows across the UK, showcasing an ‘elite selection’ of DJs, Hannah Wants’ PLAY tour takeover at Motion has been high up on my list of priorities. As I queued up outside the venue, I could already feel the vibrations resonating from Bristol’s iconic warehouse. Previous night’s here this year had reached a calibre I thought near impossible, with multi-room line-ups and full-capacity raving on every level. I had to wonder what Hannah could bring to the table, with her comparatively small line-up and crowd size.
Entering the main room, it became clear that this night would stand out from previous Motion experiences. The PLAY Tour had promised ‘electrifying visuals’ and ‘a grungy and intense atmosphere’. Bram Fidder, a 24-year-old house producer from Amsterdam, fit the bill perfectly.
Starting his set with a purposeful awkwardness, minimal overlays and sharp basslines, Fidder turned Motion into an industrial space you’d expect to find only in the darkest corner of Berlin.
Taking it up a notch with his version of Kuo Climax’s ‘Tomorrow’, the crowd was sold. From midnight onwards, Fidder was dancing behind the decks as hard as the crowd, who were absolutely popping off to Detlef’s ‘Swagon’ and a remix of Martin Ikin’s ‘Bad Love’, which introduced the tech-house vibe present for the rest of the night.
From this set onwards, the standard in the main room only increased. Shadow Child backed into Fidder’s vibe with ease, losing even more of the melody and upping the bass; exactly what the crowd wanted. Alan Fitzpatrick’s ‘I’m Behind You’ went down like a storm, as did deep house classic ‘Jack’ by Breach. At this point, I decided to check out Jamie Duggan in Room 2, an artist I had seen in Bristol last year.
Whilst his mix of garage and bassline would have normally attracted crowds at any other event, his set was largely disappointing.
The crowd tonight wanted big beats and house vibes, and the wobbly bass sounding out in Room 2 wasn’t cutting it. I returned for the rest of Shadow Child’s set, waiting eagerly for Hannah Wants to grace the stage at 2am.
Finally, it was time.
Two days after international woman’s day, Hannah Wants took the stage to make her mark at Bristol’s most famous club.
Her set was ruthless. Industrial beats combined with a surprisingly pop-centred set of samples made for a sound that assaulted anyone who was too close to the speakers. Forty-five minutes in, she dropped the massive ‘Stomp Change’ by Nathan Barato, and didn’t let up until the roof and walls were dripping. The production was spectacular, utilising lasers and smoke, mixed with intense visuals from the four triangular screens surrounding the decks.
The final half an hour consisted of ‘industrialized’ crowd pleasures, ranging from remixes of Sweet Female Attitude’s garage classic ‘Flowers’, to a techno take on ‘In for the Kill’. There was a surprising lack of playtime for any collaborations with Chris Lorenzo. Tunes such as ‘Rhymes’ and ‘Signs’ would have fit the evening well, but the relentless force of the rest of the set list satisfied my somewhat guilty craving for popular bangers. Hannah’s set only left me wanting more.
Luckily, we were treated to a final hour by Low Steppa, who destroyed what was left of the crowd with hit after hit after hit. As the sun started to rise at five in the morning and people staggered out of the sweltering venue, it became clear that Hannah Wants, through brilliant line-up selection and production, had confidently secured her place as one of the UK’s finest female DJs. If she ever graces Motion again, I will be the first in the queue.