The proliferation of the Leeds club scene in recent years is something to be admired in many respects. Perhaps more cynically, one may be inclined to suggest it is undecidedly near to its saturation point. However, such a range of options does have its benefits and the introduction of Beat Bar is testament to this rise (previously famous for holding Moustache on a Tuesday.). Its revamped dance floor area and tokenistic Funktion One system arguably allow for a more gig-like experience without compromising on sound quality. Indeed, one look at the venue’s listings and punters are treated to a host of events across the whole underground dance music spectrum.
Having arrived early to witness tonight’s offering of BBC 6 Music resident Gilles Peterson, there was live support from local act Paper Tiger. Lying at the more post-structuralist end of the electronic music continuum, the crowd were treated to a barrage of instrumental dexterity for the 45 minutes leading up to Gilles. Equipped with synth, laptop and saxophone, Paper Tiger delivered an interesting set that weaved in and out of minimal fragmented electronics to piercing jazz sound bites and most definitely kept its listeners on their toes for what was to come.
It must be noted here that there is a very subjectivist streak of reviewer bias and questionable commerciality in what is to follow. With that, I declare such bias; I listen to Gilles every week, purchase his Brownswood Bubblers records and attribute much of my interest in global music to his influence. In fact, his set at Beat Bar on Saturday came on the back of the Worldwide Awards in London the previous week. Even still, Gilles did not disappoint and delivered a purely groovy set which had everything from new Pantha du Prince to Sister Sledge to his own breed of ‘acid-jazz’. He even played Disclosure’s ‘White Noise’ twice, something that perhaps not a lot of DJs would be wont to do, but then again this is Gilles Peterson, so who cares? The crowd was truly blessed by Gilles’ commandeering of the turntables and who with microphone in hand, gave the night that intimate personal touch; an important factor in any good party.
words: Chris Mclachlan