Review: La Discothèque – Albert Hall, Manchester

Last Sunday, CityLife award winner La Discothèque returned to Manchester’s Albert Hall for a Bank Holiday spectacular.

On arrival Greg Wilson was in full swing, throwing out hits by the minute. As a name recognised more by those fortunate enough to experience the 80s and 90s dance music scene. the reason for La Discotheque’s broad demographic appeal became apparent.

Reaching back into these years Wilson played out a vibrant mix of disco and funk classics coupled with a handful of his own classic disco edits from the last decade. Wilson‘s masterful use of a vintage Revox B77 reel to reel tape deck provided a refined sense of musical enrichment as he flirted with samples of disco classics to draw the crowd into what was to come.

Next up was the hotly anticipated, live performance from headliners Hercules & Love Affair. On stage they are brilliantly brave, with a collective sound that reaches into the crowd, swaying the shoulders and gyrating the hips of everyone on the dance-floor. Not defined by gender but soul, at any Hercules & Love Affair gig, any judgements are left at the door. Their 4th album showcases some darker, deeper sounds that filled Albert Hall with a retro, yet futuristic and brooding disco ambience.

Nine years since their beginnings, Andy Butler and the Hercules and Love Affair crew have embraced and indulged in their openly gay sexuality with a “nasty basslines, stormy, bleary-eyed sounds” and rough, tough and ragged old school house that tips its hat to electro-disco circa 1987. On Sunday, gender knew no boundaries.

Another obvious highlight of the night was Disco diva and soul superstar Jocelyn Brown. From the beginning Brown’s vocal prowess can be heard in every growling high note, singing sang hits Always There, Somebody Else’s Guy, Something’s Goin’ On (In Your Soul) and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. With a hit laden set list, there was no mountain high enough to keep veteran singer Jocelyn Brown from rocking the Albert Hall crowd from start to finish.

It’s easy to see why La Discothèque has gained such acclaim. From it’s blend of old and nu-disco, which brings together an eclectic crowd, to the toilet disco which is utterly inspired,  we can are completely hooked.

We absolutely can’t wait to see what the next instalment brings.


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