Live Review: DJ Fresh @ The Sugarhouse

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The dance acts that are coming to Lancaster are undoubtedly getting bigger and better. The latest in the line-up is Drum & Bass artist, DJ Fresh, who performed at the Sugarhouse on the 26th of April. Due to the DJ’s status as being more mainstream than most of the previous acts we have seen in Lancaster (Flux Pavillion, Brown and Gammon and Brookes Brothers), the venue attracted a huge crowd, which gradually increased throughout the night.

By the time DJ Fresh’s support, Forthkind, had taken to the decks, most of the guests had arrived and Sugar was filling up nicely. Forthkind (Thomas Handforth) did a spectacular job of entertaining the crowd by building up the hype with an energetic electro house set. The crowd then embraced the chance to scream on-cue, as London-born DJ Fresh bounced onto the stage, accompanied by a pair of ridiculously good looking singers. The male and female adopted front-stage, leaving Daniel Stein (DJ Fresh) happily making music with his decks at the back.

He treated the crowd to live performances of his hit tracks, ‘Louder’, ‘Gold Dust’ and ‘Hot Right Now’. With ‘Louder’ being the only dubstep track to reach number one, it was obviously a big milestone for Fresh and the crowd showed their appreciation by belting out the words, along with the singers. All that was missing was a set of females clad in 80’s gear, rollerblading around Sugarhouse. The success of ‘Hot Right Now’ matched that of ‘Louder’ in the UK charts and the performers managed to pull it off, even without the vocals of Rita Ora.

The electro house vibe was almost neglected for a few moments, when the DJ played us his rendition of Coldplay’s ‘Paradise’. DJ Fresh managed to incorporate his own drum n bass/dubstep sound into the single, whilst still keeping the soulful rock element of the original version. The spectators almost became mellow and emotional. For a bit, at least. The atmosphere all changed when “Bigger Than Hip Hop” blasted through the speakers, which was originally a hip hop (surprise surprise) single by New York City Duo, Dead Prez.

One thing that this event will go down in Lancastrian history for, though, is the performance of ‘The Power’. This was the first times that DJ Fresh had ever performed this single live and the catchy, trance-like tune went down a storm. I also think it is safe to say that the tune and repetitive chorus will still be replaying in people’s heads a week later. Impressively, ‘The Power’ was co-produced with the massive Dizzee Rascal, who also featured as the main vocalist. It is still not available to download on iTunes, yet the single came top in BBC Radio 1’s review show. Unfortunately, Dizzee did not attend the event, but his expertise in the industry shone through in the music.

A special mention needs to go to the supporting DJ’s, that all played in the warm up to DJ Fresh in order to provide the crowd with five hours of music. They were Myth of Unity (MOU), Beach Club, DJ Marshall and Forthkind, who have all become somewhat regulars on the Lancaster music scene. The only downside was that some of these artists did not get enough recognition, as the night started so early and the venue didn’t fill up until around 10pm.

Following this event, we all know what the question on everyone’s lips is: what’s next and when can I get my ticket?

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