Hospitality: O2 Academy, Leeds, 11/10/13

Hospitality: O2 Academy, Leeds, 11/10/13

The renowned Drum and Bass label Hospital Records landed in Leeds bringing with them a number of their biggest artists such as Netsky, Camo & Krooked, Danny Byrd and Fred V & Grafix. Hospitality nights are run by Hospital Records and tour around all the major cities in the UK, bringing top end dnb to the masses. Having already been to Hospitality in Bristol, where I first discovered this style of music, I quite simply felt that I had to relive it all again a year later.

By midnight the 2300 capacity dance floor was heaving, eagerly awaiting the main act of the night, Netsky. A Grade I listed gothic building, the O2 Academy has been a popular music venue for decades, hosting top acts such as Blur and David Bowie. Now, setting a different tone, the Belgium born DJ Netsky marked the generational turn in scene, playing his melodic style of dnb that has earned him worldwide success.  Brilliantly mixing classics from his most recent album ‘2’ with less well known material from other artists, Netsky’s hour long set demonstrated his immense talent.

From appearance, the grimy world of dnb seems to clash with a fresh faced pair like Camo & Krooked.  However, after taking to the stage it was clear the duo couldn’t be more suited to the scene. Each tune played developed over a stable, quick beat throughout, sparking stomp-fire in the audience. Danny Byrd fed off this energy. His selection vibrated the walls of the O2. Interacting with the crowd, he made the large venue feel like an intimate setting and his lively, vibrant performance was the highlight of the evening.

The performances of the DJs were only heightened by an intricately designed light show. Bright white strobes punctuated every drop, creating frenzied chaos among the crowd. Room 2 was hosted by a selection of house DJs, including the scene’s new lady; Hannah Wants, whose recent tunes in collaboration with Chris Lorenzo, including the incredible ‘Dappy’, are securing her reputation as an established DJ and producer in the scene. Alongside her were Kry Wolf and My Nu Leng, mashing up old school tracks with upbeat house music, which was nice in contrast to the heavy dnb in the main room.

Fred V & Grafix and Nu:logic were among the artists who finished off the evening. Even at 6am, they made the atmosphere in the O2 Academy electric. With an exciting new announcement on November 4th, Hospitality nights are only set to get bigger and better as they bring in more artists from around the UK and abroad.

Will Isted