It’s fair to say that the USU’s sold-out event last Wednesday lived up to expectations, with insane sets from DJ Soc, Kinder, and, of course, the co-headline acts; Riton and Mashd N Kutcher. Manning Bar was rocking like never before, and for a student deal of only ten bucks you had to be pretty mad not to get involved.
The night took some time to get going. If you arrived before seven thirty you might have been underwhelmed by the scenes — a somewhat tacky photobooth and a smattering of first-year students hovering around the dancefloor, waiting for their free Jaëger shot to kick in. But DJ Soc quickly got people moving and grooving in preparation for Kinder’s set. At one point Kinder joined DJ Soc’s very own Kaliopi to hype up the crowd — something that was great to see in a space that is traditionally so male-dominated. Kinder themselves put on an impressively high-energy set that made it feel like Manning’s glory days had returned.
Riton played some classic tunes including ‘Friday’ and ‘Turn Me On’, which, as predicted, sent everyone wild — most people had come for the sole purpose of hearing these live. A particular favourite seemed to be ‘Fake ID’, the lyrics of which Riton embodied throughout his set as he goofed around drinking from a bottle of red wine placed on the corner of his decks. Riton has been an icon in the electronic and house music scene since emerging in the early 2000s in Newcastle upon Tyne. He is now 43 and still as hot as ever, working with big names such as Dua Lipa and Kah-Lo.
Riton’s stage presence radiated that of a typical cool uncle figure, wearing converse, a short-sleeved shirt and a cap. As he played ‘Rinse & Repeat’ it seemed clear that live performance has Riton’s heart; he is a legend who always finds time to make the club go up. To the guy who will never be too old for weekday drinking or too tired for a late-night set — it was a pleasure!
Mashd N Kutcher closed the gig with some of the most entertaining mashups and graphics of the evening. The Australian duo celebrated their culture with ‘Get On The Beers (feat. Dan Andrews)’ and a remix of Men at Work’s ‘Down Under’. Their hilarious, ‘quintessentially Aussie’ backdrops stirred up a storm; visuals included an old guy riding a kangaroo, a dancing mud crab, and a cockatoo drinking a VB. Their engagement with the audience kept people dancing right through until midnight; at which point the hard-core electronic music fans wiped off their faces, donned a semblance of respectability and went on to any bar that would have them.
What a welcome back for Manning bar after having their doors shut for so long! From such a great evening of established and emerging talent, it’s clear to see that we can expect many more amazing things from our own resident DJs at DJ Soc!