Chances are that if you’re from the Midlands and have even a passing interest in electronic music, than at some point you’ve likely got down with the goings on at the Rainbow Venues. Indeed, even if you’re not from there, you may well have, for the Rainbow Venues didn’t become just a Brummie’ institution, but a British one too in the years that it held court. A stunning clubbing space that was undoubtedly designed with the clubber in mind, it really came into its own over the past few years. Much of that was down to the great parties it put on, parties where the crowd, the music and the venue all shaped and helped concoct one very heady vibe indeed.
Their latest shindig was a great example of why they’re so loved too. The extravaganza got going early on (they seem to be able to party for hours and hours in the Midlands!) thanks to local flavour, Bastion. His own sound has progressed considerably in recent times, and as he worked the crowd into a sweat thanks to numerous tech-house and Detroit flavours, it was obvious from the off that this party had all the ingredients for a proper knees-up.
Another man to make similar waves in these parts is Tom Shortez, who switched things up a bit with his more colourful approach to his track selection. Opting for Balearic hues and chilled-out beats – as well as more muscular timbres – his set was one that bore all the hallmarks of a DJ about to make his move on the scene in a big way.
While the up-and-comers left their mark, it was of course somewhat inevitable that the headliners were those who most came to see. Seth Troxler was the name on most people’s lips, but before that we were treated to intoxicating sets from the likes of Bicep – who proved once again that they know just how to handle the big occasion – and Steve Lawler who, even after all this time, remains one of the UK’s most cherished purveyors of house and techno. Troxler’s set was muscular and robust too, and in spite of the fact that he’s become increasingly big league in recent years, there’s a canniness to the way he operates behind the decks that indicates he’s very much where he is for the right reasons. Beefing up the heavyweight line up was Desolat boss Loco Dice, as well as Ostgut Ton’s Ben Klock. Both played commanding sets, Dice’s arguably a bit more colourful than Klock’s but both a real joy to see unfold. A real triumph from the first beat to the last, Rainbow’s latest extravaganza really was a feast for the senses.