Review: Glitterbox at Manchester’s Albert Hall

On May Bank Holiday Sunday iconic Ibizan party – Glitterbox – came to Manchester’s Albert Hall, bringing with them a night of disco and decadence.

Originating from London, Glitterbox has grown into a world-class celebration with international allure.  Last summer,  Glitterbox expanded its fan base massively with their weekly residence at Hï, Ibiza.

Certainly one of the Albert Hall’s most epic parties to date, Glitterbox and their troop of colourful, alternative performers descended upon Manchester, setting off on a high and finishing somewhere in a far away galaxy of glitter and debauchery – a great place to find yourself early on a Monday morning. Thrilled to be present for their highly-anticipated sold out Manchester show, we donned our most extravagant sequin leotards and headed down early to get our teeth straight into a night of sparkly shenanigans to the finest house and disco soundtrack.

The adventure began on Sunday night, with Melvo Baptiste. It was clear that Melvo wasn’t here for a typical warm-up set, heading straight into a selection of high energy, classic tracks –  a sign that Glitterbox was going to be energetic from the off. It was an absolute frenzy of party-goers, sporting the most creative sequin-clad outfits, adorned with glitter and a huge amount of individual style.

Looking around, the demographic was typical of disco – happy people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities leaving all of life’s stresses at the door and partying on like they’d known each other for a lifetime.

Next up, it was the turn of Purple Disco Machine to entertain the crowds, who was joined by Glitterbox performers and the odd spontaneous confetti cannon. As expected, Purple Disco Machine didn’t disappoint and lit up the main room right from the outset.  Both creative and diverse, he threw down classic after classic, treating those in attendance to his dance floor destroying funk.

Continuously increasing atmosphere levels throughout his set, he presented a performance defined by sophistication and authenticity.

There couldn’t be a more appropriate appropriate DJ to follow than Joey Negro. His mix of disco and funk-fuelled house littered with ingenious edits, re-touches and remixes under his multitude of monikers had immense depth and were exquisitely thick and warm, lighting up what was already a very colourful night for an entirely up for it crowd.

It is fair to say not all parties are deserving of certain records but when he concluded his performance with the Frankie Knuckles-produced Where Love Lives, the Glitterbox summit had been reached.

In a night which was blessed to be able to pit its billed acts as pioneers, the legend that is American house producer and remixing extraordinaire, Todd Terry, took the closing set.

Delivering hit after hit, tunes included Marshall Jefferson’s legendary ‘Move Your Body’,  the history-making Inner City’s ‘Big Fun’, Kings of Tomorrow’s emotional sing-a-long ‘Finally’, and Todd’s own remix of Everything But The Girl’s catchy classic ‘Missing’. Todd himself looked like he was having as much of a ball as the rest of us, smiling away whilst sound engineers and managers alike danced in the booth behind him.

What makes Glitterbox stand out from the rest is that they seem to have really concentrated the elements that matter into one huge extravaganza – the crowd are quirky and the music is infectious.

It emanates flamboyance and oozes with individuality. It’s fabulously fun and colourful on one side of the coin, the other a darker, sexy, intimate affair where hedonistic debauchery takes over on the dance floor.

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