We Love…. Closing 2012
We Love has been a fixture on the island since the summer of 1999, and you’d be forgiven for wondering whether thirteen years of promoting Sunday megalith sessions would present the team behind it with a difficulty in developing it beyond its strict 7th day confines. In reality, much like the club itself, so much has changed in the intervening years, that it’s always been a case of evolution rather than revolution. The rebuilding of the old Terraza (and the subsequent appearance of the new Sunset Terrace, cocking a snook to the Island’s authorities) and recent additions of the Premiere Etage and El Salon has meant flexibility in programming that’s given the club added musical variety in recent summers. And while misty-eyed veterans may mourn its 8am starts, the movement to an early evening slot seems an inevitable repositioning that’s brought it a further lease of life. As the saying goes, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
After a summer that’s boasted some of the best nights of We Love’s thirteen year affair with Playa D’en Bossa, its closing party boasted a line-up that would shame one-day festivals, with Modeselektor and Shackleton playing live, alongside the across-the-board talents of James Zabiela, Hot Chip, PBR Streetgang, Paul Woolford, Simian Mobile Disco, Little Boots, The 2 Bears and Groove Armada. With the sun beginning to set as 7pm passes, the club takes little time to fill up, with musical maestro Mat Playford’s set on the Sunset Terrace proving popular, his blend of live production and four-four skills igniting the beginning of the end of the season.
Leeds’ PBR Streetgang filled their opening slot on the Terraza for the the last time this summer, almost veterans since their first appearance in 2008, with them very much now a firm fixture at We Love. Bringing their disco/house/boogie melting pot that’s graced the North of England for a decade as residents in We Love is a snug fit, and their two hours, doused in a healthy amount of their own productions closed with Bradberry’s own sublime remix of Ben Pearce’s What I Might Do.
The downside of a multi-roomed evening is, cloning aside, it’s difficult to position yourself to catch everyone you want to, without either never really being immersed in one place, or missing large chunks of the night. Much like festivals, the trick is to get a plan and stick to it, so it was only briefly that journeys through Little Boots’ house party in El Salon and Modeselektor and Shackleton’s sense-assaulting live shows in the Discoteka slotted into the evening’s experience, even if the short exposure was memorable.
In a line-up that saw only Paul Woolford play on his own, the Terraza was the location of the night. 2 Bears – Raf Rundell and Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard – proved that their skills lay as much in mixing as they did in self-deprecating dad-rap, with bandmates Al Doyle and Felix Martin sandwiching Groove Armada’s set. One of We Love’s most enduring fixtures, recent times have seen a return to the warehouse sound of their formative years, and Groove Armada’s barnstorming set, highlighted by tracks from their rave-tinged recent Hypercolour EPs, made them a tough act to follow. Doyle and Martin coped admirably, matching them with a set closer of Sasha’s remix of Flutes, tipping their hat to one of the island’s favourite sons, while next door James Zabiela twisted the heads off a packed Discoteka.
Woolford’s now nailed-on slot closing the Terraza has become one of We Love’s highlights over the years, and as his music’s ever diversified, it’s given the Leeds man free reign to take the last hours in any direction, confounding any belief that the roster of artists every Sunday may be stale or in need of shuffling. Woolford, if anything, can sometimes be underappreciated, but tonight was a night to convince otherwise. A familiar look at the watch, and the realisation that time had once again slipped through the fingers confirmed the approaching end of another vintage season. While there will always be those that will never be persuaded to darken Space’s doors on Sundays, the simple truth, on this evidence, is that they’re missing out. All the better for the rest of us then.