Tickets for Midland at Sneaky Pete’s sold out within a matter of hours, one of the fastest selling club nights for the venue. This is an example of one of the many big names that have been booked for the winter at the club, such as Erol Alkan and Daniel Avery. Naturally, there was a great deal of hype around the night.
Coming off the back of a successful festival circuit, including appearances at Dekmantel and Dimensions, Leeds-hailing Harry Agius, aka Midland has recently been proving himself as chameleonic DJ who can adapt to playing both large scale festivals slots and intimate club settings. The latter has been proven at his recent appearance at the 80 capacity Macarena Club this August, and his set last week, with a capacity of 100. Warming up the crowd with a mixture of Latin and disco oriented house, including Keita Sano’s ‘Explosion’, Agius brought the warmth required to make this crowd of dance music devotees forget about the rain outside.
He then swiftly delved into a set weaving between almost every type of house music under the sun (or in this case, rain). This ranged from Afrobeat inspired numbers, (Todd Terje’s Friendly Children edit of ‘On a Day Like Today’), hard breakbeat (Thomas Bangalter’s ‘What to Do’), and acid sounding-tunes such as Christian S’s ‘Six Million Bassdrums Later’, a track worth noting, having also been played by Optimo last week in their set at The Mash House. This exemplifies the professional relationship between the two, given the track was released on their joint label, Autonomous Africa. Midland certainly lived up to his reputation for being able to deftly throw curveballs, and still keep a driving 4-on-the-floor house beat pulsing through the set, particularly impressive considering he was using a Rane rotary mixer, creating emphasis on both seamless blends and hard cut drops.
A clear peak of the set was undoubtedly when Hubie Davison’s ‘Sanctified’ was dropped, proving its longevity as a floor-filler on Midland’s own Regraded label. His three releases focus on disco-house, each receiving a play on the night. Hence, it seemed the night was not only a reflection on Agius’ virtuosic mixing, but also on his consistent production. This was reiterated in the closing of the set, where his track ‘Safi’ whipped the crowd into a frenzy, bringing the unwavering atmosphere to a final peak.
Midland’s set was comprised as equally of obscure numbers as it was of well known crowd-pleasers, (for instance, Terrence Parker’s ‘Somethin’ Here’) which seems to reflect upon his current status in the scene, as he fulfils the role of both crate digger and headliner. His seemingly effortless ability to create and sustain an energetic vibe, moving through a variety of genres is a testament to why he has become so respected and sought-after in the industry, as he now embarks on a US tour. The night will certainly be remembered as a highlight for lovers of dance music, clear from each beaming face in the club.