Review: Bigger Than Barry: Numbers Party
Bigger Than Barry: Numbers Party
Tuesday 24th April
This week saw Leeds’ most reliable weekly night, Bigger Than Barry, taken over by a crop of current UK club music heroes, courtesy of Glasgow’s Numbers collective. Whether it’s through the output of the label or the approach of the DJs, the Numbers aesthetic is a varied hodgepodge of dance music trends from the past two decades, anchored by good old fashioned house music but encompassing movements as niche as Baltimore club, bassline and ghetto-tech.
In the hands of lesser DJs or in front of the wrong audience, this wildly eclectic style could confuse and fall flat. Fortunately, I was happy to be part of one of the most energised and enthusiastic crowds I’ve seen in Leeds in quite a bit. Maybe it’s the need to release some of the exam season stress, or the excitement of returning to Leeds, or maybe Niggas in Paris really is that great a tune, but whatever the reason, the people got wild for the Numbers crew on Tuesday. And it wasn’t just during the aforementioned Janye classic either. I was surprised to notice that it was fast-approaching 4 a.m. and there were no signs of fatigue on the dancefloor, as Jackmaster continued to storm through a set mixing rap with grime, garage and more. The Numbers kingpin even found room for Camisra’s cheesy 90s floorfiller Let Me Show You, to the shock and delight of most inside. It didn’t even matter that the novelty wore off after about 10 seconds, because in another 10 we were swiftly redirected to another danceable era of club music history.
Aside from Jackmaster, Mosca’s performance stood out as the other highlight of the night for me. I know I’m not the only one getting a little tired of hearing the same recent UK club music staples every night, most of which were overplayed by last year, so Mosca’s set was genuinely refreshing. The London-based DJ and producer played a slew of mostly unfamiliar, but very danceable ghetto house tracks, and it was awesome. Special mention should also be given to Deadboy, who unexpectedly played between the two main draws of the night, but skilfully managed to sustain the crowd’s enthusiasm before Jackmaster’s typical brilliance.
words: Max Passinke