Review: Percolate with Bicep (Live) @ Motion (13/11/17)


'Sensational' club night or unorganised disaster? Online Editor Georgia Marsh reviews the almighty Bicep after their sold out live show at Motion.

Hopping out of the cab on Avon Street, we were faced with a queue that stretched all the way to the train bridge, almost at the bottom of the road. This was a queue unlike any other seen before at Motion. Although the Bristol institution has been steadily garnering a well-deserved reputation as a super-club, this was crossing the boundary of ridiculousness. Fortunately, our party had made it onto the guest list which included a lucrative queue jump, but other pals were not so lucky. When we saw our other friends once inside, they revealed they had been queuing for up to two hours and had thoroughly sobered up and were in a terrible mood. The next day, a friend told me she had waited for two hours among people fighting and pissing before she was turned away due to the massive influx of party-goers eager to get within earshot of top-of-the-range house and techno. Whether this was down to increased security measures after the tragedy at Motion last week, a massive over-sell of tickets or people catching wind that tickets weren’t being scanned – the legacy of the calamity of the event will be long-lasting.

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Although the queuing catastrophe did not affect our ability to enter Motion, it didn’t mean we didn’t feel the implications of this once we entered the venue: it was swarming with people, more than we had ever seen at Motion before. Yet it was time for our bewilderment to subside and our focus to return to London-based Percolate’s stellar line-up. Once everyone had found their feet, we were ready for the disco-stylings of Germany’s Gerd Janson which lit up Motion’s brand-new room The Warehouse. The old cloakroom has been transformed into a high-ceilinged rave space, perfectly supplementing the intimate feel of neighbouring room The Marble Factory. Here, Janson – a scintillating regular on the techno circuit – provided a diverse plethora of danceable tunes to warm up the crowd in the earlier hours of the night.

Once his two-hour set reached its euphoric conclusion, almost forgetting that Percolate’s well sought-after headliner Bicep were to hit the stage in Motion’s Main Room any minute now. Aimlessly wandering into the room, we didn’t realise how blessed we were to have made it inside. Again, Bicep’s colossal popularity was sourly underestimated by both the venue and the event organisers. Unbeknownst to us at the time, staff had corned off the Main Room due to overcapacity as everyone clamoured in to catch an earworm of some of house music’s biggest stars.

Everything about the criminally-short set was whittled into perfection – so much so, you wouldn’t even notice the sea of people around you trying to swallow you up as you were so caught-up in the moment. The visuals dazzled: lasers danced across the ceiling and the duo’s logo shadowed them in technicolour – it was truly atmospheric, and would be unable to be achieved at such an astounding level by any other selectors. The music was not exclusively plucked out of their debut album, either – the crowd roared as ‘Dahlia’ rumbled through the speakers, the noises coming from their mouths indicated that nothing Bicep could do would dissatisfy them. Although they only lasted an hour, it was a transcendent 60 minutes, packed to the brim with tantalising techno.

Although the music was sensational, the logistics of the event were disastrous. I can only hope Motion will learn from this colossal mistake in time for the rest of the outstanding In:Motion line-ups that carry on into 2018.

UPDATE: Motion have since responded 'We're gutted about the outcome of Friday's show. We've publicly apologised and are currently making our way through all the responses we've had, getting back to people directly. We've been holding events in the club for eleven years now with a strong track record in logistics, so when something goes wrong like this we take it very seriously, and reassess all our processes to prevent any of these issues arising again.'

The debut self titled album from Bicep is out now on Ninja Tune Records.

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Georgia Marsh

Online Editor of Epigram 2017/18, Online Music Editor of Epigram 2016/17. Big fan of a lot of things, especially Frank Ocean.