Review: Hannah Wants at Patterns

After spending the last week watching live stream sets from the Space Ibiza Closing Fiesta, by the time I walked out of my Natural Language Engineering Lab on Friday afternoon, I was pretty keen to go out to town and feel the thump of some 4×4 bass in my chest.

Treatment were hosting brummie DJ Hannah Wants at the intimate seafront venue Patterns (formerly Audio), and myself and Sam Clouston from Monday Night’s on URF, decided to go check it out.

Not going to lie, I was pretty sceptical before-hand about what the night was going to bring. After the bad press Hannah has recently received on social media (when she posted a track up online that allegedly sounded a little too similar to Joy Orbison & Boddika’s stomping VIP of ‘Mercy’), coupled with the fact that it was the first week of October, so Brighton was going to inevitably be over-run with freshers – I wasn’t sure what to expect.

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 Hannah Wants playing at Canal Mills in Leeds

I’ve seen Hannah Wants play countless times before at UK Clubs and Festivals, but over the last couple of years, I’ve avoided her like the plague. I found that she always played the same tracks (in pretty much the same order), and she attracted a lot of the ‘I-love-house-music-but-actually-don’t-know-anything-about-it-I-just-follow-the-crowd’ types. Not to mention her gigs seemed to be some sort of Mecca for those bum-bag bucket-hat shufflers.

Anyway, we thought we would give it a shot, and after necking a few Nelson Madellas at pre-drinks, jumped in a taxi and head down to the sea front.

We arrived at around 11:15 and waited around 10 minutes in the queue before having our ID scanned and venturing down the stairs into the dark depths of Patterns. A quick check to make sure we were on the guest list and a stamp on the wrist and we were in.

First stop, the bar, which was pretty busy. It was marketed online as sold out (minus a bunch of tickets on the door if you turned up at 10pm), so I was expecting the place to be rammed, but the dance floor still had plenty of space. Two pints of Amstel set us back almost a tenner, which seems a lot, but at least it came straight out of a nice cold tap and was served in a sturdy plastic pint glass (unlike some places I’ve been where you get handed a lukewarm can of crap lager for the same price).

I’d been in Patterns a few times since it opened, and always been slightly disappointed by the sound system. Tonight however, it was sounding a lot nicer than I’d experienced before, and once we had joined the ever increasing crowd in the middle of the room, I was receiving that kick-drum punch in the chest I’d been craving all week.

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Neon blue light strips setting the vibe in the basement

The support DJ smashed it! I was expecting a night of slightly crap, clunky jackin’ bass tracks, but this guy was mixing some really nice rolling tech house. As the time crept towards 1am, he dropped True Colours by Liverpudlian producers Truth Be Told (taken from their new EP on Madtech), a track I’m loving at the moment. The choppy vocals and abstract synth riff, coupled with the fact that the sound guy cranked the volume up by a few decibels, caused the energy in the room to mount and it was obvious that Hannah would be taking over imminently.

The change over was slightly weird. A group of lads started chanting ‘HANNAH… HANNAH… HANNAH F*CKING WANTS’ like they were part of some sort of cult. I glanced over to Sam and gave him the ‘here-we-go-then’ look of slight disappointment. Her first few tracks however were much better than I thought they would be, following on nicely from the tech-y sound of the warm up DJ.

I was particularly impressed with the Patterns lighting rig. Six rotating LED par-can style lights move almost hypnotically in front of the booth, and the retro-looking light bars behind the DJ flashed every now and again, illuminating the club for a few seconds before plunging it back in to near darkness. The addition of some pretty cool sun strip style lights really added to the vibe as well.

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The 6 rotating cans light up the club in a moody pink

Twenty minutes into her set and I was ready for a break. It was getting pretty hot so we went upstairs, using the toilets on the way, and had a quick cigarette in a very overcrowded smoking area. My pre-event thoughts about what the customers were going to be like were further cemented by the smoking area being home to rather a lot of lollipop-chewing creatures, one of which approached me, convinced I was one of his mates before realising that his eyes were playing tricks on him.

We grabbed another round downstairs and bopped about for the rest of Hannah’s set, which was surprisingly good! (Until she played her new track, which made me want to stab myself in the eye – not my kind of thing). Most of the stuff she was dropping was a lot deeper than when I’d seen her play before, with rolling basslines, nice build ups, and not too much of that ‘jackin-house’ sound that I’ve really gone off over the last couple of years. She ended on the Faithless classic ‘Insomnia’, which gave everyone that extra bit of energy to stick around for the last hour.

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Hannah cueing up her final track

On our second trip upstairs for some more air, we got slightly distracted and ended up getting involved in a competitive 4 player game of table football (a nice addition to the club!).

Back downstairs and the closing DJ was playing a really good set – exactly the kind of stuff the crowd wanted to hear. He was keeping people on the dance floor and when I heard the speedy vocal sample of Miguel Bastida’s ‘Moudness’, I couldn’t help but smile and think, this is exactly what Brighton needs more of!

After bumping in to a mate from Uni, I ended up staying right until the music started winding down, and after exiting the club and popping out my ear plugs, I was pleasantly surprised about how the night had panned out.

More nights like this please Patterns!

Tune in to Fin Evans & Sam Clouston on Monday Nights for your weekly dose of House & Techno!

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