Easter Sunday saw Channel Zoo visit Liverpool for the third time. After frequenting at other northern venues, primarily in Manchester, it was good to see that Liverpool wasn’t being forgotten about by international brands, as it feels it often is.
The Zoo Project in its home of Ibiza is incredibly popular with Scousers, so initial thoughts of the popularity of a night over here were positive.
I’m not sure what it was that happened, but the event had a disappointing amount of people attend. mUmU is one of the hottest brands in Liverpool at the moment, and for this alone I assumed that the mUmU stronghold would be in attendance. Circus’ line up was quite strong, but due to its rise in popularity among a certain type of undesirable character, I personally don’t even consider it an option for a night out any more.
The venue was kept secret from clubbers right up until the Friday before, and after much speculation, turned out to be 40 Seel Street, which left people quite disappointed. It’s not a huge favourite round these parts. I had never been before and quite like a dive, so was willing to keep open minded about it.
The club is a good size – in a great part of town, but it looks very tired, unfinished almost. The toilets were not good. This is a problem which many of the clubs in Liverpool seem to have, so it’s nothing I didn’t expect. The downstairs bar ran out of rum (an absolutely tragedy in my opinion) by about half 11, and aside from this there wasn’t a great choice of alcohol on offer. None of this mattered massively but I was disappointed by the lack of decoration in the venue. Aside from the banner in front of the DJ booth downstairs reading “Channel Zoo”, there was nothing visually reminiscent of The Zoo Project or Ibiza. The beauty of Ibiza is it does go that little further in making events special, which includes club décor. It’s something that British clubs are pretty lazy with.
I caught the majority of Nic & Kaleb’s set, residents of The Zoo Project. They played a great warm up set, popular with the crowd, with many hands-in-the-air moments. By midnight, the end of their set, the crowd was ready for something heavier and funkier, which led to an almost mass exodus of the crowd rushing upstairs to catch the highlight of the night, Chez Damier.
Now this man knows what to play, how to play it and how to make a room go wild. Tune after tune of disco-inspired house including Christian Hornbostel & Alfred Azzetto’s The Sound Of Philadelphia. I don’t know whether he knew his crowd and read it perfectly or just what he planned to play just happened to be exactly what Liverpool wanted to hear, but the atmosphere was electric. Two hours flew by and left the crowd begging for more.
I began almost disappointed in this night. I was disappointed for mUmU and Freeze that there weren’t as many people there as there should have been, and I was disappointed in their decorating efforts. However, Chez Damier was an inspired booking who saved the night from being mediocre. It was one of the best sets I’ve ever heard, and the excitement of the crowd made it feel as though we could have been in Ibiza.