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Review: An Evening With Bicep

Review of Bicep and Pardon my French on Cone Magazine

For the 3rd instalment of An Evening With, Belfast production duo Bicep put on a strong performance and successfully pushed out an exceptional night of heavyweight house and techno at Bristol’s Marble Factory.

The An Evening With series of nights have proved to be some of the most exciting new musical events in Bristol this year. The premise behind the nights is beautifully simple. Take one respected artist or collective and give them free reign to do what they do best in the twilight hours.

In December last year the city was treated to a blissful 6-hour exclusive performance from Floating Points at Factory Studios. The brilliant Hessle Audio gang fronted the follow-up event at its new home at the Marble Factory. The standard was set high to say the least.

The latest event, kicking off the Easter bank holiday, was given solid support from the ground upwards with local production duo Pardon My French keeping things on a progressive, slow-burning, industrial tip, pulsating at a steady 110 bpm.

This was sonic industrialisation, perfectly built for the the Marble Factory warehouse environment. Launching records back-to-back through the wall of speakers, Pardon My French set a great foundation for the first part of the night before handing over to the main event.

The Bicep boys came on after midnight when the place was reaching apex hype levels. The DJs introduced themselves with a higher tempo and notably broader selection of Chicago house, disco and techno. Dropping the effervescent crowd pleaser Kornél Kovács- ‘Szikra’, the pitch bending chords floating on top of the “Let’s get fucked up” adlib felt like a pre-cursor for things to come.

The pair continued to tag team their way through a series of feel good plates, guiding the room into deeper levels of harmony. Bicep were in their element, pumping records like dumbbells.

The low slung techno vibes continued to swing the hand of the barometer once KingPin Cartel – ‘Ghetto’ was dropped, with its majestic strings and soaring synth line. Having shown strong support for this record on their music blog Feel My Bicep, and also featuring on their essential mix, this felt like a personal engagement.

The bass line was a major driver of the evening, with disco cuts and chugging groove selections twisting and bending the fabric of the room. The set was a happy compromise between house orientated ecstasy and more mature, mechanical techno compositions, with the funky drone of Fabio Alampi’s – ‘Confiara’ being a notable memory of the night.

The third edition of An Evening With really had a lot to live up to. With a bar set so high from the inimitable first event with Floating Points, as well as the change of location to Marble Factory possibly detracting away from the initial novelty of this soiree, there was some prior scepticism that the night could reach the soaring heights of the preceding events.

Fortunately these reservations were proven unfounded and the An Evening With boys had undoubtedly pulled it off again. Bicep successfully flexed their house muscles to give a stellar performance that firmly solidifies An Evening With as an essential attendance for music lovers who like to party.



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