"Release" was the name of an experimental night run
by Andy Farley and BK in London a couple of years back, allowing
both DJs who are widely recognised as masters of hard dance to
play other styles. Release in Birmingham is a continuation of
that idea, with Andy Farley and the multi-talented Sarah G. and
guest appearances from the likes of Ian M,
- something someone recently described as "DJs you know,
playing music you don't."
Release started up in Birmingham on 30th. November initally at
an intimate venue, Bar 91. Bar 91 was for me something of a revelation.
Nondescript from the outside, and in a quiet part of central Birmingham,
especially on a Sunday evening, this stylish bar is a little jewel.
Though small, it was large enough for one of the hottest DJs in
the country to try out something different.
This pre-launch night, which was muted in terms of pre-publicity
was held in the same weekend as a huge spectacular put on by 'crasher
at the NEC, Birmingham, which had effectively laid waste clubland
nationwide, so it's hardly surprising that the launch was by invitation
only and for a discerning audience. The contrast between the two
events could not have been more marked. On the one hand there was
a multi-thousand person spectacle, at which Andy had appeared the
night before costing £40 a head, and here we all were in this
lovely little basement bar, all snug and cozy, as though this was
Andy Farley's house party after the event, just having a few mates
over to play some tunes, and with presents of double CDs he and
Sarah G had mixed. Sarah G, Andy Farley and Ian M - all for a fiver!
I felt like I'd stumbled into one of those commercials for Japanese
"Not only do you get the full set of 150 Sara chopping, dicing
and slicing knives, AND the triple set of Farley chopping boards,
BUT WE'LL ALSO THROW IN THE IAN M BBQ TOO! AND ALL FOR A FIVER!!!"
Crash that Mr. Raine.
The music was a somewhat irregular build up from Tech House to hard,
stomping beats, and beyond, and I wondered whether the hardness
it fairly quickly reached was really what people would be up for
on a Sunday evening. I'd expected something a wee bit more laid
back to round the weekend off with. However the quality was there
throughout. Though the music policy may need some further tweaking
this has the potential to become Birmingham's version of
All in all a highly recommended club event, bringing something fresh
and new and of the highest quality to Birmingham.
Hats off to Mr. Farley, Sarah G. and friends!