Words by Olivia Wedderburn
The tri-annual carnival that is Pangaea returned to Manchester on Saturday in its home of the University of Manchester Student Union, much to the delight of the thousands of patrons who attend it as though it is some sort of Fallowfield Mecca. Pangaea is the largest run student night in Europe, and since its debut in 2007 has bought in some of the best acts, spanning every genre under the sun in some capacity.
The first Pangaea of 2014 saw Hot Chip, Clean Bandit, The Mouse Outfit, Paul Wooford, Shy FX, Zed Bias and Wookie, amongst many other DJ’s that fill every room in every Academy, and held the theme of The Lost City. Mermaids and deep sea divers danced until 6am under the roof of the impressively decorated Manchester Academies, with the set design in Academy 1 being awe inspiring – an intricate temple with a 15 ft up DJ booth which saw everyone from the likes of Gold Teeth OG’s to Hot Chips very special DJ set.
Clean Bandit have risen to fame over the last couple of years, infamous for their mergence of deep house and classical music, and have become a welcome addition to Manchester night life, playing several times in the last few months. This set was a phenomenal one though, reaching a massive crowd, following the stellar performance from local talent The Mouse Outfit, the 9 piece who satiated the needs of hip hop heads. Bringing out Black Josh for their big track “Air Max” was a touch that was received well by their ever growing fan base. The Club Academy was transformed into the Deep Sea Disco, seeing the likes of Artwork and Greg Wilson performing, after a solid residency from the best disco night in Manchester, Stevie Wonderland.
Newcomers Frontin also supplied the goods by playing summer vibes despite the arctic nature of January, providing an array of dancehall and bashment straight through to 90’s RnB classics. Though the crowds flocked to see Hot Chip, the real party was with Madam X in Academy 3. Following fresh of the heels of a killer set from Shy FX, Madam X – whose made a name for herself in Manchester as being part of the BPM and Murkage crew, but also for her spot on Radio 1 Xtra, playing the best of Garage, UK Funky and Grime. When she dropped Rebound X’s Rhythm & Gash the crowd went off, much to the help of her hype men.
Despite the cold the outside tent saw plenty of attention with Zed Bias offering supplying UK garage to the masses and Wookie smashing it proving that these old timers still know how to please after over a decade of providing the best of UK dance music. The crowds began to deplete amongst the festival at around 4am, but there were still plenty of students packing out every room until the 6am doors were called and the queues for the Magic Bus expanded in all their force as the last dregs of The Lost City looked very lost outside of the atlantis that they’d called home since 8pm the previous day. The togas began to slip down, the mermaids scaly faces now resembled that of someone who’d be stepped on with muddy trainers and the jellyfishes tentacles were entangled as euphoric faces melted into the subzero temperatures of Manchester.