Walking up St James’ Mount and hearing the distinctive resonant beat of house music seeping out of the impressive architecture was an odd experience. From grotty warehouses to forest parties, I’ve been to raves in many places but this was definitely the grandest venue I’d visited. With tickets sold out well in advance and pleas for spares popping up all over the usual social media haunts, it was always a given that Freeze at the Cathedral was going to be something a bit special.
Entering the building and seeing 700 clubbers entranced by Danny Howells, my fears that the night was going to be in a hidden away crypt of the Cathedral diminished. The acoustics on the main corridor were muffled and not ideal but this area was for spectators only. Once you tripped down the steps into the main arena, it was crystal clear. With a large dj booth lighting up one end and lasers hitting the brickwork, it was an awesome sight. Tracey Emin’s neon pink art installation added an incongruously brilliant light show to the grand arches that soared above.
The surroundings are only part of the story though. The two headliners split the night evenly with Danny Howells taking the earlier slot. The man is a master, reading the crowd and playing perfecting to them. Hernan Cattaneo on the other hand… I’ve been privy to ploddy progressive dullness from him at Cream and left early in disgust, which from a girl who usually stayed till they put the lights up is the ultimate cuss. How times have changed. His set was close to perfect, building up from where Mr Howells had left off, dropping some amazing house and techno and ending bang on midnight with a remix of The XX. I hate to admit when I’m wrong but based on Saturday night he completely deserves the superstar DJ tag that’s heralded to him.
And the rest? The crowd were superb, no scallies or idiots in attendance, just a room full of people who were there to have a good time. The only drawback to the event was the bar which could have been better organised but given that it was a makeshift facility in what would normally be the Cathedral gift shop, this was a minor detail.
If Freeze decide to host another night there, I’ll be first in the queue. Till then, it’s back to the “rave in a cave” at Williamson Tunnels in May. Top marks lads.