So, once again managed to make my annual pilgrimage to Cream in Liverpool for the annual knees-up with migrant scouser Dax. Last year the Swedish Mafia rocked our boats, this year one of the highlights for me was Laidback Luke. Maybe because many of the other DJs are practically geriatric (John Digweed, John Kelly, Danny Howells, Justin Robertson), Laidback Luke’s youthful gait was a joy to behold. As he twisted synth lines and dropped pounding tribal rhythms, his beaming smile and arm waving (playing some imaginary air-piano) goaded on the throngs of glammed-up revellers. He really does give the impression he’s having unabashedly good fun up there.
Meanwhile, Digweed embarked on his four-hour epic of dark Wagnerian funk in the Annexe. We had no problem dipping in and out of this set which showed his mastery of controlling a minimum of elements to the maximum effect. We tried Armin Van Buuren’s hard trance for a while but the swooping synth washes felt just that bit too derivative. Maybe one day I’ll understand – this was by far the most crowded and energetic of the three rooms. Around 4am I grabbed my duck-down coat and we headed out into the icy Liverpool night, in wonder at all the pretty young things mincing around in nothing more than shirt sleeves and skimpy dresses. Gawd, I’m old.