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Review: Circus Halloween

Sexual chocolate!

This has been another big year for Yousef. Resident at Coxy's parties, an otherwise hectic touring schedule taking him around the world, recently being married, the release of his second critically acclaimed studio album, the broadcast of another outing on the BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix and finally seeing his beloved Circus (based in Liverpool, UK) reach double digits… in fact, looking back at that it's been a pretty busy decade for the man.

Alas there is no rest for the wicked, as last weekend all manner of weird, wonderful, sexy and mildly offensive characters came out of the woodwork for the infamous Circus Halloween party. Yousef himself had come as Randy Watson out of ‘Coming to America' and spent much of the evening doing his usual rounds about the club muttering “sexual chocolate!” in to the ears of unsuspecting and slightly confused clubbers, myself included. Other costume highlight's included Obi-Wan Kenobi, played by a lad who looked so much like Ewan McGregor it was unreal. I caught sight of him at several points throughout the night and at no point was he out of character, often clearing the bar dance floor to make space for some Jedi lightsaber moves. Impressive. Then we had costume of the night with the guy dressed as a robot, akin to the robot of last years Space Opening and Closing artwork, and the guy promptly won himself a years worth of free tickets for his efforts. The low point though was seeing somebody dressed as Deadmau5 dancing to Nina Kraviz, are there two things that go together less than that?

I myself had turned up as a rather obscure Tobias Fünke of Arrested Development – but spent the night being confused with a sh*t Ghandi, Smurf, Harry Potter or Avatar. Although despite all of that, I was certainly the most naked guy in the club, so that's something at least.

Back to the party though, and it was the typically cool lineup we've come to expect from Circus, as things kicked off with Kerri Chandler in the loft. Of all the sets heard that night this was possibly the best, which is unusual for what was essentially a warm up session, but certainly the most reflective of what was heard across Ibiza this season. Soul Vision's ‘Don't Stop', Kevin Saunderson's ‘The Sound' (original mix) and the classic ‘Strings of Life' all featured before the midnight mark setting the tone at full on party mode. I somehow managed to pull myself away to the Theatre to catch one of the artists of the year - Eats Everything – play his debut. First thing I noticed though was the almost insane levels of stage production. It's been a year or two since I'd last been to Circus I think, and all of a sudden they've no less than 10 Funktion One speakers for a room that holds what… 800 people? Is there a better club room in the world? Not that I've seen.

Musically though, we all know Julio Bashmore's ‘Au Seve'. It made it onto our Top 10 Tracks from Ibiza 2012 list and you can see the guy at Circus in December, we all love it, and so it was no surprise to hear and see it go off for this around the midnight mark.

On account of paying around 25 quid for the nights pleasures, it does seem bizarre that such a large portion of the night was spent in the bar, the smallest of all the rooms at the venue. But then Alex Wolfenden – Mambo resident – was on duty for the night, dropping bombs like Todd Terry's 'Bounce to the Beat'. Relatively recently remixed by Gary Beck to give a tougher edge, we savoured the original in all its glory.

The night was finished off like many of my favourite nights at Circus across the years, with Yousef bending and flexing (both musically and physically) behind the decks, there are few DJs as animated as he, so couple that with his ridiculous outfit and you've got all you need. Mixing in some fresh cuts such as Ramon Tapia's ‘Runtime', released only in July, with one of the all time classic's ‘Mouth To Mouth' of Audion creation ensured the tempo was taken up a few notches after Nina Kraviz had played her typically cool underground set full of tracks I'll probably never know the name of. The night ended with a typical frenzy of shouts “one more tune!” Honestly, I can't remember what happened next but there's no doubt in my mind it was anything short of wonderful.

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