‘To me, garage will never die’- T. Williams
The Laloop boys joined Manchester’s iDiOSYNC team at the cavernous Joshua Brooks to offer the Manchester crowd a great Christmas send off with London’s UK funky garage specialist, T. Williams.
Despite Joshua Brooks’ size and hidden location, it has long been the favourite haunt of music lovers. The club has an intimate and raw appearance which overlooks the canal on the corner of Charles Street and Princess Street. The exposed brickwork, metal pillars and midsized dance floor in the basement seemed perfect for a smaller, special yet intoxicatingly talented night which Thursday truly provided.
The Laloop residents, Angus Jefford and Perry Louis started the night off on the right foot with a variety of deep, up-beat blend of House gems, which they never let us down with. They got the crowd going rapidly with their shrewdly timed drops and absolutely banging delights which appeared to be perfect for warming up the knowledgeable crowd. T. Williams’ set started at about 12 o’clock, when the club was relatively full and the dance floor was packed, full of anticipation and energy. As soon as he started, most people were dancing and tapping their feet to T. Williams’ varied blend of rhythms. His performance was unexpected, to say the least; he played a variety of styles, from deep house to 90’s garage, which the crowd welcomed immensely. ‘I like to play whatever I feel like playing, I might play something extremely recent or something very old, it depends on the vibe’ , Williams said. This is exactly what he did on Thursday; Williams was playing a connoisseur’s blend of rhythms with recent bangers such as ‘Entrance Song’ as well as saving the best till last, with MK’s 90’s classic ‘Burning’, which is always a winner in my books.
I learnt that T. Williams is an exceedingly hard worker and he knows exactly how to play it. THe grew up in London and started making music when he was 13/14 years old. It is definitely fair to say he has been making music for a very long time, and he is a very well experienced producer. He did a music tech course in college which placed him perfectly on track towards garage; but a different kind of garage: it was much darker and harder than what was out there at the time. This darkness led Williams to grime. Jon E Cash picked up one of his tracks and released it when Williams was only 17, and it was played everywhere, by everyone. ‘There is nothing more special than hearing someone else play one of your tracks. It’s overwhelming’ , Williams stressed. He used to go by the name DJ Dread D, and at the time, grime was his forte. Unfortunately for Williams, grime gradually started to fall apart: no labels would pick out his tracks and the production values were declining obscenely. This is what led Williams to pick a different direction to what we have heard him play today: a genre which places him somewhere between deep house, garage and UK funk. This transformation did not happen suddenly, Williams remembered. It happened gradually, he was simply following his love for a certain kind of beat; he took his time to understand it and to master it, and his track ‘Anthem’ was a successful finished result after all his hard work. It was interesting to see him on Thursday night, since he was not like our usual DJs who play a certain genre and stick to it all the way through the night; his rhythm changed on various occasions, his style transformed on various occasions, and the way people were dancing and responding to his music also changed on various occasions. It was different, it was fresh and it worked!
To put it succinctly, T Williams was astounding: his music was imbued with such urgency and pounding, tenacious intensity; it was impossible not to get up and dance. His performance infused the current UK funky garage scene with tougher beats and a more propulsive house direction. No one expected it, but everyone cherished it. It is definitely safe to say that from start to finish, the hours flew by with the soundtrack of T. Williams’ raw and refined garage, keeping the floor moving from start to finish.
The night was rounded off by the iDiOSYNC boys’ harder techno, which is always appreciated by the crowd. Their drumming percussive sounds finished off the night on a high and put the cherry on top for a night full of hidden treasures. It was a real pleasure, now time for a Merry Christmas!