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Live Review: Gio-Goi, Manchester Moho

The Donnelly Brothers head back up North – stylised scalpels in hand – to sever the veins of thin-indie & redirect the blood of Manchester back to the still beating heart of Acid House. Dish-pan pupils & guffawed grins abound in the new, un-grotty underbelly of Moho Live, as tribes of new n’ old cross wires and get plugged to act like short-circuiting Henry Hoovers. Mancunian lads bandaged in their best Gio-Goi smarts get ready for the front line of a ‘90s rave revival, its cold anatomy prepped for a fully intrusive blow-torch post mortem. Incisions are marked out in primitive noise. The party begins. The E-bomb goes off…

Corner by corner, the room falls to the shotgun assault of Mike Pickering’s bloodied house beats. All of us now disarmed by the hush-hush nostalgia of audio warfare. A burning dance floor replaces the drop of lagered potholes as Mutants from the Madchester Days come out to play. Beautiful women stand in stilettos, spindled on the edge of a rave-cum-roundabout; sapped for sweat in a soft pit of music, freedom & love (all the hippy clichés don’t y’know). The whole place is done up, transformed from trainspotting-dive to something one stimulated reveller described to be “cool as fuck”. Flat screen TVs with yet more good-looking people on peer back at us. But at this point everyone thinks themselves to be one of the beautiful people. And in some addled way, we all are. Obviously most of us look like melted gremlins, yet we all act like trendy Hollyoaks extras, caught up in spasms of true bliss.

After losing our minds here, we retreat outside for a bit.

Stepping out of Moho, we see the car-park has been chewed up then spat out into some new age love-in. The Official Gio-Goi Party Bus looms heavily in the backdrop as its white glow speckles the circus stall and distracts quick-eyes beneath. This illumination brings out the distinct bite marks of several hours inside the jaws of true Acid House, giving us our first clue to how long we’ve been under its control. Then under the clench of a hundred chattering dry mouths, we too dissolve into the bleeding gums of these outsiders, getting lost for an hour or three.

Jon Dasilva’s dinosaur clawing quakes the ground outside and our consciousness clicks back to dance mode. Swallowed by the reddened tonsils of an industrial set, we get back to the white heat, pushing through the decorative dangling and into the stomping harmony of the classics. A rough & ready bald gent takes on three security guards who try to stop his vibe-sucking-line-dance as he does a crippled conga to the VIP area. Unwilling to let elitism infringe upon his supposed rave rights he pushes through and succeeds. This could either show the ethos of acid house where everyone’s an equally profound orchestra of organs, or it could show an act of semi-violent thuggery, resulting in a man gaining access to a room with a free bar. As ever, the music pulls this into an irrelevance and we reach the communal lubricant of the dance floor. Graeme Park slams concrete slabs through our collective cerebellum, chopping heads with his razor-frisbees of sound and turning the final 10 minutes into a golden shower of lights, rolling eyes & jolted come-downs.

We made a new society down there on Friday; we each lived and died several times. Or maybe we didn’t. Maybe I was too in love with it all, but I don’t care. There’s no Manchester scene anymore and for young people here, nights usually end in missed chances, lost phone numbers and a shit bus journey home. However, tonight was different and it meant something. There was no pose, only action. And if going forward there’s only ever regurgitation, I’d happily paddle in the sickly stomach of Manchester’s Summers of Love evermore. Oh, and before I weep at my own self-serving poetic nature, get down to the Manchester Gio-Goi stores in the Arndale, because anybody that can put on a night like this, must be doing summat right.

Words - Ben Magill



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