LUSH! 18th Birthday Part 2 in Review

Posted on Wednesday, 2nd April, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Over the last 18 years, Lush! has grown to become a shrine to electronic dance music, bringing a selection of world renowned DJs to Northern Ireland on a weekly basis. It all began as a rave in a disused barn in the small coastal town of Portrush many years ago, and has since grown to become one of the best clubbing venues the country has to offer. The Mighty Lush! has, over the years, been a significant part of any seasoned clubbers’ experience in Northern Ireland and is still proving itself to be a part of the future for Irish clubbing. 18 years on from the launch of Lush! in 1996, the club decided to stretch the celebrations of this distinct anniversary over 2 diverse weekends.

The first weekend saw the return of Dash Berlin, a viable choice of headliner for the club (3 years in a row DJ Mag Top 10 DJs), with broad appeal to one of the prevailing markets for clubbing in Northern Ireland. After a reportedly jaw dropping Irish club debut at Lush! in May 2013, it made perfect sense for them to invite him back to get the 18th Birthday party started. This event was a total sell out and from what we have heard it was an incredible night for all who attended.

Lush! 18th Birthday Part 2


Now this is what we are here to tell you about… The second weekend, came as a bit of a game changer for Lush! Mark Knight made a highly anticipated return to the club and we were delighted to see Hot since 82 make his debut appearance. Mark Knight, head honcho of the well known Toolroom Knights brand, is no stranger to Northern Ireland and it was clear to see that he still has a strong following. Hot Since 82 is perhaps not quite as well known to the mass market here but certainly the one that people with a pallet for slightly more underground sounds were there to see.

love ur music, Hot Since 82 Ireland, Ciaran Osborne Lush

Unfortunately we only caught the end of Danny Beggs’ warm up set but there was already a great vibe upon entering the club just before 10pm. Next up was Ciaran Osborne who’s set included: Dusky feat. Janai – Lost In You, Route 94 ft. Jess Glynne – My Love (Low Steppa Remix), Grum – In Love (Brett Gould Remix), Kyrill & Redford – Somebody To Love (Original Mix) and the huge Ibiza 2012 hit from Julio Bashmore – Au Seve. His track selection went down well with the Lush! crowd during the earlier stages of the night. By 11pm the dance floor was filled and ready for Hot Since 82.

love ur music

Daley Padley switched to the distinguishable Hot Since 82 alias a few years ago and has been in the house music spotlight ever since – it is easy to see why. Not only is he a powerhouse of a producer but as a DJ his mixing is clearly motivated by a connection with his audience. He played some really good deep house tracks that tempted us to ditch the camera and get down to the dance floor. His track selection was top drawer and, for me, his set was the highlight of the night.

He started by playing Sidney Charles – Morning Glory and the whole vibe in the club just changed completely. Then he dropped in Anek – Come Out To Play (Sante Remix) which went down beautifully as well! If you closed your eyes, it didn’t feel like the Lush! we know at all – this slightly darker, deeper style of house music was, for us, a welcome change!

That said, all the visuals, lighting and effects are not there for us to close our eyes and get completely lost in the music. There were some really impressive visuals on the big screen at the front during Hot Since 82’s set. Video graphics, some of which seemed to connect with the music being played, provided added stimulation and focal points especially for those towards the back of the busy club.

We went upstairs to the VIP balcony as Maceo Plex – Under The Sheets came on and it was just in perfect time to get a better view of the club with a track like that going off. The crowd down on the dance floor were totally having it and although the VIP wasn’t as packed, the atmosphere was great and you could tell that people were really feeling the underground vibe that Hot Since 82 was putting out.

Before we knew it, it was almost 12.30 and time for the final act of the night. The Toolroom label boss stepped up to the decks as Hot Since 82 played his own track Like You. The two chatted briefly before Mark Knight took over. He faded the music and there was a huge shout out to Hot Since 82 – the crowd went nuts! The question of “How you all doing?” was met with hundreds of cheers and whistles! It soon became clear for anyone who couldn’t see the stage or didn’t know the set times that “Mark Knight is in the house” as his intro echoed through the club. Then, the bottom end of  the old classic, Chicken Lips – He Not In was dropped in and it seemed to give the crowd a second wind.

The atmosphere lifted further when he dropped Jay Lumen – Nobody. The crowd was buzzing from front to back and Mark Knight played up to them by filtering the sound in and out so that their chants and whistles could be heard more clearly. The vocal break seemed to have everyone’s full attention as they all faced the front, waiting patiently for the drop, and boom… the whole place erupted.

Mark Knight’s energetic performance carried on until 2am when, sadly, the night came to an end (dam our early closing times!). If you were there, hopefully you enjoyed the night as much as we did and we hope this review will bring back some good memories! Make sure you look out for yourselves in our photos and videos and feel free to share. If you didn’t make it to the night, we hope you enjoyed our coverage. We’ll leave you with some other tracks that did the business on the night and also a lovely 2+hr mix from Hot Since 82 which is available for free download. Enjoy…

Hot Since 82 Mix for FREE DOWNLOAD



Editorial and photos: Sarah Maguire
Video: Clodagh Pickavance & Luke Dolan
Video soundtrack: Hot Since 82