While the majority of the inebriated student crowd in Bournemouth’s majestic O2 Academy didn’t seem to know where they were or who they were watching, the one thing everyone did know was that the music on show at the sold out Annie Mac Presents (AMP) gig was undeniably euphoric.
Fresh from supporting Ellie Goulding on her recent UK tour, Lulu James was first on, and this tour presented a slightly different audience. For AMP she had mixed up her set, and the backing tracks for slower songs like opener ‘Be Safe‘ had been drum and bass-ed up to fit in with the evening’s genre, and this created a brilliant ambience for those that knew her songs. Disappointingly some of the crowd became increasingly impatient as she played her toned down single ‘Sweetest Thing’, with some even booing the singer, but this was certainly not justified as her performance was lively with incredible vocals.
Next up was Cyril Hahn who has garnered a large fan base in recent months, and the sight of a DJ on stage seemed to get those who weren’t a fan of Lulu James moving. While the first half of his set focused on emerging house music, the latter half was where he played out some more of his own remixes including Destiny’s Child’s ‘Say My Name’, Jessie Ware’s ‘Sweet Talk’, and Solange’s ‘Losing You’. Ending his set on his recent single ‘Perfect Form’, the crowd were suitably warmed up, despite the icy conditions inside the O2 thanks to what must have been the world’s most effective air conditioning system.
But of course, the Annie Mac Presents tour wouldn’t be complete without the woman herself. Mixing her way into the end of Hahn’s set, Annie Mac’s blend of contemporary and retro house was lapped up by the audience who were entranced by the DJ’s stage presence. The set highlight came with a remix of the foreboding and throbbing ‘Bassline’ by GotSome, while re-workings of Disclosure’s ‘When A Fire Starts To Burn’ and Storm Queen’s ‘Look Right Through’ also contributed to the electric atmosphere. Annie Mac herself even took to Twitter to say what a great night she’d had.
While it was 3.30am, everyone was drunk (or worse) and tired, the party continued with Duke Dumont. Disappointingly, Virgin Records’ latest signing MNEK pulled out of performing on Friday afternoon due to “album recording commitments” but Dumont did plenty to keep the evening entertaining. Playing his number one single ‘Need U (100%)’ surprisingly early on in his set, the remaining two hours of music was equally brilliant.
Heading out into the dingy morning, the birds may have been singing, but all anyone could really hear was an intense ringing in their ears. It’s worth noting for future events that it is possible to hop straight on the first train back to Southampton, as the gig continued until 5.30am. If this AMP gig is anything to go by, you won’t be leaving the venue before the very end.