As news filters through at 5pm that Terrence Parker has missed his flight and won’t be fulfilling his DJing commitments this evening (a common occurrence by all accounts), this seems like a night doomed before it has even begun. Yet Hi Ku move quickly and rather than er’ing over what to do, they cut out the hesitation and book a replacement in the form of slightly shorter named Graeme Park – a Hacienda legend no less – and the show goes on.
Despite an undoubtedly stressful day, the residents on the night prove their prowess and are upbeat and on form, delivering sets that arouse a joyous mood in The Roadhouse. Whilst strings are often associated with a mopey atmosphere, those on Carl Craig’s remix of Tom Trago’s ‘Use Me Again’ boom euphorically through the room and gets fists pumping. There’s perhaps even an edge of defiance directed at Mr Parker with the choice of set closer; Hi Ku aren’t here to be messed about and used, they’re here to have a party.
Graeme Park expertly continues this theme, showing not only his experience but the reason for his continued relevance by dropping the likes of Inner City’s club classic ‘Big Fun’ into the mix alongside more recent releases from artists such as Tensnake. One thing that stays constant through his blend of old and new music is a feel good vibe. “It’s my mission in life to let people hear good music” was the quote from Park emblazoned on the event page. For tonight at least, he can consider that mission accomplished.