As we’ve all noticed, the proliferation of House music this year in Exeter has been immense. Far from this being a renaissance, this explosion is unprecedented. For the typical House-head, I wager the opportunity to catch top-class acts at Beats & Bass and Thick As Thieves week in, week out (aside from the more irregular Get Me), has been majorly exciting. Yet equally, I know many of the student population still oblivious to this vibrant music scene, despite their partiality to Disclosure and their ilk prior to trips to Arena. One of the main selling points of Our House when I went to review last term was how I felt the night managed to straddle this gap somewhat – delivering a series of acts encompassing several different genres. I’m unsurprised then, with this appealing hybridity, that Our House have gone from strength to strength this year, culminating in a sold-out event at Timepiece that I was lucky enough to review. On the back of the most successful year for the night, and dance music as a whole in the city, this was more than a Victory Lap.
Due to the extensive and expansive lineup, I couldn’t review everything that was going on across all floors. Therefore, whilst I managed to be on the middle floor of Timepiece for the twin headliners, Applebottom and Artful Dodger, I spent the rest of the night trying to get a sense of the other two areas. I started at the bottom bar, as the majority of us would on a night at Timepiece. Catching a large part of Meatz & Beatz’s set, I was initially confused as to whether the music was meant to be ambient or danceable, yet this dilemma was soon confirmed as a devoted group of revelers steadily formed around the DJ booth. Ducking outside after 20 minutes or so, I moved straight to the top-top floor past Josh Toogood, to catch the beginning of Ben Smith’s set. I really appreciated the choice of music on the top, reminiscent in a sense of the normal repertoire on Fridays and Wednesdays, only leaning far more towards RnB. Needless to say, if I hadn’t been reviewing, I would have definitely stayed up there for longer.
Instead, I left quite promptly to catch as much of Applebottom’s set as I possibly could. Pushing forward to the front, the first thing I noticed was a cluster of impressive speakers that aren’t regular fixtures of the Timepiece middle floor. As the set progressed, I became pretty certain that Applebottom could be defined comfortably as the sort of headliner one would typically expect at the Cellar Door; the mixing was slick and the music choices for the vast majority were defined by a consistently throbbing bass. Despite the potency of this combination, my highlight of the set was towards the end when the tone rapidly differed. Close to the changeover, Applebottom dropped a remix of T2’s Heartbroken, which would go on to be one of my highlights of the night, largely due to how unexpected the shift towards this sort of track was. Overall a solid set, one that, with its deviations, only went on to prove the crossover appeal of Our House as a whole.
Artful Dodger was an inspired booking, and for me one the best acts I’ve seen this year in Exeter. The main focal point between the act and the crowd was the charismatic MC, one that created a tremendous rapport with the dancers - no mean feat considering they were on for just over an hour. The frenetic finale saw legions of hands raised towards the booth, urged by the MC’s repeated cries of “we salute you, we salute you”. Their penultimate track, Pendulum’s Tarantula, epitomised the set’s success and generated a large mosh in my immediate vicinity that threatened to engulf the entire front section of the crowd. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a strong response from a dance floor in Exeter, so Artful Dodger should be congratulated, as should Our House for their astute selection.
I’m certain after this night that Our House are well and truly cemented as heavyweights of the Exeter dance scene for the rest of this year at least. Selling out Timepiece is, in itself, a significant achievement. This was only augmented by the fact that, firstly, the night itself ran without any major glitches and secondly, both headline acts alongside their local support delivered. In my first review of Our House, I emphasised the excellence of their residents, so whilst I haven’t concentrated on them in the Timepiece blowout, I recommend your attendance to their regular nights at the Cavern. Blending genres brilliantly, Our House present an accessible, diverse and intensely enjoyable evening. The event at Timepiece was a memorable one, and only serves to prove the momentum the brand is gaining.