Ministry Of Sound Classical – Live Review – The Piece Hall, Halifax

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By Steve Crabtree – July 2023

Whatever the weather, you can’t keep a good crowd down.  And, as the rain poured down over open aired venue The Piece Hall on Friday night, music meant that over 5000 drenched dance music enthusiasts danced in the Halifax rain.

The Ministry Of Sound Classical had come to Halifax, and they’d brought their trailblazing superclub vibes to give the town a really special musical spectacle.

But first, with pac-a-macs to the left, and kagools to the right, a nice atmosphere built up in the 18th Century cloth hall as people flooded through the doors at 6pm. It was Ellie Sax who opened the evening up, before K-Klass, and Roger Sanchez took warm-up slots to another level. Warmed up wasn’t the word, and us revellers couldn’t wait to welcome the 32-piece orchestra main act on to the stage.

As we hit 9pm, their master with the baton, conductor David Mahoney strides on along with the musicians. And they’d come to do what they do so well. Breathing a special sort of new life into some classic dance anthems, whilst taking people back to their youth through a dazzling Ministry of Sound Classical experience.

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“Uplifting beats”

We had a real play list of top tunes too. We went from the very first notes of Darude’s iconic ‘Sandstorm,’ to the uplifting beats of Living Joy’s ‘Dreamer,’. The energy of Fat Boy Slim’s ‘Right Here Right Now,’ was a head bopper. And throughout the night the orchestra flawlessly recreated the timeless classics that have shaped the dance music scene.

Not only were the orchestra treating us to some great music, guest singers, including the talented Kym Mazelle, graced the stage too. They added their own spice to the performance. With powerful vocals nicely merged with the orchestra’s rich instrumentation, it created a dynamic fusion of sound that resonated with the audience.

Despite the rain, the inclement weather only added a touch of enchantment to the outdoor clubbing experience. As day turned into night, the lights intertwined with the raindrops. This just enhanced the ambiance, whilst creating a true Ministry Of Sound Classical spectacle.

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“Insatiable energy”

As the performance reached its crescendo, the crowd was swept away by the iconic Faithless anthem, ‘Insomnia’. The air seemed filled with an insatiable energy. And the unity of Halifax came out as nobody wanted no sleep anyway.

Ministry of Sound’s visit to Halifax was nothing short of magical. If there’s one slight downside to this night, it was the flow of the music.  I felt that just as we were going somewhere with the music, we’d stop. Then there’d be a short break before the next song.  I wanted to keep dancing, not take a breather. Maybe the orchestra needed a regular breather? Perhaps if there was to be any sort of improvement to this fantastic show, they’d play it out similar to a DJ set. Let the music go, flow and continue.

That said, there wasn’t an unhappy dance fan in the place. With a captivating blend of orchestral grandeur came with pulsating beats. And they proved once again why Ministry Of Sound are revered as pioneers of the dance music scene. As the night came to an infectious climax, the lights took Halifax to levels that will be remembered by everyone who was there.

A fusion of classical and electronic music under the open skies of The Piece Hall. What a place, and what a night.

Images: Cuffe & Taylor/The Piece Hall


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