Live Review: Sonic Sahara // Headrow House, Leeds


If you don’t know you won’t know. Sonic Sahara is a club night in Leeds that hit Headrow House on the 3rd of June. The night boasted up-and-coming tastemakers Chaos in the CBD, as well as a host of other amazing DJs such as the Sonic Sahara residents and Pleasure Connection; there wasn’t a weak link in any of them. They all set it up, and they all knocked it out of the park. Quite what a CBD is, though, I’m not entirely sure. According to Google it’s ‘cannabidiol’, one of the 113 cannabinoids that make up cannabis… Anyway. The night was the perfect way to welcome our lovely, pallid, sickly, grey summer.

All the DJs were fantastic, and there wasn’t a weak link in any of them. There was funk, disco, house, afro beat, even some techno which I wasn’t expecting. All of this was taken from around the world which is really refreshing; it wasn’t just American and North European stuff. The great thing with nights like this is that you never know what is going to come on, they don’t seem pigeonholed at all, so they can stick on all the yacht rock and lounge music they want and nobody will care.

Sonic Sahara is part of a wave of amazing Leeds club nights that have consistently putting great events on for a while (eg Love Muscle, Come Thru, Cosmic Slop). They’ve all got a strong brand, artwork, ethos that all have a symbiotic relationship and this seems to translate really well with people. It will be so interesting to see where these nights go in the future.

In terms of the night itself, it was brilliant. Headrow House was the perfect venue for the night, with its low ceiling and hench soundsystem. Arriving there, it was almost completely deserted, but after about half an hour (this was at about twelve o’clock), there were a few people milling about. Sadly there wasn’t a huge turnout but this wasn’t a particularly bad thing, there was more room and the small-ish size of Headrow meant the room was filled – this still didn’t stop people getting on the stage. Towards the end of the night, some angelic soul pumped the room full of smoke which gave everything a surreal, heavenly feel that complemented the pounding techno perfectly.

Sonic Sahara was a brilliant way to usher in the festival season so take my advice and go to the next one. If the 3rd of June was anything to go by, then these nights are going to grow and grow in popularity.




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