One of the biggest nights on the East Lancashire “getting on it big time” scene has to be Burnley’s Retro in the Park. Last year’s event was a monster of a success – Roger Sanchez had thousands dancing into oblivion meaning that the 2022 event had a lot of hard work to do to match its predecessor. Needless to say, after another 12 months of Covid crap, the war in Ukraine and bloody extortionate prices at the fuel pumps, we were counting down the sleeps in pure class A anticipation of this year’s near sell out extravaganza.
Having cleared customs, we went straight to the Retro stage to see old skool legend Allister Whitehead who was warming things up nicely. After that, it was the man who we all have to thank for the Retro label – Paul Taylor, who was playing the first of his FOUR sets. Four sets! Wow – that man really is prolific.
But the best was yet to come and the highlight of the night by far was New York City’s David Morales - who most people know for the timeless Needin’ U track from the late nineties. What is special about the whole Retro vibe is that the promoter’s somehow manage to persuade the superstar DJs to play sets that they wouldn’t normally play – this was especially evident with Morales’ set which threw up many welcome surprises. The sunshine blessed crowd were at peak euphoria half way through his two hour set which kept sprouting anthem after anthem after anthem. Possibly the highlight of the entire event was watching him drop The Temper Trap’s Sweet Disposition – who even does this at an electronic music event? Pure utter class and the smiles on their faces said it all. Morales also dropped Sister Sledge’s We Are Family which again was met with the same “I Can’t Believe He’s Playing This But I’m Proper Lovin It” reception from a crowd who were intent on having the most hedonistic day since, well, Retro in the Park last year. Morales pretended to cry as he left the stage – the man had put in a top shift which will be remembered for years to come.
Basement Jaxx came on and smashed it – you couldn’t believe how good they were. Dropping their own records is what you want to hear and they didn’t disappoint – Red Alert, Jump and Shout, Bingo Bango, and Where’s Your Head At were all on a menu full of main stage bangers. By this point, the whole crowd were in a different dimension – it was full on, 90 mile an hour, I’ve waited all year for this, pure, unadulterated love and mayhem.
Paul Taylor came on and did a quick hour much to the delight of his Burnley faithful, then Hacienda Classical projected everyone into a different Solar System. The only bad thing about events as good as this – you have to wait another bloody year ‘till the next one. Top job lads – already looking forward to the two dayer in 2023.
Words: Duncan Whittaker
Photo: David Morales and Retro main man Paul Taylor
Published on 27 July 2022 by Duncan Whittaker