Becca Frankland spent Easter Saturday in the haunted grounds of an abandoned asylum with a house and techno soundtrack provided by Marco Carola.
A backdrop of a towering derelict mental hospital and a soundtrack of pummelling minimal tech house, The Asylum was filled with those hairs stand up on the back of your neck moments, and threw yearning revellers back into the deep end of outdoor raving in preparation for summer.
The inaugural event signalled the joining together of two highly influential Liverpudlian forces, Freeze and Cream, at one of the most notoriously creepy landmarks in the city, led by techno royalty and Music On boss Marco Carola.
Freeze are renowned for taking over some of Liverpool’s most iconic historic buildings, something that was clearly translated again by the choice of the grade II listed Newsham Park Hospital. Partner their selection with the creative minds behind one of the biggest clubbing institutions in the world, and the result was unsurprisingly sensational.
There was an unusual festival-style buzz surrounding The Asylum, the crowds came in their masses to approach the momentous building and separated into different rows of queues, awaiting their wristbands.
The venue was straight out of a horror story, the epic exterior was characterised by its discoloured red brick and pointed roofing features. Showing obvious signs of neglect, the windows were boarded up on all sides, adding to our state of mind that we were trespassing in order to get our musical fix.
On arrival to the courtyard, the suns rays started to disappear behind the hospital as the whole area was devoured by shadow, sending a literal shiver down everyone’s spine as the temperature dropped.
The walls surrounded all four sides of the crowd, the closure adding to the impression that we were trapped inside the asylum. There was no clear view of an exit to outside of the building, no indication of life outside of the courtyard. You and the music were going nowhere.
Keeping the crowd moving was Bill Patrick, he wavered between funky techno and thumping, filthy tech house and prepped the eager sea of people in front of him ready for the main man.
As the sky became dusky the master took to the decks, and Marco Carola delved straight into tense build ups and pumping beats. The venue looked impressive in the day time, but it was in the evening when the darkness transformed the hospital.
The vibrant red light danced vertically across the sections on the asylum wall, matching Marco’s destructive beat and creating a visual show of its own across the building. The venue looked even more sinister with crimson engulfing every nook and cranny. The lights illuminated upwards, leaving windows and ledges in the shadow.
Carola casually worked through stripped back tech house and more Balearic sounding beats like ‘Dominatrix’ by Ecco (listen above) as the audience stood in awe of the venue and the ambassador creating the music. He teased the crowd with the lyrics of Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’ before returning to devilish drops.
As the night drew to a close the crowd began to shuffle back out, ready for the next chapter of the horror story at Nation. The eerie courtyard became dormant once again, patiently waiting until next time The Asylum takes charge.