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Lottie, Red Box, Dublin, 27th July 2002

"Glad to be back in Dublin" may sound like a cliché, but rest assured in the context Lottie said this, she meant it. It's 12.30pm; everybody in the dark, but lovable, hole that is the Red Box has been waiting for her to go onstage all night. Robbie Butler is serving up the usual prog entrée. So this "Glad to be back in Dublin" meant it was time to get messy, even if half the club didn't know it 'till 5 minutes later.

Nights out clubbing can be all about the tension, the wait for the main event, for the chaos to hit the floor. Standing around watching the dancefloor fill up is so agonizingly fun. There are nights when the need for the dancefloor to fill up and that music to pour all over it is so intense that you genuinely do feel everyone in that club with you really is a junkie, just in a socially acceptable kind of way.

And so Lottie stepped up to the decks. The most impressive part about the beginning of the set was the instant stamp of authority, style-wise. Among the first tracks were a few lengthy, but stomping, tribal tracks, which grabbed people's attention and, before long, Narcotic Thrust's 'Safe From Harm' had the place bouncing around with its gaudy charms. Lottie plays dark and tough prog house tunes next to abrasive disco like Hatiras' 'Spaced Invader' and so she manages to keep things exciting effortlessly.

It may be suffering from falling sales, but the Red Box is still a good venue, if you can get past the abysmal state of the place. And so, even with the small crowd that was there on Saturday, there was still a healthy atmosphere of hedonism when Lottie played well known tunes like Josh One's 'Contemplation' or Layo and Bushwacka's 'Love Story'. Of course, as per usual, the management allowed her just one encore tune: 'Take me with you' by Cosmos. Of all the house hits this summer, this is one of the least known in Ireland, and yet it's still one of the best.

The night couldn't have ended on a higher plain than it did, Lottie is now a superstar DJ, there is no doubt about that, and the only question left to ask is just how popular she can become?

Ronan Fitzgerald

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