At the start of last year, the early curtailment of ASOT700, resulting in Bryan Kearney’s set being cut short after 20 minutes, led directly to Kearney’s return to Sydney to play a three-hour set at Voodoo in Home Nightclub. What a great night that was too – easily one of my favourites of the whole of 2015.

And in much the same way, the shutdown of the Subculture night at the Hordern Pavilion in October, just as Simon Patterson was settling into his closing set of the night, resulted in the booking of Patterson for a three-hour set as the centrepiece of the first Voodoo of the new year.

I’d really enjoyed Simon Patterson’s three-hour set at the Oxford Art Factory in July 2013 and his three-and-a-half-hour set at Voodoo in February 2014, I’d not seen him much since then. So as an antidote to new year blues, I was really looking forward to this event.

Not for the first time recently, there was quite a long queue when we arrived. It seems that the ID scanning and photographing of everyone who wants to go in causes some delay and is yet another sign of the increasing pressure on nightlife in Sydney. And while you can’t blame venues and promoters for yielding to it all, the amount of trouble that I’ve witnessed at Voodoo nights is so small that it feels completely over the top to treat all clubbers in this way.

But I must give credit to the security guys for keeping the line moving swiftly and we were inside in time to catch the majority of the warm-up set from Thomas Knight. The club was very busy and it took a long time to work our way through to our normal spot, partly the difficulty of squeezing past so many people and partly stopping to chat with friends we passed on the way.

Simon Patterson‘s set had been brought forward from 1am to midnight and he wasted no time in setting the scene for a hectic three hours, with a high energy techy feel to the early tunes. I wasn’t too sure about some of the early breakdowns, which combined silence with some spoken parts, but the room was buzzing and the production – visuals, sound system, lasers and ice cannons completed the spectacular feel to the event.

After a while, we decided to check out one of the other rooms – something we should maybe try more often, although the superior sound and visual experience in the main room, combined with the international DJs makes a powerful pull to stay put. We found Danny JW playing a John 00 Fleming style of trance in the TMAS room, which was definitely to my taste and, coupled with the fact that there was more air and less heat upstairs, we decided to stay through to the end of his set.

Moving back downstairs for the remainder of the night, Patterson’s set was building towards the climax, with tunes like Simon Patterson – Northern Lights, Simon Patterson – Smack, Reverse – Distant Destiny, Synsoniq – Bomb Of Sins and Simon Patterson – Dissolve. Overall, this was not my favourite Simon Patterson set, but I can’t deny that the crowd loved it and everyone was clearly having a great night.

Nick Arbor and Simon Lovell took over at 3am and wasted no time in dropping classics, with Cosmic Gate – Fire Wire and Commander Tom – Are Am Eye (John Askew Remix). But our energy levels were rapidly diminishing and the NYE exertions the night before were catching up on us, so we called it a day and left a still-packed nightclub to take our shattered selves home.

It was a good start to 2016, even if I didn’t feel it quite lived up to Patterson’s previous extended sets in Sydney, but there’s no doubt that Voodoo is continuing to push the bar in terms of all aspects of production. I’m really looking forward to seeing who they bring out this year.