This weekend, London gained a new club. Let that sink in – after the final months of 2016 were largely spent debating, protesting and commiserating over the state of dwindling nightlife options in the city, we’ve seen not only the re-opening of Fabric, but the advent of Printworks – a new 5,000 cap arts and culture hub, set to be hosting daytime parties every Saturday from February until late April.
The details of Printworks were held close for months by promoters LWE and Broadwick Live; situated in Canada Water, it’s a former printing press that has drawn comparisons with Berghain and Trouw. High praise indeed – on entering the venue, it’s easy to see why. Architecturally, it’s about as industrial as a rave space can be. The entrance hall, a huge lofty warehouse, is perhaps the most polished space of the four areas on offer, which says a lot. Venturing further into the fray, the two long tunnel shaped Press Halls are cavernous, high ceilinged rooms, framed with balconies not yet open to the public - one has a bar area and the original printing press. It’s a mammoth piece of machinery with a presence that seems to reign over the chaos around it. The other hall is the main dance floor - a space entirely dedicated to worship of the venue’s custom lighting rig. Crucially for it’s future, the venue is fully soundproofed.
It takes a strong DJ to work in space like this. Luckily for punters, on this night there were four – Seth Troxler, The Martinez Brothers and Loco Dice, who played back to back from 3pm until 10pm. Former Trouw resident William Djoko set the scene perfectly with a deep set; for the majority of the night the vibe was relentless, accentuated by the aforementioned lighting rig, the like of which I’ve never seen before. Moving up and down to change the height of the dancefloor to suit the mood of the music, the sheer scope of the lighting show is staggering. Multi-coloured beams are thrown all around the room, accompanied by one mother of a laser. The crowd are hooked. The house-party style soundtrack swings between acid house, disco and techno, with closing track, The Streets – Week Become Heroes, drawing whoops from the dancefloor. Moments are made.
Room 2 is solid in its own right – a low ceilinged, warehouse styled room beset with a Void soundsyetem, perfect for a 300-ish strong crowd dedicated to deeper, groovier sounds. Throughout the night resident G Walker, Geddes and Krankbrother did a stellar job of not losing ground to Room 1.
Elsewhere in the club, toilets are surprisingly clean and modern, the token system is hassle free, bars are plentiful including a quick serve bar, dedicated draft and cocktail bars, and food vendors Smokey Tails and Cheese Truck are first class – providing you like cheese, fries and barbecue (who doesn’t like cheese, fries and barbecue?).
All in all, it’s safe to say that in terms of large capacity venues in the UK, the bar has been raised by Printworks. An inspired venue delivered in the right way – we’ll be back.