Review: Percolate presents Andromeda 54
Halloween; a chance to dress up and reveal the ghoulish savage in you. More importantly, it’s an opportunity for the capital’s top promoters to put on a dance fuelled extravaganza to fit the occasion and Percolate, having big boots to fill following last year’s incredible show at Greenwich’s Studio 338 (R.I.P) which included MoodyMann and Space Dimension Controller, was more than up to the task. Securing a fitting new venue and theme was imperative. The Party People unveiled a tantalising trailer video towards the end of the summer that was impossible to ignore, promising an intergalactic adventure into the unknown with Nordic disco king Todd Terje heading the bill. Alongside DJ sets from Maribou State and Crazy P, Percolate had hit the spot yet again with a mouth-watering line up in a central London location.
Upon arriving at Great Suffolk Street Warehouse in London Bridge around midnight, the queues were enormous. Cosmic dolls and space age outfits lined the street, eager to partake in their quest to dance to nu-disco. Skipping past in the press queue, I was anxious to get inside and to view the layout; my experience of Percolate parties have shown me that they refuse to abstain when it comes to decor, especially for the big occasions. Tonight was no exception. What would usually have been a pretty cold and intimidating arrangement of stone walls and high ceilinged brick arches had been warmed with bellowing red velvet. The two dance floors, Arch 1 & 2, had mammoth glitter disco balls dripping down from above; pointed red lasers glanced off them nonchalantly providing a dazzling light show to add to the production.
The dance floor was already heaving as Wiggy from Real Nice & Jonny Tawn took to the stage. Having caught these two on a number of occasions over the summer, I was excited as they have recently launched a new project, Jive Talk. Never failing to secure their stamp on the show, they opened with Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’, the first record to sign to Richard Branson’s Virgin many moons ago. Educating the young crowd, they soon slipped in a sultry disco number, providing an enthralling entrance to a typically masterful set of beefy, upright chunk and glorious high-end vocals. Stephane Deschezeau‘s ‘Prime Time’ and Kiu D‘s ‘Moonlight’ featured as the pair expertly made way for Maribou State’s highly anticipated appearance.
Personally, the pair had been put on the map for me with their tune ‘Bricks’ about four years ago. The dubstep sounded like nothing I had heard before; shuddering reverb and bass accompanied by seductive vocal echoes were irresistible and enough to coax me to the front rather than dash over to the other Arch to dance to my favourites, Crazy P. I made the right decision as huge, bounding bass lines rung out across the Funktion One speakers, demanding their audience to shake about and play. Their migration over to trippy techno was marvellous and high energy, Liam and Chris’ time spent in Berlin was perhaps an influence. Country and western-style harmonic riffs weaved through the dance floor as the set closed in on an hour and many of the crowd parted to make their way over to see Todd Terje in the other Arch.
It became evident that perhaps the promoters had sold too many tickets. Either that or it felt like the entire capacity had squeezed onto one dance floor to see the headliner. Having been to many clubs around the country and indeed, the continent; I can safely say that I have never been ‘sardined’ like that in my life. Sweaty torso’s and jabby elbows found their way to me over and over again to the point that it was unenjoyable. The venue as far as I could tell also only provided one water tank at the end of a bar between the two arches, crowded with dehydrated youths desperately clutching paper cups and waiting to be refilled. It struck me that the venue wasn’t perhaps always a club as there was no seating whatsoever to be found and people were littered everywhere across the soggy floor. Accompanied by the lack of air conditioning, these factors played a huge part in how enjoyable the night was unfortunately, although the music was top notch.
After being pushed out, literally – I caught the last half hour of Terje. His future disco flavours were fabulous and the production Percolate laid on purely added to the show. Massive confetti cannons and huge blasts of fake smog blew out intermittently and by the time ‘Strandbar’ was dropped, any questions about the rowdiness disappeared as hands reached for the air and the dancefloor unified. It really was quite a sight and the show felt special to witness.
Luckily the crowd dispersed somewhat by the time residents Krywald & Farrer made their way to the decks. The dance floor became much more enjoyable with room to move and the vibes all round were excellent. Having recently launched their own label Persies, K&F played their debut ‘Thank U Mum’, a gloriously bassy re-edit of St.Germain’s twelve-minute master class that has become a firm staple in their sets. Mixing new and old, they also dropped Nu-Birth’s ‘Anytime’ from 1998 to marvellous effect and kept three or four hundred dancing, and I mean really dancing until the end. Percolate had managed it again, a top Halloween showcase to rival the best in the capital.