Welcome to the monthly rave review for April. Featuring Printworks, Abode, Hospitality, Chapter Festival, Banjax and Ritual.
Printworks Issue 001
Printworks has taken over the majority of my raving calendar since February, and every time I re-immerse myself back into this truly special stretch of space it still produces the exact same incredible feeling I experienced from the moment I first danced my way in. Whilst being at work throughout the week, I yearn for nothing more than the weekend to arrive as quickly as possible – especially knowing that I’m one step closer towards making the journey to one of my favourite cultural hotspots, a groundbreaking venue that couldn’t be run by any other than LWE.
LWE is London’s leading promoter, and has earned rightful public support and respect from many of the UK’s fellow top table promoters. It can be underpinned quite simply from the photo you can see above that the standard they set across the board in the growing, competitive rave culture is of the highest level possible. They achieve this by amalgamating the main pillars and foundations of any successful business: production, organisation, consistency & customer service. The magnitude of work they have in put behind the scenes before the chaos ensues and that I have witnessed personally is genuinely unreal, so it seems only right to publicly share with you all and give credit where it’s due.
Printworks has played host to a number of features I have been involved in recently, including an interview with Data Transmission and a video shoot with the popular brand Relentless (which will be coming soon). It has without a doubt been a great place for me in regards to network as I have encountered and got to know many new & friendly faces, and at the same time I am also very grateful for the existing and potential opportunities that are on the horizon..
In April I attended 4 of the events: Knee Deep In Sound, Luciano & Friends, Back To The Future and Photon. With these being the few remaining events in my saturated month of raving, I knew the end was coming but concentrated on what I do best – having a good time and being distracted by the beauty of the underground sounds. It didn’t quite strike me until the closing weekend that for now the end was nigh, and despite the fact that I was somewhat saddened for the series to end, my mind is already focused firmly for the build up for Issue 002. Luckily, LWE have blessed us with Junction 2 to look forward to in in the interim as June is vastly approaching, which will feature legendary icons in the genre of techno ranging from Italian wizard Joseph Capriati, to Alan Fitzpatrick & Chris Liebing.
Here is my Printworks closing weekend video:
Abode @ Village Underground
There aren’t that many raves that you or I can honestly say that have the ability to reach near capacity limits within the first hour or two of the doors springing open, but Abode is definitely one of those. How do ABODE manage to do this you might ask yourself? Well the brand consists of not just a very loyal fan base, but also some very talented resident DJs, with for example GW Harrison playing at this years Lost & Found Festival hosted by Annie Mac, and Mancunian Jimmy Switch laying down the rhythm at parties like Elrow and globally recognised venues such as Space Ibiza. Admittedly it had been some time since I had been to Village Underground, however as soon as ABODE announced the rave the idea of revisiting this spot and rekindling the love almost immediately had me pencilling the date into my busy calendar.
There really is so much energy and love transmitted around the events hosted by the ABODE team, and with it’s popularity reaching far and wide both nationally and internationally from London to Ibiza, most of you house heads have already been to an ABODE rave. However, if you’re yet to experience one, I would highly recommend that you do so after the positive outings I have had personally.
As you can see below I was also involved in a promo video with Birdman for ABODE’s colossal looking party that is due to be held in Brighton at the end of May:
Hospitality In The Dock @ Tobacco Dock
Many of you will be surprised to know that Drum and Bass was actually the first genre of underground music I started raving to when I first took the leap of faith into a scene that was so new to me at the time. Back then it used to be a weekly occurrence, and you could find me sporting my Hospitality hat combined with a Shogun Audio t-shirt in the pre BGR t-shirt days. Although I am seen generally nowadays at house or techno events, this genre still holds a special place in my heart and Hospitality is one of those brands that puts on raves that you just cannot miss. So when combining this with Tobacco Dock, undoubtedly one my favourite venues – I was intrigued from the get go to witness how this would turn out.
In the end and as expected, Hospitality completely lived up to my high expectations, but although I give credit where it’s due with the Great and Little Galleries fully going off, I still feel that the car park is more suited to the vibe of a techno event with the likes of Drumcode and SIDEXSIDE taking over the dock in recent times.
Chapter XIII @ The Rainbow Venues
One of the first festivals in my calendar over the last few consecutive years is the Chapter Festival, which is hosted at the one and only Rainbow Venues, located in the raw, gritty heart of Digbeth, Birmingham.
I’ve been raving at Rainbow for 3 years now, and it is still one of my favourite places to travel over to. Many who also make the trip whether it be locally or from further afield will agree that there really isn’t a scene that can compare to Digbeth, it’s rave scene conveys a special vibe and feel to all those who visit.
Chapter Festival is undoubtedly Birmingham’s biggest rave of the year and really puts it on the map, with it attracting established names from all the world. From Hot Creations co-owner Jamie Jones, FUSE main men and minimal maestros Archie Hamilton & Rossko, to the United States female icon The Black Madonna. Chapter isn’t your typical type of festival in a field, it is an inner city festival hosted across an entire set of open air arenas, warehouses and even closed roads.
Chapter XIII definitely lived up to the status and stripes it had earned from the heights it reached in 2016 from Chapter XII, however Chapter XI is the first of hopefully many more instalments that so far I look back on most fondly.
Banjax 5th Birthday @ Blue Mountain
There are also times when you have to retreat back to the smaller more intimate raves, and rejoice with those who have supported you since the beginning, and to also in return support them too. Banjax have played a significant part in my journey to becoming what I am now, including the financial assistance towards funding a rave of my own hosted back in May 2016. Banjax are a true, kind hearted, down to earth collection of people with a true passion for house music who run the show.
It was time for their 5th Birthday, so it was definitely going to have to be a day rave on the rooftop of where else other than Blue Mountain.
My highlight of the day, as you can see with the large grin on my face was seeing Bongosan playing the Bongo alongside the DJs, which created such a quality energetic vibe to me and so many others also attending the event. I couldn’t resist requesting for Bongosan to participate in a video with me to showcase his natural musical talents he possesses:
Ritual @ Century
Ritual is a new addition to my monthly review, so hello and welcome to Ritual!
After hearing great things about it from my good friend and fellow raver Jed, I had to make my move and check it out for myself too. As you can tell from my monthly rave reviews past and present – I really do love day raves, and ones that are situated on a rooftop are up their with my favourites!
It was hosted at a venue in Soho called Century. My first impressions were that the club isn’t normally used for events that host highly charged, openly expressive individuals such as me, and it did seem that the staff didn’t take too well to my manic gyrating. The event itself though was extremely enjoyable just like my friend had advised prior to my attendance, there was a great energy to the place and it’s all the more fun when the sun is beaming down on me whilst I do what I do best!
Authors: Bradley Gunn, Callum Hughes (editor)