Reviewed: Printworks Presents – Maribou State
Did you know that Rotherhithe’s former Harmsworth Quays printing plant used to print the appalling Tory polemic that is the Daily Mail? Neither did I until about five minutes ago but I can’t help thinking that the space gets put to much better use these days as AAA events space and arguably the UK’s best club; Printworks.
Now entering its fourth year, Printworks kicked things off with a bang in the form of a strongly curated, top tier lineup with the irresistible Maribou State topping the bill and a who’s who of avant-garde 120bpm-ish frontrunners filling out the ranks beneath.
Somewhat unsurprisingly the thing sold out in about six minutes, which meant the press halls were set for a busy day with 5000 of the Capital’s bright young things, as well as this grizzled reporter, packing the place out.
Confession time part one: I actually missed Donna Leake (sorry Donna) so I’m just going to go ahead and assume that was sick based on just how tight O’Flynn was afterwards. Playing a super slick set that crossed low fi house, disco and some African diaspora he got things loosened up nice and early.
Lil Silva, fresh off the back of his ‘OTHERLiiNE’ LP with the one and only George Fitzgerald, switched things up a bit from his usual UK Funky flavours with an extended set that was more journey than your usual banger showcase. Actually all the earlier acts played extended sets, which in retrospect was solid programming, letting them bring a bit more depth and experimentalism than you’d usually hear in a 60 minute set.
Quantic, who I must profess looked nothing like I imagined him to, really let loose with his 90 minutes, starting in the deep end with his signature organic, spaced out beats, and working up to a foot-tapping 120bpm.
Confession time part two: I think I stepped into room two once all night (sorry literally everyone that aren’t Jay Carder). However, the time I did I was greeted by literal force of nature; Jay Carder. Holy fuck though, did she ever slay it. Working her way from the worldwide sound the House of Carder to some real upfront, tribal, grime-laced 130, all expertly blended with the optimum amount of crowd-pleasing knob-twiddling she provided a nice counterpoint to the more blessed out vibes in room one.
Back in room one, France’s Folamour did what the French seem to do so well these days and brought the funk and/or soul. Shelling it down in that intense room one, he probably made my feet move the most all day, dancing like a loon on the balcony.
DJ Seinfeld’s set didn’t really hold any surprises which, in anyone else, could be considered a bad thing. However, the man himself supplied vibe upon vibe of that dusty low-fi goodness.
S G Lewis took a break from the babymaking slowjamz and spent his 60 minutes playing some relatively upfront house, including some absolutely slamming edits of 90s classics that went off almost as much as the techno-esque blends he laid down.
While it’s been a hot minute since I’ve seen anything that even approximated live music, Elder Island happily filled that void, which I’d hitherto not even realised, with their charming blend of deep, funky pop that, if the crowd was anything to go by, blew the goddamn roof off.
Last but by no means least, MVPs Maribou State did what they do best. Playing that signature blend of Hawaiian house, classic soul edits, tough breaks and what sounded like some new album material, they both figuratively and literally shut things DOWN.
The whole thing, all in all, was a great start to what’s shaping up to be a great year for Printworks and their sister venue Drumsheds, and I for one can’t wait to get amongst it.
Get tickets to upcoming events at Printworks from here