Having spent several years without managing to get to Printworks, I've now been twice in a month. This time was to see DJ Koze; not quite the immense personal favourite that Goldfish are, but still an artist with an extremely excellent back catalogue and stand out latest album in Knock Knock. A few friends already had tickets, including (luckily) a spare, so I managed to tag along relatively last minute. Koze's set was a huge amount of fun, particularly the final 30 minutes or so that went into a bit more of his recent stuff, though I did feel it dropped off a bit in the middle. Also, the crowd was, to be blunt, fairly obnoxious; nothing like the fun vibes we had last time. We actually ended up moving away from one particularly drunken section, which made the experience much better, but still, I'm glad I had the gigs this way around because Printworks came off a lot worse second time over.
It also turns out that the venue has two huge stages/dance halls next to one another, which can effectively be switched. Where the long bar had been for Goldfish was now the dance hall, and the previous stage had become the bar. Clever but also very confusing. I'm not too sure what the differences between the two halls are; Joe reckoned the second hall (for Koze) is larger, but it felt smaller to me 🤷♀️ What it does seem to have is a lot more lighting rigs; whilst Goldfish had felt energetic the light show didn't blow me away, but Koze delivered. Huge projections and intertwining lasers played off against battery after battery of strobes, spots, and projectors, lighting the hall up end-to-end. Long lines of RGB bulbs running down each side could be "fired off" like Star Wars blaster bolts, which was particularly effective. It was stunning.
Another major win was the rest of the lineup. I hadn't realised that the Matthew Herbert on the roster was the same person Alison and I had been to see last year for an eclectic, orchestral composition themed around the EU and Brexit. Turns out he's also a highly respected EDM DJ - who knew! (Well, apart from James.) Unfortunately he was on way too early. Printworks is an irritating venue in that headliners start late but it's also basically by my office, so going all the way home and coming back again is actually a stretch. I'd planned on meeting up with the rest of the group for dinner, but then plans changed and I ended up grabbing a bite with Alison on the South Bank instead. Still, getting there for Herbert's 8pm slot felt excessive, so we missed it. Instead, we caught Floating Points, who were awesome and I'd love to see headline at some point as well.
Overall a loooong but extremely fun evening 🕺