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Review: Vertical Summer Series, London, 18th April 2015

Because who doesn’t want to build a sandcastle whilst listening to some techy summer beats?

Last weekend saw in the launch of one of London's most exciting new summer parties - Vertical Summer Series. The ethos is this: to bring together the best elements of the summer, happiness, outdoor antics and some funky beats to create memorable day parties. I was a little sceptical when I found out Part 1 was being held in The Old Baths in Hackney Wick because who wants a bath and a party at the same time? But I popped along anyway, fists poised and ready for some Saturday daytime beats.

The Cre8 Life Style Centre (a.k.a. The Old Baths) is situated in the depths of the uber trendy Hackney Wick. It's a great fuss-free building - spacious, light and a little rough around the edges. The Baths usually house art exhibitions, not 700 odd party goers dancing around daytime drinking, so I was interested to see what would happen.

Room 1 held an impressive line-up: Maxxi Soundsystem (Futureboogie), PBR Streetgang (Wolf Music / 20/20 Vision), Chris Halliday (Ketoloco), Funster & TillieTillie, Muzz Khan, Mu5icology and Behic Fellowes, so we were sure to be in for a sizable serving of house, nu-disco and techno. To warm things up we were treated to a B2B set from Funster and TillieTillie. They certainly set the day off on the right foot, playing an eclectic mix of classic house, new bangers and a pinch of tribal for good measure. Alongside a few chilled ciders and array of multicoloured umbrellas decorating the decks, it made for a magical start to the afternoon.

The sun was beautiful, hot and beaming down outside in the garden. Sandpits, ping pong tables, picnic benches and of course the obligatory astro turf made up the outside space – it was the perfect place to chill in between throwing down some afternoon shapes. Room 2 was held by Juice, who also happened to be kicking off the summer with their first party. We were treated to an array of up and coming talent throughout the day and Little Jonny and Phiotek, regulars on the west London techno scene, headlined.

Maxxi Soundsystem and PBR StreetGang headlined room 1 and certainly did not disappoint. Providing us with a blend of dubby house, deep tech and some solid beats, they really got the crowd going. The umbrellas, which had now been stolen from the decks, were flying around the room, excitably bobbing up and down. Then, once the sun had unfortunately set, we were treated to an impressive and colourful light display in the main room.

As the day came to an end, Muzz Khan took to the decks and provided the closing set. He finished the day (and us) off nicely with Caribou's Can't Do Without You. I'm not sure if it was the sun, well-priced drinks or the amazing talent that we were blessed with but the crowd were in a great mood all day. No bad vibes, smiles everywhere and there was a constant happy summer fuzz filling the room – something that made the day particularly special and cemented the start of what is set to be a great summer in London.

Thanks Vertical, you took the day time party scene back to what it should be – a little dirty, unpretentious and a shed-load of fun. Check back in next month for Part 2 of the series on May 16th.

WORDS | Bronwen Hughes PHOTOGRAPHY | Wurd Social

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