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Review: We Love… opening at Sankeys

Rudimental lead the party and prolong their set.

It is always a pleasure to go to Sankeys. I don't have the opportunity to walk around the nightlife corners of London as many times as I want to, so, every time I cross that door, something in my mind feels like I am at a UK club of the underground scene. Those red-lit, dark, crowded and small places are my favourite, and that's what Sankeys offers to differ from the other Ibiza spots, as well as an opportunity to check out what is going on with the British electronic scene.

But let's focus on my night - the first ever We Love Sankeys. It was only 2 o'clock and both rooms (The Lab and The Basement) were packed with people dancing. After swimming around the place, the awesome bathrooms (with graffiti on the walls) and the terrace (with these British coloured flags at the roof) I finally found a good place to enjoy the music, which always becomes even better thanks to their amazing VOID sound system (one of the best on the isle).

A familiar track came out of the speakers: Night Train, Einmusik's new song. Matt Relton, better known as Kidnap Kid, was playing it warming The Lab's booth for the main act of the night, Rudimental, with whom he had previously shared stages. His set fulled the party with a wave of the house and garage renaissance, playing dance grooves too like the awesome remix he made of Empire Of The Sun's tune We Are The People, cheered on by the dancefloor.

Meanwhile, another British talent, The 2 Bears duo, was laying the hip-hop-soul-house beats to The Basement, which stayed healthily packed. Joe Goddard and Raf Rundell offered a solid and uplifting set, intensified with a pleasant crowd. But when the clock struck 3 in the morning, all attendees broke into The Lab, turning the room into a massive rave dancefloor which was bursting at the seams. It was Rudimental's moment of the night. I have to say that I only had seen a Rudimental show once in a festival this past winter and (maybe because it was not as good as last night, maybe because I didn't pay the same attention) they surprised me a lot. The set was full of British roots with ska, reggae, dubstep and drum'n'bass elements, tracing a compressed story of the popular London dance music box.

Piers Agget, Kesi Dryden, Amir Amor and DJ Locksmith started the night with their acclaimed tune Deep In The Valley accompanied by a live sax performance. Then, they got all my love by playing the new Claude VonStroke TEMAZO Barrump which I couldn't get out of my head since I heard it last Monday at DC10. After half an hour playing, they started to go for jungle vibes mixing them with reggae themes like Marley's Bad Boys. Of course, works from their own harvest were making the fans shout some of their anthems, like Waiting All Night, Not Giving It, Feel The Love…

The set times said that Rudimental would end their DJ set at 4 in the morning, but the crowd appetite was so incessant that it went on almost one hour more, offering a great sax solo performance to say goodbye.

Two of the Ibiza regulars, Jason Bye (at The Lab) and Kaz James (at The Basement) took command of the last hours of the night. The former, bringing all the We Love essence to the room like only a 12-year resident can, filled the crowded space with house and tech-house waves. The latter smashed the floor as usual with his more mainstream-progressive-house sounds, with tracks completely selected to make the public move their bodies. All of it accompanied with the darkness of Sankeys, which, at least in my case, intensified the music.

When you've been doing the same party at the same place for 17 years, you need to take a moment to think if you should get out of your comfort zone and breathe some fresh air somewhere else. Personally, I am one of those kinds of people who think that a party can feel boring or repetitive after that much time in one location, so, in the case of We Love…, after being sad for a while because the We Love/Space combination had been so emblematic, I think that it has found its new home at Sankeys.

WORDS | Natalia Gutiérrez PHOTOGRAPHY | Justin Gardner

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