This summer Printworks London will close its doors for the last time. Since its first party in 2017, the brutalist industrial space has become one of the capital’s best-loved music venues. While the club has become predominantly known for booking the very best brands in electronic music, the venue programming has seen a tremendous variety of talent- from up-and-coming experimental acts to live and visual artists. A night at Printworks is something that artists, labels and promoters achieve with a huge and well-deserved sense of pride. It’s bucket list business for everyone involved.
Over the years Printworks London has supported the drum and bass scene immeasurably- in fact the second-ever event to be held at the iconic venue was one of our very own UKF shows. and the closing season continued to show its deep connection to the scene, kicking off with a monstrous line-up for the mighty Let It Roll back in February, the jam-packed list of d&b shows carried on with a double helping of DNB ALLSTARS, Worried About Henry and Hospitality.
We have a quick chat with some of the artists who have played at these instantly historic shows as part of the closing season to hear their thoughts on the closure of Printworks London and why they think the drum and bass scene is so strong right now.
This printworks show will be bittersweet playing there for the last time. Living in London, myself and so many others have had so many amazing memories attached to the place. Large venues that support underground dance music are few and far between – places like Printworks are so important for dance music and its culture. It will be sad to see it go but that’s even more of a reason to make it a night to remember. If you see me crying in the booth, no you didn’t.
Olly Gunns – Music Booker at PRINTWORKS
Bass music has been a key part of Printworks’ programming over the past seven years. The scene is thriving – whether it be OG crews such as Hospital Records, or newer standouts like Worried About Henry, the pool of talent is plain to see. Printworks are proud to be a space for that community.
I think the Scene is very exciting at the moment as there are lots of new labels and producers who have bought their own styles and sounds and helped to push the sound in all different directions. There are also a lot more female DnB DJ’s and Producers which is a good thing because they bring a different energy and vibe to the table. I think this has all helped progress the scene both on the underground and commercial sides. Its the first time in history that a big tune can be played on commercial radio, in the national charts, while maintaining its credibility and still be smashing it on the club scene and in the underground raves at the same time, whereas years ago a more commercial tune would get big in the clubs first and by the time it entered the national charts it would not be cool enough for the clubs anymore, in other words not seen as selling out.
I feel the community online is really strong. Never before has it been so easy to communicate with other artists and producers by just hitting them up in their DM’s which can create off the cuff collabs. I am currently collabing with Airglo, “Klimate”, “4K’ and “Toby Ross” none of these would have happened without the power of the social network.
There is so much good music around at the moment which is why I think the scene is so exciting, so many different styles of d&b doing really well. It’s always been fun but I feel like 2023 d&b is really popping and of course, this is great for everyone involved. I Feel like UKF, DNB Allstars, born on the road, all these guys and artists they release with are smashing it.
The current scene is so exciting because the growth of d&b has been amazing! Respect to the pioneers who helped pave the way and build such a wicked scene and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. Also great to see so many others break through and seeing producers I was on the come up with get the recognition they deserve. Over the last couple of years I’ve got to meet most of the producers which have inspired me and the welcome I’ve had in the scene has been beautiful from the producers and ravers. Big ups to everyone who’s shown love at the shows or online, you’ve made all the years locked away making music worth it. I fell in love with d&b for not only the music but the culture which surrounds it. You get a warmth from being a part of this culture with everyone having a common ground with the music.
The feeling of playing a printworks show was amazing, looking up at a big crowd whilst I’m DJing will never ever get old and getting to play the tunes I make too is so sick. Gonna be devvoed when the club shuts, it’s a massive staple club of London
“Printworks, or as I affectionately call it… ‘Printy’ is a venue that has a special place in my heart. It’s the perfect derelict setting, occupied by those looking to escape society for the day or night, indulging in the electronic sounds resonating from the Press Halls with its awe-inspiring visual production, hard to find elsewhere in the capital. I have been lucky to frequent this place for years as a raver, as well as work behind the scenes on events, create content and now go on to perform on the main stage as my drag DnB alterego Nathan X, for Worried About Henry’s final-season show. I never thought I’d be in a position to play this gig, I can’t wait to get on that stage and bring the heat before we sadly part with Printy for good.”
Let’s face it, dance music coming out of the UK has never been better. We’re in the middle of a really exciting time, huge raves all over the world, being documented everywhere online – feels massive right now. Underground artists out of the UK are smashing it on a worldwide scale and we love to see it. A strong community online and in real life at shows feels class. It feels like one big family in front and behind the speakers really. Nearly everyone’s a legend and I’ve always got love and a lot of time for the ravers who support the events and the music.