It’s 2:30am on Saturday morning and Oval Space’s typically commodious dancefloor is full to the brim with revellers in sheer adoration for the occasion in question. Now regular readers of AboutToBlow will be familiar with our love for Percolate, a brand we’ve been supporting since it’s earliest days within Brixton’s intimate Airspace venue. Having lit the fuse with those events, four years on you get the sense that this club event has steadily grown into a dream scenario for it’s creators.
Let’s not downplay this in any way or attribute this to anything other than those who deserve it – this is a dream scenario as a result of the hard work, dedication and curation of the team behind the scenes. Not only has Percolate become a major event within UK clubbing – amassing an unwavering support base and garnering excellent reviews across the board – it’s rise has allowed the brand to draft in a plethora of world-class selectors year on year.
Whilst mega-parties of course have their place, Percolate has consistently placed an emphasis on intimacy and making dancers feel connected, rather than simply being a dot in a sea of people. That quality has been retained even with increase in venue size, as the parties continue to hold that same vibe even with demand and capacities growing naturally.
Back to the party in question, as balloon’s begin to fall from the ceiling whilst Leon Vynehall expertly paces through peaktime house stompers, there’s a euphoric feeling in the air that cascade’s itself through wolf whistles and cheers. The celebrations are definitely enhanced through the welcome decision to allow partygoers on stage, creating a tangible, immersive connection between crowd and headliner reminiscent of a house party or Boiler Room vibe.
Of course we are at this point having been expertly warmed up through long-term residents Krywald & Farrer who, through their customary fusion of tribal, disco, world and house showcase a typical display that’s never short on quality. Their dedication to the cause and commendable care taken in selection rightly justifies their rise as both dj’s and production duo that’s increased organically in tandem with the night itself.
One of the positive’s of regularly hosting nights at Oval Space comes in the way that it’s a one-room-space, meaning frustrating line-up clashes are out of the question. With Vynehall in a (somewhat surprisingly) bullish mood, laying down rollers and stompers including Adonis’ No Way Back, Fango’s hammer ‘Rectum’ and Armand Van Helden’s rework of Sugar Is Sweeter, it’s a purposeful display of dancefloor heat that, in turn, becomes the night’s defining moment.
From one of our favourite selectors to another, Jeremy Underground was next to take to the stage. Booking these two together was a tantalising prospect and one we’d been looking forward to for months, and the My Love is Underground boss wasted no time in shifting into feelgood mode. Gay Marvine’s ‘Luv Thang’ and Liem’s ‘If Only’ are greeted with expectant applause before an extended shift into disco territory see’s the night through to it’s finale in jubilant, joyous fashion.
It’s a satisfying end to an occasion that, with it’s line up and production, was always guaranteed to deliver and in turn, reaffirms its status as one of London’s finest offerings when it comes to quality house and disco. Through a careful balancing act of booking the known with the unknown, Percolate have always had a knack of booking the right artists at the right time. It’s crucial within today’s clubbing landscape that’s becoming driven by a motive of monetization for a product that often doesn’t warrant it. In that respect Percolate has managed to fall away from the pack of predictability, becoming a well-oiled package delivered with care that manages to maintain it’s welcoming family-vibe after four years, and long may it continue.