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Review: LWE NYD at Tobacco Dock, London

New Year’s Day partying – I’m converted.

Long gone are the days when January 1st was a day for hibernating with a hangover, deciding which series on Netflix to stick on whilst you eat your weight in Chinese food. No, this fresh new page in your diary is fast becoming a day of partying to rival its New Year's Eve predecessor. Whether you saw it as a quirky alternative or the perfect excuse for a two day bender, this year's New Year's Day line-ups were pretty damn hard to resist.

Spoilt for choice in the capital, I finally decided that I'd kick the year off north of the river, at London Warehouse Event's daytime extravaganza at Tobacco Dock. I'd heard nothing but good things from last year's event, and never having been to the grade 1 listed venue before was keen to go and see what all the fuss was about.

Sat beside the Thames, the building itself is impressive from the outset, a huge converted warehouse full of brick vaults, iron rafters and three dancefloors set across two levels. LWE had done a great job inside - with plenty of space to chill, food stalls and even – drumroll please – bumper cars! It felt more like a mini festival than a full-on rave, which for a daytime party was spot on.

The main room, The Great Hall, was already pumping when we arrived, with home grown talent Subb-An drawing in the crowds with a steady stream of bass-heavy cuts. Next up were DC-10 favourites The Martinez Brothers, who kept the momentum going strong with their energetic house and techno selections, the crowd bouncing to the beats of Green Velvet and Patrick Topping's collaboration Voicemail, and Marlon D's other-worldy offering Jesus Creates Sound. As ever, the pair's energy was contagious, and they quickly had the Great Hall packed to the rafters, the chill out spots decidedly emptier now that we were into evening hours and far more familiar raving territory.

Needing a breather from the packed Great Hall, we headed down to the Car Park to check out Kim Ann Foxman, and quickly saw where the room got its name. Quite literally a floor of a disused multi-storey car park, (parking ticket machine and road signs still intact), it was all dark corners and low ceilings, a nice contrast to the towering warehouse rafters of the rest of the venue. Foxman was working the space perfectly with a mellow selection of Chicago House, the dark beats suiting the underground vibe to a tee.

Rounding off the evening back in the Great Hall was headliner Maya Jane Coles. The British-Japanese tech-house sensation started out with some warm, groove-driven house from Glasgow Underground boss Kevin McKay, Everything's A Dream. Her vocal led selections energised the room, the echoing chorus in Kill Frenzy's All Night Long a particular crowd pleaser, giving those who had been here since lunchtime that final push to end the night on a high. Rolling out at 10.30pm was strange but very welcome, with the possibility of after-partying endless and public transport still running. New Year's Day partying – I'm converted.


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