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Review: VIVa Warriors at Sankeys, 21st June

A massive audience jumped to the rhythm of Steve Lawler’s beats.

Excited to return to VIVa Music party for the first time since last season, I put on my warrior band (you really need to get one) and my comfy sneakers, ready to dance, jump and sweat as I had last year. For a fourth consecutive season, Steve Lawler's VIVa Warriors is making camp at Sankeys' basement, bringing all the British essence (and people) to this little part of UK's night spot we have in Ibiza. Tech house and techno beats represent the flag of these nights, which seem to get better and more packed each summer.

It was 1:00 am and the club was already packed - even the outdoor terrace was also full of people, who, without any music sounding, were drinking and talking for hours up there. At the afternoon, sad news informed that Detlef, who was interviewed by Spotlight few weeks ago, was not going to be able to come in time for the party due to a cancelled flight. Instead, Denney, the UK talent behind the VIVa Music wings, warmed-up the booth during the first two hours proving that his particular sound fits in a perfect way with the Sankeys' Sunday sessions. The set was composed of great tunes that made the dancefloor happy introducing punchy percussion and consistently rolling bass beneath melodies.

But when the clock struck 2am the guests required something a little heavier. It was Steve Lawler's turn to give them what they were asking for, and I promise he did it well. When the boss started to play it was difficult to make it to the front due to the advancing flow of people, so by the time I got there, he was in full-flow. The Good Old Days by Chris Aventegarde, Pendulum by Hugo and an amazing remix of Jan Driver's track Yo! What? featured in the first two hours of his set which turned darker by the time I realized that it was already 4:30am.

With applauses and shots inside the booth (yes, I saw it) it was Skream's turn to take the control. He gave to all those untiring party-goers more techno beats, megatron included, while upstairs at the boutique they were having a proper private party with an improvised turntable just at the bar top.

After their successful showcase at Sonar Off Week, VIVa Warriors offered a night full of quality music at underground electronica haven, Sankeys - a club which holds out as a bastion of the kind of electronic music divorced from commercial loops, with interesting proposals and an old-style clubbing concept.

WORDS | Natalia Gutiérrez PHOTOGRAPHY | Justin Gardner

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