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Peach at Heaven: Reviewed
Reported by josie
Submitted 25-04-07 16:13
London saw a phoenix rise from the ashes on 30th March with the return of Peach to the capital. Sadly not to Camden Palace - these days the ultra trendy Koko Club - but to Heaven, another London home of the all nighter. I do apologise for how long it's taken to turn this review around, but I've been ill, overworked and tired, dear reader. Were it not for God's precious and inspiring gift of alcohol, you'd have been waiting even longer.
London has had a bit of a thin time of it for a while now - Trancegeneration bit the dust 18 months ago now (where the hell did the time go?), Knowwhere have pulled back from monthly events, and even the PvD Crasher nights are no more. The Gallery and Vaccine have ruled the roost somewhat (through size and frequency rather than anything else, before anyone sends me any tetchy private messages about favouritism), and Electronic Sessions and other intermittent events bubble along under the surface, but we've needed something really big to shake things up.
Joining dance music too late to experience Peach back in the day, I nonetheless had massively high hopes for this event, out of affection for Graham who is an all round good egg, and enthusiasm for the London trance scene. Thankfully, my hopes were met and then some. Heaven was properly busy, even early on, busier than I’ve seen the club in a long, long time, and the atmosphere was positively crackling. Everybody, absolutely everyone who's anyone was there. Marvel of marvels, as well, beers were served in rigid plastic glasses, which are a massive improvement on those crap squeezy ones, and in fact I don’t even mind the plastic beer bottles. Hurrah for Heaven.
There was a bit of confusion about set times (that's the last time I listen to DigitalSushi about anything), so it's hard to be definitive about the warm-up DJ(s), but Tillmann Uhrmacher dished up smiley, happy tunes of various sorts, including his own 'Pride In Your Eyes' and the absolutely classic 'On The Run'. Naturally the dancefloor was bedlam during this last. Stopping the music and getting on the mic is usually a massive no no, but Graham Gold just about pulled it off, due to the tidal waves of good vibes sloshing about the place. His set then did the Peach faithful proud. Really dancey, and proper back-in-the-day euphoria with old school anthems including Mirco de Govia’s ‘I’m Alone’, ‘Adagio for Strings’, and Motorcycle’s ‘As the Rush Comes’.
Headliner Johan Gielen kicked off his mainroom set with the grindiest little techy beast ever, and continued in the same vein. Electro and tough as you like right from the start. Not as uplifting or euphoric as on earlier occasions but still great, and the set of the night for this Johan Gielen ultra-fan. Some excellent tracks as well, including the 2007 Trancenergy anthem Joop - ‘The Future’, the Mac & Mac remix of 4 Strings’ ‘Into The Night (2006)’ and classic trancer ‘Synaesthesia’ from The Thrillseekers. It’s funny how many tech trance DJs have a soft spot for this. There was also a couple of leftfield kinda remixes, including a techy remake of Sunscreem’s ‘Perfect Motion’, and a wickedly irresistible breaksy mix of Faithless - ‘Insomnia’. When that riff kicked in and the lasers went bananas, well, it was big and it was clever, I don't mind telling you. Johan in fact got great crowd response right the way through his set. Following Johan, John O’Callaghan treated everyone to a techy start, delivering in general a darker, grittier set, but with some classic trancey sounds interspersed.
The house room was extremely hip and laidback on each of my fleeting visits, though still busy. It’s jolly civilised up there these days, with tall stools and the like. The bar has been redone and it’s really very nice. The Classics room was rammed from start to finish and did not disappoint in delivering, well, classics. The track playing on visit number one was Cosmic Gate's ‘I Feel Wonderful’ / 'Skydive' (never quite got that sorted in my head), that’ll tell you all you need to know about the vibe. The crowd in fact loved every minute of every set, visit numero deux was met with Agnelli & Nelson’s ‘Everytime’, and the place was PACKED. Delirium’s ‘Silence’ got an airing, as did a remix of Chicane’s ‘Autumn Tactics’, while Ben Gold didn’t disappoint with ‘Café del Mar’. The atmosphere was fantastic up there, despite the heat generated by multiple bodies packed into a small space, with everyone giving it their smiley all.
The take home message is that Peach boasted one of the happiest dance floors I’ve ever seen. Smiles for miles and one of the best, most positive atmospheres I’ve come across in a long while. The crowd were all shapes and sizes, including an awful lot of youngsters who must definitely have been too young for Peach the first time round, however benevolent the door policy. This bodes very well for future events, although there were definitely plenty of the old crew around, featuring Peach t-shirts and other regalia.
Even better news is that following the next Peach at Heaven on June 29th, the event will go monthly, providing London with another much needed quality regular event. They celebrate a birthday on 21st September, and in October the organisers are considering a Peach in Amsterdam or a boat party. I feel incredibly positive about dance music and clubbing at the moment (and no it’s not just the cough medicine). There’s a Serious at The Cross next bank holiday weekend before it’s raised to the ground, the line-up at the upcoming Electronic Sessions looks sweet, and before you know it, it’ll be summer - season of Ibiza, house parties and staying up forever. Life is good.
Photos courtesy of the HF archive. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By josie:
It's the Generation game featuring Agnelli & Nelson, The Thrillseekers and Lange
The Gallery at Turnmills: Reviewed
The International Indoor Festival at SeOne: reviewed
The double ender: interview with trance legends Darren Tate and Mike Koglin
Knowwhere @ Heaven ... reviewed
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.