Rarely has a party been so eagerly anticipated as Hot Natured first ever London Party this New Year’s Day. With a scramble for tickets resulting in second-hand ones fetching £60 and more, leaving some smug, some out of pocket and some bitterly disappointed. It’s great to see the boys reap the benefits of their obvious talent and hard work, but such insane popularity brings obvious problems for the more discerning clubber. So any negativity surrounding the event are in no way a reflection on the Hot Natured crew themselves, as the main source of any upset was the crowd itself. It’s a perverse fact of the scene that mainstream success can bring dickheads in droves.
After feeling fairly ancient during Art Department a few weeks previous at Return To The Future, it became clear that Hot Natured would be more of the same. The youth of the Home Counties out in force. Fresh-faced, barely out of sixth-form children. Topshop cloned girls slathered in fake tan and reality-tv-star-style fake eyelashes grinding against shirtless chavs in a packed sweat-pit. Not normally my cup of tea but the music being spot-on helped to compensate.
The queue outside the venue was unreal but expected. Stretching down the road and around the corner with people complaining they had barely moved 10 meters in 45 minutes; some of whom were not the type that needed any encouragement towards agitation. Arriving inside around midnight we just caught the end of Miguel Campbell‘s set, which he predictably but happily finished off with his smash hit ‘Something Special’. We headed to the bar where a round of drinks (one rum and coke and 2 bottles of water) set us back a whopping £15. It was already fairly buzzing by this point and the thought of the sheer amount of people still in the queue was a slight point of concern.
Whilst Russ Yallop and Richy Ahmed both smashed it; it was clear everyone was extra-hyped for Maceo Plex. By 2am Pulse was packed and as man of the moment Maceo took to the decks, the whole place went wild. Busting out banger after banger, including the wonderful ‘Stay High Baby’, he would have undoubtedly had the whole place dancing their socks off had there been room to actually do so.
Again, whilst the lack of dancing room was a shame, it’s surely testament to the incredible rise in popularity these artists have all experienced this year. It’s always going to be tough going when you have a bill packed full of amazing acts and only a limited space. Thoughtfully the DJ booth was filmed and the footage of the gang having fun and swigging whisky was projected all around the club, both behind the bar and in the wonderfully decorated second room full of seats and the obligatory lit-up Hot Natured sign. In fact, despite being a total sweat-box, a lot of thought had clearly gone into the venue which is great as it was a last-minute change from the previously organised location of The Hub in Hackney Wick. Thought had even gone into the look of the main room which was full of, yep you guessed it, palm trees. The lazer light projection was out of this world (everyone loves a good lazer) and there was even an outdoor area with sofas to accomodate non-smokers needing to cool-down without passively smoking. In fact, the only downside to the venue was the unisex toilets. The last thing you want to see whilst weeing as a chavvy face leering over the top of the door at you (fyi this actually happened).
After seeing Art Department DJ, we were excited to see them perform live and were not disappointed. Kenny sang live over vocal tracks, creating a haunting sound with new track Touch Me Gently. Many ravers were singing along, eyes fluttering in ecstasy and the atmosphere was unbeatable.
By 4:30 it was time for Hot Natured themselves to come on and they played a fairly intense set, certainly more intense than any recent podcast or mix. Whether this is because they were expecting everyone to still be awake from last year, as one might expect from hardcore ravers that hit up a massive night on New Years Day, but the place was definitely thinning out by about 5am. Perhaps when you’re all in different dimensions it can be difficult to connect and some of the crowd just weren’t quite tuned into the atmosphere Jamie Jones and Lee Foss were trying to achieve.
All in all the night was good and bad in equal measures. I’m sure everyone present would without a doubt happily see any of the acts live again but in a smaller, more intimate venue with perhaps less youngsters. To give you an idea of the general attitude and age of the average person there I’ll leave you with this little overheard gem…. “Jamie Jones is 30! Can you imagine still doing all this at HIS AGE?!? He should be settled down with two kids by now.”
Lee Foss – RA Podcast 291
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