After a very thorough pat down from the bouncer, we’re inside 16 acres of no-frills, industrial warehouse. A plane hangar-sized entrance area includes a bar, and a stall to buy tokens for the drinks (the only place where a queue really formed throughout the venue). It also links through to a very well serviced smoking area that was decked out with two food trucks, including Smokey Tails, and its own bar.
But it was up the stairs from the entrance hall where the pearl in Printworks’ oyster was pumping on all cylinders. The dramatic Press Halls (room one) is a cavernous strip of unadulterated industrialism and it’s packed with people from the get-go. Although it's the early afternoon, time really feels irrelevant here. The DJs, perfectly framed by their narrow setting, are given a religious aura by the ultra-high roof above them and the raised booth. Like priests on a pulpit delivering to their loyal disciples. The ‘God Is A DJ’ trope is regularly regurgitated in dance music, but this time it really felt like a place of worship and it showed on awe-struck faces in the crowd. A balcony that ran along both sides of the room above the dancefloor is expected to stay closed to punters but if they ever decide to open it up, it would also add another dimension to the room.
Of course with a space of that shape and size made of unyielding materials like metal, sound was expected to be an issue. But there were few opening night jitters. For the most part it delivered consistently throughout the space except in the middle of the room where the sound slightly lacked. But we were just as able to have a dance at the back of the room as we were sardined up the front and with a few tweaks after a few more events, it could become one of the best systems in London (especially if it's as well tailored to the disco of Floating Points, who has a show here on March 4, as it is the numerous house and techno acts booked).