Last month, thousands of revellers headed into Surrey Quays for a day of unfettered raving with Worried About Henry, a brand that has been championing forward thinking, bass heavy music for the best part of a decade. Best known for throwing epic parties up and down Britain, Worried About Henry had never set foot in the capital… until Friday 18th November.
Running from 20:00 – 03:00 at the legendary rave institution Printworks, Worried About Henry curated a mammoth lineup of heavy hitters to perform to a sold out crowd across both the hallowed Press Halls and basement vibes of Inkwells.
The artists on the night included a plethora of drum & bass, garage and jungle acts. The Press Halls hosted the likes of Wilkinson, Bou, K Motionz, Turno, Monrroe, Duskee, Krakota with special guests Sammy Virji b2b Notion.
The Inkwells had on stage DJ Hype b2b Randall, Run In The Jungle: (T>I b2b D*Minds feat MC Inja), Mozey, Kara b2b Sota, Siren, Kaz, Kleu and Deefa.
Situated at Surrey Quays, SE16, the East London venue has been one of the UKs most loved rave spots since its inception in 2017. Run by Broadwick Live, Printworks has created a home for 6,000 people to come together and party. With the infamous lowering light rig and chest thumping sound, we were excited for what lie ahead.
With a selection of locker sizes available to store your belongings safely, it means you can bring your extra layers and take them off as and when necessary – especially needed at this time of year as it was 3°c when the rave ended. The queue was reasonable, with a small locker costing £7 and a large £10; the large providing plenty of room for a bag, coats and a jumper.
The staff have always been a huge plus point at Printworks, having so many pleasant interactions makes your time there a much more enjoyable experience. From a thorough but friendly entry search, to upbeat locker staff, approachable security, and the bar staff being attentive and jovial – it really was smiles all round from us.
A mixed crowd but we found the majority in the Press Halls to be on the younger spectrum of ravers ranging from the ages of 18-25, however Inkwells was the place we found people to be slightly older in the age ranges of 18 – 35. Throughout though, the energy was infectious – with everyone definitely in full spirits during the night, no issues, no drama… just what we like to see.
Well stocked bars, giving you everything from draft beer to fancy cocktails. An Asahi Super Dry cost £5.80 for a 330ml can, a 187ml Sauvignon Blanc cost £7.80 and a can of Coca Cola was £3. Water stations were dotted around the ends of bars free of charge if you need a re-fill!
An artist on the lineup with UK top 10 releases on labels such as RAM, Hospital and Virgin EMI, Mark Wilkinson has gone on to become a beloved fixture within the DnB community. Wherever he goes, hordes of fans flock to attend and at Printworks it was no different.
With the Press Halls jam packed, Wilkinson’s diverse catalogue of well known hits were expected and oh boy, he did not disappoint. In 2021, ‘Used To This’ got it’s very first play at the venue, with Wilkinson deciding again to use Printworks to test out some new ones – much to the joy of the crowd. Once again his production prowess put a spell over the Press Halls.
This didn’t stop him from playing some of his more recognisable tunes, with ‘Use To This’s intro, bringing the room to an almost calm serenity, the light production mellowed to a blue hue, with light beams spinning slowly overhead. The cathedral like feel was then paired with hundreds of phones raised to capture the moment. With clever cuts of the beat, the crowds voices could be heard resonating throughout the space – a masterstroke.
‘If You Want it’, another Wilkinson-produced gem released on the 2022 album ‘Cognition’ went down a storm. During the drop, the dizzying strobes partnered with the ethereal vocals perfectly. The whole set had peaks and valleys, from frenetic action to dynamic moments that allowed for the set to breathe.
Having big shoes to follow after a spellbinding performance from one of the scenes most well-revered DJs, Bou took up the mantle and set the pace for a high impact, high energy affair. The Manchester-born artist has been a prominent name in the scene for a while now, garnering further acclaim in the last few years after bagging several accolades at the Drum and Bass Awards in 2020, picking up Best Producer, Best Breakthrough Producer, Best Breakthrough DJ and Best Track with ‘Veteran’.
Within the first five minutes we knew this set was going to be hefty. The opening of Shy FX & UK Apaches classic, ‘Original Nuttah’ began, the crowd roared eagerly, the frenzied energy during the buildup and what came with it was palpable anticipation. As it dropped, the lazers, strobes, and beams moved frantically as the CO2 was unleashed – what a moment. Drums doesn’t get much better than this.
He continued to demonstrate his artistry, with high octane tracks dropping one after another. ‘Roll da dice’ into ‘lumberjack’ by Kotr, sent the crowd rapturous, the crowd singing the infectious melody out loud. ‘Tap Ho’ by TC into ‘Round Ere’ by Kmotionz had the same effect – while the tracks have no lyrics, everyone in the venue is verbalising the beat from the top of their lungs.
A sit down was needed after this, unbelievable.
Run In The Jungle: (T>I b2b D*Minds feat. MC Inja)
For the final set of the night we ventured down into what is personally my favourite space within Printworks, Inkwells. It’s stripped back, with low ceilings, industrial and gritty, a perfect pairing for the more moody music of T>I & D*Minds.
The combination of Mathew South AKA T>I and duo Alistair Vickery & Jon Midwinter AKA D*Minds seemed to be a match made in heaven. Their own remix of ‘DJ Zinc’s – Super Sharp Shooter’, was the standout track of the day. The strobes were intense, gun fingers raised to the roof, with the ridiculous drop of this classic sending the crowd riotous. On the mic, MC Inja’s timing is perfect, “Stop that bredrin” boomed out across Inkwells, as the DJs wheeled up the tune and we got to experience the moment all over again.
With the lighting more simplified, creating a gloomier and darker atmosphere, ‘Dispatch’ by Annix & Turno suited the backdrop perfectly. The glitchy, dirty nature of the record, with low red lighting and the occasional strobe makes the space feel akin to an illegal rave. The fact there was more room to move, and the expertly timed bars of Inja on that drop made this absolute filth. Gun fingers and skanking galore. Yes please.
A masterclass by Worried About Henry. Artists delivered on all fronts and the production is second to none as usual with the standards Printworks holds itself to. It has all the ingredients to create magical music showcases that are difficult to fault. As it was a sold out show, the Press Halls filled quickly and this meant there was limited space to dance. That said, further back there’s more room and you can take in the full view of London’s iconic rave location.
Although the Press Halls will always be the place for the big moments, Inkwells gave an amazing diversity with dirtier, more underground sounds. Also, having more room to groove out to your favourite tunes is never a bad thing. Overall we were enthralled with the whole show, we’ll be gutted to see Printworks go next year!
Words: Neil Ritchie