Pendulum mark reunion with shuddering Printworks performance

True pioneers of the drum & bass scene, if one act are most likely cited as key influences for the current crop of twenty-something ravers, it’s Pendulum. Responsible for some of the biggest tracks of the late noughties, including ‘Granite’ and ‘Propane Nightmares’, the band, led by iconic frontman Rob Swire, held the dance music world in their palm – that was, up until, their 2011 hiatus – a move led by Rob’s continued interest in his highly successful side project, Knife Party.

With the UK serving as a hotbed of DnB talent, the announcement of 2018’s Pendulum reunion could not have been received more greatly than in the capital, where 3,000 tickets were instantly snapped up for the show at iconic venue, Printworks, just seconds after going on sale. A grimey disused warehouse set across an industrial estate in East London, the first thing that immediately strikes the first-time visitor to Printworks is the true unique nature of such a venue within Great Britain. Whilst more central London locations pride themselves on the decadent VIP table service of iconic clubs like Ministry of Sound, here lies a building that echoes eery haunts of Berlin’s iconic Berghain, and the minimalistic German techno genre which has dominated the city for decades.


Photo: Luke Dyson

Piling through the former loading bay, where lorries would pick up freshly printed newspapers from the now slowly-dying newspaper print trade, the crowds made their way through a converted cloakroom and into the grungy, yet staggering, main room. There are few venues across the world which can leave attendees in open-jaw awe for the first hour of the night – Ibiza superclubs included – but Printworks is certainly a pioneer; a hidden gem of the Surrey Quays suburbs, that shines brighter than even her most glitzy English cousins.

Striding into a main room so long, yet narrow, it could easily be mistaken for a steel-clad Cathedral, Printworks prides itself on what appears to be a mile of space between the floor, and neck-strain inducing high-ceiling. Where most rivals would fill this void with 3/4 floors of Mezzanines and VIP balconies, Printworks is a drawback to the days of old. A place to dance, and nothing more. So simplistically brilliant, that it is surely now setting the tone for every competing venue to learn from.


Photo: Luke Dyson

“Good evening London….”

Came the voice from the darkness. And with the droid-like vocals of Knife Party‘s ‘Internet Friends’ echoing around the venue, Pendulum launched into a full-on assault of the senses, with bold red lights shimmering and rotating like precision snipers into the eyes of the watchful audience, hands outstretched in euphoria, and grins etched across faces throughout the hallway. Powering through an electric setlist that included classics such as 2010’s ‘Immersion’ favourite ‘The Island’ (a powerful dance track later remixed by the likes of Steve Angello, Tiësto, and Madeon), ‘Slam’, and ‘Blood Sugar’, every thumping drum beat, and rippling electric chord of the guitar shuddered Printworks’ sweat-soaked walls.

But the finale, a rapturous version of ‘Watercolour’, was timed to perfection; A pièce de résistance for the swirling mosh pits breaking out all across the dancefloor, as the rabid ravers bumped, knocked, and clattered their way into one another amid the frenetic atmosphere bustling through the building. Pendulum, in their first headline UK performance in 7 years, were back with a bang, and in the form of ‘Watercolour’, back with a banger, capping a glorious and triumphant comeback.


Photo: Luke Dyson

Releasing their brand new ‘The Reworks’ album on 29th June this year, the internationally-renowned band have tapped some of the most innovative talents, including Skrillex, Icarus, and Printworks support act Matrix & Futurebound, to deliver dynamic and refreshing interpretations of their biggest hits and some of their personal favourites.

‘The Reworks’ album will be available in both CD and vinyl formats, and there will also be a very special limited run of the Complete Works Deluxe’ packages. The Deluxe will be presented in a holographic laser cut box featuring the bands logo and include the 4 albums on vinyl alongside a 4 CD photo booklet focusing on the bands key moments and memories; from the history of their inception, highlights of their decade-plus spanning career, right through to the present day.   

If 2018 is to be considered the year of dance music’s biggest comebacks, then Pendulum may well prove the most welcome return of them all.


(BA Hons Journalism), 30, London. NCTJ-accredited journalist and dance music lover specialising in interviews, features, editorial work, and reviews.

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