secretsundaze New Year's Day at Shapes review

John Crossley spent New Year's Day with Leon Vynehall and Martyn at Shapes in London.

Becca Frankland

Date published: 7th Jan 2016

Image: Shapes

The sound of Big Ben ringing out the capital heralds in 2016, but it's not until 24 hours later that we can properly say it's a new year. That duty is down to the UK's party institutions like secretsundaze to kick things off for one of the biggest dates on the rave calendar. 

With a stellar line-up topped by Leon Vynehall, Martyn and Joey Anderson, the party was the pick of the bunch among a plethora of January 1st parties in London, leaving clubbers spoilt for choice. For this year, the party unfolded at Shapes - a cavernous former warehouse space in East London’s Hackney Wick. 

Shortly after the clocked had pushed us into the second day of 2016 and Joey Anderson is pulling no punches with a selection of straight-up no nonsense techno. With the right nods to the tasty bits of the underground, grouped together with a solid crowd and decent soundsystem, the night was heading in the right direction.

It's the formula the chaps at secretsundaze (James Priestley and Giles Smith) have followed and with great success, and as a result they've had this calendar event locked down for what feels like ages. 

The pounding soundtrack fitted the gritty vibe of Shapes - a huge industrial main room, with only the simplest of lighting. Quite rightly, there's no champagne to be found here. Just bare knuckle techno, and a crowd of 900 going for it. 

It was Martyn who would deliver the performance of the evening, unleashing a high energy salvo that had the club floored with tracks like 'Good Soul' by Stable Mates (above). From there he took it to back to almost old skool vibes, with classic house cut flavours joining forces with the trusty 303. 

His performance underlined why raving on New Year’s Day really is the one. The strength of the one-off parties at this time of year is unsurpassed. Following up was Leon Vynehall, who was making his last appearance in a club until Easter time, with the selector revealing he would be locked away in a studio. 

As well as being treated to disco tinged flavours, cut with pumping lower tempo techno, an enthusiastic crowd were served up some of Leon’s original material. The highlight was 'Butterflies' (above), a piano-driven loved-up house jam that left us with a warm fuzzy glow as Leon’s set drew to a close.

It was another great party from secretsundaze, who continue to demonstrate why they have such a firm place in the hearts of London’s ravers. There really is no better way to start a new year than getting a fill of techno on an old industrial estate.

Like this? Try Giles Smith in Residence (secretsundaze)

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