Mayfield depot is packed: the queue to get in is a disorganised crush of eager Helena Hauff fans, the dimly lit portaloos are already disgusting and drinks prices are sky high; it’s the classic start to a Warehouse Project night. This time though, there’s the opportunity to be on the internet forever, to be seen on YouTube on the front row in front of the DJ… it’s Boiler Room. Restricting the other rooms at Mayfield Depot creates a more intimate and personal vibe for Hauff’s Boiler Room, everyone feels involved. It feels more exciting than a usual Warehouse Project night, maybe because Hauff is playing in a drop-down stage surround by fairy lights and plenty of ‘Boiler Room’ signs and rows of two-stepping fans trying to get the most intimate video of Hauff for their Instagram stories.
Hauff’s set is punchy and buzzing but with dark undertones. Immediately the crowd is punching their arms in the air and shoving to get to the front. There’s really no point as the people surrounding her on the front row won’t budge for anyone. Hauff changes from busy, upbeat vibes to more mysterious, deeper tones. It’s fast and energetic; a constant thud of buzzes and robotic noises which spur the crowd on to move their bodies in all kinds of ways. There are newbies and oldies: student first-timers and seasoned Warehouse Project goers – some who know what’s going on and some who don’t. That’s the beauty of these events, they’re inclusive. Nobody cares what you’re wearing or how much glitter is on your face, everyone’s there for the same reason: the music.
It’s no wonder Hauff brought in such a big crowd, she’s blowing them away with her effortless mixing of scratchy, high tempo beats and gritty, pounding, non-stop electro-techno. Hamburg born Hauff closes her stripped back set as Daniel Avery starts. It’s a completely different vibe but the crowd is still in awe with arms flailing and plenty of ‘woo’s as he drops New Order’s Blue Monday, it doesn’t make sense but somehow it works. The room turns into a gig at Gorilla, not a gritty rave in an old train station. They’re loving it, it’s like the first time you hear your favourite song live; you’ve heard it a million times before yet it magically sounds like the first time again because it’s live and organic. There’s a smile on everyone’s faces and no one is standing still. Avery’s set is dancier and more interactive than Hauff’s but there’s no competition, they both delivered tonight.
Helena Hauff will be at Re-textured 2020 on April 2nd.