Louche started life in September 2007 as a collaborative event with charity outfit Oxjam; Paco Osuna headlined, Leeds' student-heavy faithful loved it and the rest, as they say, is history. After several years of hard, fruitful graft up North, for the fourth birthday Louche decided to test the choppy waters of the capital and booked Omar-S not only to headline Mint Club in Leeds, but also a warehouse space in East London. A sell-out show later and Louche had left an indelible mark.
The milestone fifth birthday saw them push the proverbial boat out further, rejoining forces with Red Bull Music Academy and Brixton venue Plan B and booking what was arguably a bigger lineup than the Leeds equivalent. As talented as Steffi and Detroit Swindle are, few could rival the innovative, heady duo of Henrik Schwarz and DJ Sprinkles, with additional support from Braiden (Move D played both events).
Thankfully, it only took one look at the line-up to realise that those in charge had got the programming spot on. DJ Sprinkles' light, deeply percussive fare was only ever going to work early in the evening, his off-kilter, tribal drums easing people gently into their groove. Towards the business end of his set, the kicks became noticeably tougher and more rounded, injecting the right amount of energy into the once serene dance floor. As expected, Schwarz's unique brand of electronic soul provided an immediate and sharp contrast. Only playing for an hour, the Innervisions producer wasted no time in working his way through a selection of James Brown edits and other big room numbers. The odd, slightly naff guitar riff made for a brief lull in energy in what was otherwise a zestful and well received set.
Downstairs in room two Braiden was contending with a slightly underwhelming soundsystem, which, when set against the stylings of Move D in the main room, left him fighting a bit of an uphill struggle. Indeed, with the luxury of an extended four hour set, the German DJ moved his way succinctly through all manner of peak time burners, from the Kerri Chandler classic "Atmospheric Beats" to the gritty FCL remix of Audiojack's "Stay Glued." While dropping Julio Bashmore's "Battle for Middle You" felt a bit out of place somehow, he more than made up for it with a closing medley of deep house classics: "Thank U Mum (4 Everything You Did)" by French houser St Germain providing the highlight of the evening. Once again, Louche had shown their growing maturity and professionalism and thrown a thoroughly enjoyable affair.