In a scenario that would have crippled most events, the most recent Finest Friday at Panorama Bar lost two highly anticipated guests—Ben UFO and Joy Orbison—just a few hours before the doors opened. The arrival of January snow somehow managed to catch the UK laughably off-guard, as it seems to do year in, year out. Cue around 100 flights to and from London being grounded with no other travel option available. But of course, Panorama Bar isn't any other club. Their ability to replace the intended headliners with ItaloJohnson and Levon Vincent at the eleventh hour is the perfect example of the kind of influence the venue holds.
The arrival of Session Victim on stage for their live show breathed a certain amount of life into a room that seemed to have been left wanting after a slightly muted final half hour from ItaloJohnson. Armed with MIDI controllers and a bass guitar, the duo moved wildly throughout the entirety of their set, with the front half of the crowd fully engaged for almost all of the performance. Naturally, it all led up to a serotonin-filled rendition of "Good Intentions" as the finale. It may have been too early for the shutters to open and daylight to flood in, but nobody seemed to care—limbs flew into the air regardless, which set the stage nicely for Vincent.
So rather than the current FabricLive champion, we had the fabric series' star of last year. Peering out from under a leopard-print visor, Vincent set the tone with "Speck's Jam" (off his most recent 12-inch) before raising the tempo with a thunderous acid track. The full-to-capacity bar was enraptured. The pace stayed taught as his own "Man or Mistress" was met with exactly the fevered response you'd expect, and a seamless segue into the "Max Mix" of Carl Craig's "Darkness" resulted in screams and bodies rushing forward. Combined with the perfect placement of Opolopo's remix of Gregory Porter's "1960 What?" and the vocal of Angie Stone's "Wish I Didn't Miss You," it was easy to see why one nearby girl simply said to anyone that would listen "lets just file this under masterclass, shall we?"