Let’s Hauff It: When Helena hit the Harley – Review

When a DJ as big as Helena Hauff gets announced at a venue as intimate as the Harley, we always make sure we head down and see what all the fuss is about. We sent Nathan McDowell to report back on Pretty Pretty Good’s most ambitious Harley party to date. 

The last few times I’ve seen Hamburg’s Helena Hauff she has played to thousands of people, headlining the main stage at Dekmantel Festival, The Moat at Dimensions Festival, and closer to home at Sheffield’s’ No Bounds Festival in 2017. The prospect of catching a set from one of the world’s hottest DJs in the cosy confines of the Harley was clearly a very exciting one – tickets sold out in just a couple of days.For those arriving early, Pretty Pretty Good’s Coe set the scene, moving through IDM and chuggy techno before pulling out some electro cuts and pushing the pace up so much in the second hour that I overheard someone say “no way this is a warm up set” – a compliment in my books.

At midnight Helena Hauff took to the stage and for 2 hours played banger after banger in a flipped around Harley which made the venue feel nice and spacious. The extra stacks of sound brought in for the night – from Sinai Sound System in addition to The Harley’s usual rig at the back – got a real workout from the pounding kicks and acid basslines of Hauff’s extensive armoury of techno and electro. At one point she veered almost into trance territory, and the crowd willingly followed. It’s easy to see how her intense, energetic performances over the past few years have made a name for herself and shone a spotlight on the electro genre in the process – tonight was no exception.Simon Scott of Dimensions Soundsystem expertly rounded the night off and managed to keep the crowd going right until the end, sticking to the high bpm brief throughout. It was a bold decision to put on Hauff at such an intimate venue when she could have packed out somewhere 10 times the size – but one that paid off. As anyone who was there will tell you, it was one of the best nights in Sheffield all year.

Pretty Pretty Good return to Sheffield on February 1st with Young Marco, Pearson Sound and Lena Willikens at Hope Works. Tickets are available from £15 here.

Photos: James Reilly Photography

In partnership with Skiddle

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