AWOL
15th Birthday
Ministry of Sound
London

Tonight we head down to London for a very special night as AWOL celebrated their 15th birthday at the Ministry of Sound.

AWOL one of the original parties from the early 90’s at the Paradise Club, a night which helped and shaped drum and bass we know today, with its core resident artists Mickey Finn, Kenny Ken, MC GQ, Fearless, Randall, Darren Jay and DR S Gachet.

The residents where back behind the 1210’s bar Kenny Ken who was away on international duty but was replaced by Bryan Gee a DJ from this classic era of drum and bass and of the same calibre.

Since AWOL returned the parties that have been held at the Ministry and have been receiving great reports and having the missed all the parties last year I definitely didn’t want to miss the 15th Birthday celebration.

Having some minor set backs getting down to London we didn’t arrive until quite late, but it looked like we had missed the commotion and madness that had been reported inside the club early on.

After finally entering the club we made our way through the bar arena which featured the mellower vibes of today’s drum and bass with the DJ’s playing the liquid sound, but tonight I was here purely for the oldskool selection from the DJ’s in the main arena.

As we arrived late it looked like I had to make up for the time spent travelling down on the motorway as Darren Jay was midway through his set with MC Flux on the mic duties.

The main arena was plastered with numerous AWOL murals and the lighting was very impressive especially the laser system. The lasers were bouncing off an array of mirror balls which were located on centre of the dance floors ceiling. The lasers shot into various directions of the clubs dance floor around the arena’s four walls.

Darren Jay was playing a 97-99 selection dropping the likes of ‘Reach out’, ‘Ready or Not’, ‘Phantom force’. MC Flux was mcing behind the DJ booth and complimenting the mc’s without having to over talk and allowing the music to control the crowd. Darren Jay finished up his set with ‘The one’ and ‘Two degrees’ two monster anthems from the 97 era.

Stepping up next was Micky Finn, Mickey opened the set with a remix of the Moving shadow classic ‘Helicopter’ to get things underway, Flux continued to host Micky’s set.

Mickey slowed down the pace and took us through a 94/5 journey playing some quality tunes such as ‘Music box’, ‘ Special dedication’, ‘Li-Li’ and ‘Pulp fiction’.

The nearest bar was located in the 2nd arena, headed out of the main arena and into the Bar arena. The bar arena was very busy with lots of people milling about around the bar whilst the dance floor was busy with people dancing to the liquid grooves from Total Science.

Micky was still on in the main arena and carried onto play numerous bassline rumblers with tracks like ‘Chopper’ (original mix), ‘The Message’, ‘Angles’ and MC Bassman’s ‘Bass II dark’. Though when Micky dropped Babylon ‘Yes yes’ the record caused a storm and the dance floor was sent into chaos with people slamming the walls demanding a rewind ! Micky closed his set with the remix of Luniz ‘I got 5 on it’.

Closing the proceedings tonight was DJ Randall and MC Fearless, Randall opened the set with ‘You got me burning up’ another classic tune off the legendary Moving Shadow label. Randall’s tune selection was spot on going from 93 up to 95 without having to resort to too many of the big anthems from this era through his set.

Fearless was immense he kept the ravers on their toes through the final 60 minutes hyping up the crowd whilst Randall belted out the tunes. There were numerous classics being dropped from Randall with tunes such as ‘Set speed’, ‘Special dedication’ and ‘Hearing is believing’.

Near the end of the set Randall flipped the switch and played a number of tunes from 92 which sent the crowd hysterical with numerous ravers banging on the walls calling for the reload especially when he dropped ‘Just 4 U London’.

Tonight was a good night just a shame bout the incident that happened earlier but that didn’t let anyone dampen their spirits on the night. It seemed that the security were on top of things to not allow the incident to escalate and the police made a brief visit to ensure everything was in order along with the onsite paramedics.

Nice to have an oldskool drum and bass night without many of tonight’s dj’s resorting to too many of the bigger anthems that can always be heard week in week out at other events. There was a spectrum of ravers from the young to the more mature audience who where there to witness the original AWOL parties at the Paradise club first hand.

Massive shouts to Micky Finn, Darren Jay, and the Awol team, Fearless, Satin, Rago Twins, Tara, Cybergroove, Ash-a-Tak, Jack Frost, Ollie from Innovation, Shotgun from Radical Beats, Shay Iokkee and The Groover.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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