Back to the Oldskool and
Presents: The Firework Spectacular
Ministry of Sound
Friday 3rd November 2006

Tonight Back to the Oldskool presented their final event of 2006, as they touched down at the world famous Ministry of Sound in London It’s been a very long time since my last visit to this prestigious venue. The line-up was quite impressive featuring plenty of veterans showcasing a range of oldskool styles and for £10 you can’t really go wrong.

Having heard so many good things about the Back to the Oldskool events from, especially after the success of their 11th Birthday Bash in September and Awards Ceremony I’d thought I’d make a visit before the year is out

Leaving Birmingham shortly after 7 got into London Victoria for just before 10, destined to the Elephant and Castle via the capitals world famous underground tube system. Once at the Elephant and Castle, having slightly got lost I eventually found the venue, the roundabout system outside the tube is quite shocking!

Once at the venue I was greeted by a very short queue, outside you could hear the 2nd arena outside pumping some classic house. Whilst waiting to be searched I had noticed the Ministry of Sound logo was being projecting onto a large sidewall illuminating the cold night’s sky looking quite impressive!

After being searched by the security team headed down the main corridor and straight for the main arena, the midlands favourites Ratty and Tango were on. Ratty and Tango were playing a classic ’93 darkside selection with MC’s Robbie Dee and Strict on the mic.

At the front of the main arena was a stage for the MC’s to perform on located with a pair of large speaker stacks located either side. Just behind the stage was the DJ Box, located above the middle of the dance floor was a lighting rig with numerous mirror ball’s and various lasers were bouncing off them all night illuminating the dance floor in all angles.

Ratty and Tango were playing plenty of darkside riddems featuring some classics off Basement records with ‘I wanna be your lover’ and ‘This is the trip’. Robbie and Strict were both doing a grand job on the mic hyping up the crowd, especially with Robbie and with his unique style, as himself and ratty have played numerous classic sets together over the years! Ratty and Tango continued to play ‘Ruff’, ‘Energy’ and finally ended with ‘Gonna be alrite (Sounds of music)’ remix.

DJ Krome and MR Time of Suburban Base and Tearin’ Vinyl fame were on next with a showcase off their material. Mr Time was joined on stage by the TNT dancers, it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen these two legends the last being Flashback’s 6th Birthday in 2002.

This was a different set to what I remember, with DJ Krome showcasing the first half of his set with Suburban Base classics such as ‘Fireball’, ‘This sounds is for the underground’ and of course ‘The slammer’.

At this point I thought I’d have a wander around the venue and made my way to the Bar. The 2nd arena was quite busy with DJ’s Snypa and Squirrel playing trip house set, lots of old classics being played by these too some well before my time I must admit! This arena was nicely decorated with various murals hanging from the ceiling.

Back in the main arena and Krome and MC Time were finishing up changing direction with a bit of early break beat hardcore as they dropped ‘Visions of light’ before going in a jungle direction with Tearin vinyl classic ‘The License’.

In the bar arena and Brandon Block was on playing a classic house set, the Bar arena was mc free so the music was doing the talking. It was very busy in here especially as Brandon was playing a classic oldskool house set bringing back plenty of memories and lots of hands in the air moments!

There were plenty of classics from Brandon as he played ‘I’ll house you’, ‘French Kiss’ and ‘Sweet dreams’. Midway through his set Brandon started to play a number of new funky house tunes so I thought I’d head back to the main arena.

Slipmatt and Billy Bunter were on playing back to back MC Deemus J was on the mic, Slipmatt and Billy were playing a number of nu-skool breaks featuring plenty of remixes of oldskool classics which were being dropped.

Judging from the reaction of the crowd it looked like they were enjoying this selection. Remixes included ‘On a raga tip’, ‘Baptised by dub’, ‘Hear me’, ‘Hardcore heaven’ and ‘Bombscare’. I was enjoying hearing MC Deemus J as I’ve never seen him out live but heard him on plenty of old tapes as Deemus was part of the old Labyrinth crew!

After Slipmat and Billy Bunter it was the turn of the original MC and DJ team oldskool legends the mighty Ratpack. Ratapck were playing a classic set that they are renowned for featuring plenty of nu-skool breaks alongside oldksool classics giving us a bit of a mixture.

Mark started up with ‘Searchin for my rizla’ and moved onto ‘I feel this way’, ‘Raving I’m raving’ and ‘Let me be your fantasty’. Everson was doing a grand job on stage hyping up the crowd with his lyrics as the ravers were reciting them back to him.

I thought I’d check out Slipmatt play a classic Ibiza in the Bar arena set as it’s not that often you get to hear him play oldskool house. I was impressed with Slipmatt’s set to say the least tune selection was spot on, dropping the likes of ‘Can you feel it’, ‘Jack your body, ‘Age of love’ and ‘Infiltrate 202’.

Back to the main arena and the Ratpack were finishing up as they concluded their set with the timelss classic ‘Lords of the dance’ (Captain of the ship), which saw the dance floor going mad with Everson busting out some moves on the stage with the TNT dancers as the crowd sang along with him!

Penultimate set came from Eliss Dee, Eliss was playing a breakz set showcasing various remixes of oldskool classics within this set. Deemus J was once again on the mic hyping up the crowd. Ellis dropped remixes of ‘Keep the fires burning’ and ‘New direction’.

Ellis played a breakz remix of the Topbuzz classic ‘Living in darkness’ which saw the crowd go insane, at this point saw the arrival of MC Fearless. Haven’t heard Fearless mc over breakz or oldskool hardcore I was quite impressed hearing him MC over the remainder of Eliis’s selection.

Well it was the final 60minutes and DJ’s Ray Keith and Nicky Blackmarket were up next with oldskool jungle to present day showdown. Ray Keith took charge for the first 30 minutes well it wouldn’t be Ray Keith without him playing ‘Dark soldier’ now would it? The response Ray received when this track dropped from the crowd was electric.

Ray carried on with ‘All crews’ remix, ‘I bring you the future’, ‘Trust me’ and ‘Original sess’ (police in helicopter)’. Fearless was just at home during this set like the old AWOL days in the Ministry, hyping up the crowd keeping the ravers.

Nicky took over from the dark soldier for the remaining 30 minutes with a mixture of current and old favourites. Nicky dropped a favourite of mine ‘Dual voltage’ awesome tune and TC’s ‘Game over’, whilst teasing in ‘Alien girl’ and ‘Turbulence’. It was that time of the evening and ready to leave.

Overall I enjoyed tonight and the DJ’s played a great selection of tunes. I have been to past oldskool nights and most DJ’s tend to play your typical 92 anthems but this was not the case really tonight. The DJ lineup was very good tonight with a spectrum of oldskool being played across the border right from 88 acid house up to modern day drum and bass.

It was good to see Robbie Dee making a surprise visit to mc for Ratty getting the ravers into the mood early on in the night and to hear Fearless over breaks as we all know him for his drum and bass / jungle. I really enjoyed Slipmatt’s oldskool Ibiza set plenty of classics being dropped form the oldskool legend along with Krome and MR times set too was another favourite of mine.

Tonight was busy but I thought I could have been busier as the mina arena took a bit of time to fill up, but it was nice once it was full. What I really enjoyed about tonight that there was a more mature crowd creating a great vibe and with no moodiness or silly attitudes.

I thoroughly enjoyed tonight raving to oldskool in the Ministry of Sound and would definitely come down to check out a future Back to the oldskool event in the very near future!

Massive shouts and Respect to Grant and the Epidemik Team, Fearless, Slipmatt, Nicky BM, Snypa and Maddy, Squirrel, Ratty, Robbie Dee, Lipmaster Mark, Dave Skywalker and Shazza, Tony Res, Strict, Demus J, Krome and MR Time, Tango, Everson Allen, Billy Bunter, Flashback, Brandon Bloc, Ray Keith, Eliss Dee, Sytronik, Reckless, Vinyl Vera, Deemus Jay, Food Junky, Doug, Jonny From Ireland, Errol from Scotland (respect to the pair of you!), Rapid, Maxx Vinyl, Groover, Bex, Friller, Diesel and G-Magical and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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