HTID & Fusion Presents:
Digital Circus
Club Ice Music Complex
Westbury
Saturday 22nd July 2006

Tonight HTID joined forces with the South Coast legendary promoters Fusion as together they presented Digital Circus. Digital Circus was not just any old run of a mill event not only were the l facilities of Club Ice were being utilised but a 2,500 capacity circus tent was being used to feature the hardcore area within the club’s outdoor car park.

During the week leading up to tonight the UK was suffering a massive heat wave which was definitely ideal for an event like this, though during the afternoon it did rain and I mean it rained hard. But it did clear up over the few hours leading up to the event.

The line-up featured many of the HTID favourites alongside but many of the legendary Fusion residents from the south coast of England. With the cancellation of HTID at Hastings Pier I was looking forward to tonight’s event. As this will be my first hardcore all nighter since returning back from Innovation in Spain and I was very eager to get a good dose of some much needed hardcore nourishment!!

Getting to Westbury didn’t take too long from Birmingham heading down the M5 past Bristol and along the twining country roads driving past Bath. Locating the club was fairly easy as Club Ice was located on the trading estate which was sign posted.

Once parked up headed straight for the club, from outside you could see the massive big top arena similar to the tent that they use at the global gathering events. I was greeted by Hixxy who was working hard on the door meeting and greeting many of the ravers walking through, Hixxy was informing me about next summer’s week long trip to sunny Spain, bring it on!

Once through the security gate, we approached the club’s car park and the tent was right in front of me. It was definitely going off inside here, the tent’s sound system was loud at this point nice and clear though with this being outdoors I wonder how long it will take for the local authorities to turn up? The HTID production team certainly earned their money, I was very impressed. The inside of the tent had been decorated head to toe mainly at the front of the stage which had a set of massive projections screens, along with a full on laser show.

DJ Twista was on and I didn’t realise he played oldskool hardcore from 95-96 as Twista is more known for his ‘92 sets but he definitely set the wheels in motion in here. His set featured plenty of stompers like ‘Take me away’, ’Rainbows’, ‘Now is the time’ and a tune I’ve not heard in many years from Dune ‘I Can’t stop raving’, excellent stuff!!

Andy Whitby was on after Twista not as I’m not too keen on hard house I took this opportunity to have a wander around the complex. Outside the tent there was a small nocturnal village with picnic benches for people to sit on and enjoy the sunshine, a free funfair ride along with a massive merchandise stall, outdoor toilets and for those with a strong stomach the traditional BSE ridden burger van stand ha ha.

I made my way to into Club Ice and found the main arena this was being hosted by Sundissential and Clubland. It wasn’t busy within the club but I guess with the glorious sunshine people would be outside rather than stuck in here.

From here I managed to find the Future Breed arena, DJ Outburst and the Hardcore Distortion crew were on. This was a small arena but it was rammed out, plenty of ravers supporting the new talent rising in the hardcore scene and HTID was giving the DJ’s and MC’s a platform to shine on. I didn’t hang around too long in here as the heat was starting to take its toll, as it was beginning to feel like oven!!

Back to the Circus tent and the in time for the ‘Kick off set’ which was about to commence featuring Hixxy, Storm and Re-Con. Unfortunately Re-Con couldn’t make tonight so Darren Styles had replaced him. This was the first of the Raver Baby Experience sets tonight and the duo didn’t disappoint at all. Plenty of hard and vocal tunes from both Styles and Hixxy playing tunes like ‘I need you’, ‘Suck my …’, ‘My direction’, and Re-Con’s ‘Report to the bassline’. Styles dropped Pendulum’s drum and bass remix of ‘Voodoo people’ before mixing it up with his very own ‘Save me’.

Storm was outstanding on this massive stage hyping up the party massive with his lyrics there were plenty of ravers reciting them back to him. Storm was also dropping some new ryhmes that he has been working on which went down really well with the crowd.

After the Raver Baby duo it was the turn of the Southcoast oldskool legend’s Ramos and Supreme playing an upfront set. Ramos and Supreme were showcasing material off the new THC label. The RSR duos played ‘Raveheart’ remix, ’Tantric’, ’Now aware’, ‘C u on the other side’ and ‘Hold me’

This set featured a surprise PA as the vocalist from Paradise, who came on stage to sing live ‘I see the light’. Well it wouldn’t be Ramos and Supreme without their very own mc, MC Marley. Marley was tremendous here tonight rocking the crowd with his original lyrics as Ramos and Supreme played ‘Which way do you wanna go?’ featuring Marley on the vocals.

CLSM and Luna-C continued where Ramos and Supreme left, Sharkey took over from Marley on the mic duties. We all know Sharkey is a bit of a jester, he managed to get a crowd of 2,000 people to sit down inside the tent at the beggining of this set.

Why on earth would you sit down at a rave???

Magical stuff! Luna-C opened the set with some drum and bass before heading into a break beat set. Having spent the last two hours in the tent I decided to leave and cool off outside.

After cooling off and nattering with friends I retuned back to the big top and Breeze was on here playing the 2nd Raver Baby set of the night. Originally Breeze was to play with Styles, but with Styles already filling in for Re-Con, Breeze played the set alone.

What I had noticed that the sound system had been turned down and I’m betting that the local council had turned up monitoring the sound levels from the outdoor stage. Breeze rocked the crowd with numerous dance floor slammers such as ‘Only if I had more’, ’24-7’ remix,’ ‘Never too late’, ’Connections 06’ and ‘Pull over’.

Storm was mcing the set alone as it looked like his partner in rhymes was running late, Storm soldiered on like a true professional that he is.

Sharkey and Marc Smith were up next but I thought I’d try and locate the oldskool arena and caught DJ Ramos on midway through his set. MC Five Alive was mcing for his set as MC Knight was stuck downstairs for DJ Frantic. Ramos was playing an oldskool jungle teardown set with plenty of classic anthems being played like ‘Helicopter’,’ Lighter’, ’Champion sound’ and ‘Valley of the shadows’. Was quite disappointing to see not many people up in here for Ramos’s set but it was far too hot to spend more than 30 minutes up here.

Back outside to cool off and Whizzkid was here along with MC Rude on the stage, but there was no Seduction and Dougal as they were to play back to back. Both DJ’s had been replaced by the Geos crew featuring DJ Robbo and MC Marley on the decks. The Geos crew playing plenty of their own material which has been featured on many of the readily available hardcore compilation albums with tracks like ‘Look at all the ravers’, ‘Power and the glory’ and ‘Raise your hands’.

Rude and Whizzkid were good entertainers on the mic, its good to see these two going back to back, definitely was different to what the ravers are nomally used to. They were working well together on the stage rolling off each other’s lyrics. Miway through the set Marley came from behind the decks and on stage to mc with these two but the microphones kept playing up and you couldn’t hear either of the mc’s. The Geos crew continued to play ,’Won’t forget these days’, ’Listen to your heart’ and ‘U r my phantasy’.

Penultimate set of the night came from Next generation’s DJ Brisk with MC Wotsee. With the sun rising and the sun shining through the tent, the tent seemed to have emptied at this point very odd though the true hardcore were still here raving till the early hours as this party was going onto 7am rather than 6am!

Brisk played ‘I got a feeling’, ‘2001 space odyssey‘ remix before finishing off some heavy gabba as he smashed the floor with ‘Blow the club down’ remix and ‘Days of anger’. It started to rain near the end of Brisk’s set but it wasn’t anything too heavy just a small drizzle suddenly the tent was busy once again as everyone came in from outside to escape the rain and in time for the final hour.

The ‘Morning glory’ set featured oldskool legends Druid, Slipmatt and Sy with the MC trio of Storm, Whizzkid and MC Knight. This was an interesting as I was expecting an oldskool hardcore set. Both Druid and Slipmatt were sticking to more oldskool tunes where as Sy was dropping mainly upfront tunes. The system was finally cranked up for the final hour as I guess the people from the local council decided to finally go home to bed!

The oldskool selection was spot on and from the 95-97 era really uplifting especially at 7 am in the morning with classics like ‘Pretty green eyes’, ’Peoples party’, ’Higher love’ and ‘You’re mind’. You sort of could tell Sy was playing more upfront stuff tunes were good but it was changing the flow of the set moving back fourth from the two era’s especially as there 10 years apart. He dropped ‘Raveheart’ remix, ‘Free your mind’, ‘Skydivin’ remix and Ultra beat’s ‘Better than life’.

Storm and Whizzkid were working up the crowd mcing off each other with Sy and Storm in true fashion having a scratch battle and Whizzkid beat boxing over the tunes.
MC Knight added something different to the MC² equation, at first Knight did look a bit nervous but once he got his lyrics rolling he was back to his old self on this enormous stage. Knight was working very well with Storm and Whizzkid as Knight busted out a few new rhymes too and going back to back with these two!

Thing’s finally came to end with Sy finishing the night with ‘I see the light’

Well tonight was something different having hardcore inside a massive circus tent. The tent was rammed for majority of the night, there was not only a local following but many ravers travelling from further a field supporting hardcore.

With Global Gathering being on next week I was looking forward to raving to hardcore outdoors in a tent. Tonight’s experience in the tent is similar to what they use at global gathering festival. Over the years myself and many ravers have been campaigning for hardcore to have their own tent at Global Gathering and tonight really proved that it can work!

I liked the outdoor chill out area as there were plenty of people outside just milling about waffling and chatting, whilst cooling down from the heat generated by the ravers inside the tent. There was a real great atmosphere about tonight plenty of friendly and up for it faces, with the weather holding out as well for a majority of tonight made tonight a massive success.

The production was spot on very impressed inside the big top with the array of plasma screens, lighting and lasers. The system was very unstable throughout the night as the local authorities were on the look out as I guess local residents were complaining about the noise. Once they disappeared the volume was cranked back up and the raver’s continued to party right through to 7 in the morning!

I was disappointed that a majority of the oldskool arena line-up had been cancelled, as I was particular looking forward to catching Sy b2b with Slipmatt along with Robbie Dee up here. But I didn’t let that ruin my night as I really enjoyed both the Raver Baby sets along with Ramos and Supreme’s upfront set with the special PA. I would have thought the morning glory set would of worked better had all three DJ’s stuck strictly to oldskool hardcore from 95-97 rather than jumping ears as it kept on changing the tempo throughout the 60 minutes.

Once again massive respects to the HTID for trying something different!

Massive shouts to Hixxy, Joe, Mark, Chris Lambert and the HTID Crew, Storm, Knight, Ramos, Marley, Supreme and the Fusion crew, Styles, Breeze, Whizzkid, Rude, Gammer, Druid, Five Alive, Faydz, Brookzy, Twista, The Doctor, Marc Smith, Sunset regime, Jon Doe, Odyssey, Sharkey, Slipmatt, Wotsee, Casper, Ben, Katie, Tori and the Up the Cut crew.

Big respects to Lou Lou and Sallie, Andy Legs, Mat KotR, Danny Smithers, John Buz-B, Mark Heffers and Hayley, Lisa, Sara and Awren, Charmy, Michele, Steph, Obie, Daz Rampant, Juicy, Scot, Rooni, Caddy, Sharl, Ciarra, Kelly, Kate, Zara and the Shrewsbury crew, Damo, Hatty, Kev Pikey, Overlode, Sarah, Emma, Annabelle Lucy, Nikki, Paul McGuiness, Dodgee and Smithers Foggy and Turkish, Rob and Staci from True Hardcore, Lucy (Happy birthday), Jacqui and Leanne, Outbust, Jayne, Paul Jessop, Raver Nath and the Yeovil crew, Hardcore Paul, Izzy, Gemma, Gareth, Stu Gt, Heidi, Gsus, Keaty and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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