The Leisure Plaza Complex
The Sleeping Giant Returns
Well it's been nearly 5 years since Helter Skelter last staged
an event in Milton Keynes (The Millennium Jam being the last).
Since the closure of the Sanctuary this summer, Energy has been
one of the most anticipated events of 2004. Finally returning
to Milton Keynes, the venue for the evening entertainment was
the Leisure Plaza holding up to 6000 party people spread over
8 arenas. Featuring various styles of underground dance music
for which Helter Skelter is famously known.
Having arrived in Milton Keynes after 7 we headed to the venue.
It was only a 2-minute walk from the train station and was easily
found due to sign posting. When we arrived at the queue we were
given a free 3 page guide featuring the DJ's set times and a map
showing all the various arenas, which was handy!
Well the queue wasn't too long, we only had to wait about 20
minutes, which wasn't too bad. Whilst queuing there were a number
of crazy characters entertaining the ravers in the queue, which
helped pass the time. They were anticipating a lot of visitors
tonight as when we got to the search tent the queue system split
into 3 massive gates.
Once inside the colossal outdoor complex we found out that the
bar wasn't accepting cash and that they were implementing a voucher
system. Which meant a lot of raving time wasted on queueing, why
oh why do they do this to us it makes no sense to me!
The outdoor village reminded me so much of my first raving experience.
Being Helter Skelter, that was nearly 5 years ago. Due to the
fact there was loads of little stalls and also the free funfair
rides. It also gave me a chance to catch up with some friends
I've not seen for a while. After going on a few rides and having
a wonder round the venue it came 9 o'clcok, which meant it was
time to party!!!
Headed for the Accelerated Culture arena, which is a massive
Ice Rink, this arena was huge. The production in here was amazing
the front stage had a massive projection screen. With bright green
laser's and very big speaker stacks. I felt the only problem with
the arena being the size, was you could only hear the music near
the front. You couldn't really hear the high end at the back of
the arena just the bassline.
Accelerated Cultures resident DJ, DJ Dollar was on at the time.
Headed to the back of the arena, were the Raindance room was located
to see a good friend of mine from Birmingham Glenn Aston. He was
playing his famous 91- 92 Belgium techno selection. Raindance's
MC Strict was MC'ing for his set. Glenn played a selection of
Belgium tunes such as Beltram's: My Sound, Cosmos & Dibs:
Star Eyes also Carl Cox's: I want you (forever). But when dropped
the '91 classic from R&S, The Vamp the place went ballistic.
Cheers for the rewind!
After spending time in the Raindance room we headed outside to
cool off and found the cloakroom. The cloakroom wasn't too pricey
as it was only £1 for a coat, which isn't too bad, considering
that it was 3 vouchers for a can of Fosters (£3), but I
do prefer Red Stripe!
After dropping in our coats we went on a few of the free funfair
There was a police presence here tonight as they were walking
around the venue to make sure the security were doing their job
properly. This being the first time that this venue was being
used and on such a large scale they wanted to make sure things
After having our adrenalin rushes on the rides we headed to HTID
arena just in time for the kick off set featured DJ Hixxy alongside
Recon, with the MC duo that is Storm and Whizzkid. The Hardcore
arena was situated at the Empire nightclub. I don't think they've
ever seen it this rammed before, as it was just full to the rafters.
There wasn't much place to move around and the heat was intense.
I later found out that the air conditioning had broke an hour
before opening which was a real let down as the heat being what
it was I just couldn't dance, it felt like a sauna. Luckily this
event wasn't in the middle of the summer as I do think it would
have been fatal.
As we couldn't bear the heat we decided to head for the Accelerated
room, to find Mampi Swift playing. This arena is normally an ice
rink by day and you could feel the coolness inside here, which
did feel good cooling down. IC3 and Biggie were MC'ing for Swift's
After spending some time in here I felt the need for a bit of
nostalgia from yesteryear and headed back to the Raindance room
for the mighty Ratpack. The Raindance room was rammed at this
point it was boiling hot in here, it actually reminded me of the
chapel room back at the Que club, Birmingham as it felt like with
all the sweat from the ravers it was raining indoors!! Even Everson
was taking the mick "Getting sweaty like your Auntie Betty!!!"
Ratpack were playing a typical set from them playing tunes such
as Edge one, Feel the Heat (which we all did!!). I also enjoyed
some of the nu-skool breaks that they were playing as it did have
that oldskool vibe to it. As I heard some oldskool tunes remixed
with the new.
Back to the main room and the Bristol boys were in session, DJ
Krust was along side Dynamite MC. Dynamite was accompanied on
the mic by Shabba. Dynamite and Shabba seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Shabba seemed to be enjoying himself a bit too much as he did
look a bit star-eyed. Soon as Shabba came on the mic, the front
of the stage was rushed, to me he seems like a puppet master with
all the youngsters doing what he says on the mic. Near the end
of Krust's set, MC Det accompanied Dynamite and Shabba, at one
point all three of them were MC'ing back to back. I've not seen
Det for along time, he was using all his classic party lines to
hype the crowd.
The good thing with this arena being an ice rink they opened
the balcony seating so you could chill out and watch the madness
from a height. 1-Xtra's DJ Bailey was on after Krust accompanied
by Shabba and Det like the old days. He played a dark selection
I heard him sneak in a remix of Trust me.
Well after chilling up here for a bit we headed back to the oldskool
room to catch the end of the Jungle Techno kings Topbuzz, featuring
Jason Kaye and Mad P.
Back to the HTID room and DJ Breeze was on playing a vocally Raver
Baby set, he was accompanied by Storm, Breeze played a few favourites
of mine such as Heatbeatz, Feeling fine also "The one I adore"
a wicked selection and with Storm hyping up the crowd I was able
to dance through the horrible heat!
After enduring the intense heat we finally gave in and went outside
to chill out, whilst wandering around we saw little side show
which featured some fire eaters and also the angle grinders. Which
were the same people that were at HTID at Air in July.
Back to the Raindance room and Nicky Blackmarket was on taking
you back to the old jungle days playing a selection of anthems
including the chart topper from Shy FX Original nuttah.
Overall I thought tonight was a success seeing that Helter Skelter
have not hosted an event on this scale for nearly 5 years, and
it shows that with 15 years experience within the scene the Helter
Skelter name is still alive and kicking. I was disappointed with
the voucher system for the bar, as it meant that you went home
with wasted tickets and unfortunately they cant' be used in future
events. Also the lack of air conditioning in the hardcore room,
as it did feel like a sauna though the air conditioning system
did break an hour before opening. Having the doors opened was
just not good enough as I would dare to say had this been in the
middle of the summer there could of been a terrible accident.
I did like the fact that the entrances and exits were labelled
so we didn't get lost that often but we did find little hiding
places for various arenas as I didn't manage to locate the Polysexual
and Goodgreef arena till the end of the night. Tonight shown what
has been missing from the rave scene for the past 5 years as Helter
Skelter are good at putting on parties of this scale. Speaking
to a lot of friend's tonight seem to have brought back memories
of past visits to Helter Skelter.
The atmosphere here was brilliant everyone was up for it, having
a good time, there was no trouble from the security either. One
of the biggest criticism that I found whilst raving at the Sanctuary
was the way the security used to treat the ravers. Even though
I did notice a few of the old security team wandering around.
But they were well behaved maybe that could have been due to the
Well the next one is New Years Eve and I think I shall be attending
Helter Skelter marking 5 years since they last put on a party
at Milton Keynes. Seeing as the only other offering on this scale
is Slammin Vinyl at Shepton mallet which to be honest is a tad
bit too far to travel to.
Massive shouts to MC Storm and Whizzkid, IC3, Glenn Aston, Nicky
Blackmarket, MC Strict, Ratpack, Topbuzz, Seduction, Alex Energy
and Stacie (Wicked Flyer!!!)
Big Respects to the Party people Shaun and Leanne, Tina, Wookie,
Emma, Manny and the B'ham crew, Astro, Alpha, Astraboy, Jim (nice
photo), Immz, Bertie and the rest of the Bromsgrove crew, Olly,
Hiney, Sawyer Gallagher, Pricey and the Lichfield crew, Craig
and Andy and the rest of the USH.net crew and everyone else whose
names I don't' know but faces I recognise.
Written by Xtra-C
Flashbackin' & Rewindin'