Helter Skelter
Energy 2004
The Leisure Plaza Complex
Milton Keynes

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 rides.
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 ran smoothly.

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 set.

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 police presence??

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'
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