Summer Showdown

Well it's been along wait since the last Flashback, as they seem to be coming very scarce these days.

We arrived at the Sanctuary after 9:30 and were greeted with a long queue of eager ravers waiting patiently to get in. The doors didn't open till after 10. Once inside we headed for the Dance Factory to find that it was closed so we went straight for the main arena.

Once in I was quite surprised as DJ Phase 2 of Broken Mindz fame was on, playing upfront Drum and Bass in the main arena. The production in the main arena was excellent and the lighting was spot on. There were 2 spotlights directly under the crowd at the front and the décor design behind the DJ box was quite smart, blocking out the early morning summer sunshine.

I found out that the balcony was closed off and there was going to be plenty of room for shuffling. The oldskool room had been moved to the Dragon Bar and the Homegrown room was now in the Temple bar.

DJ Cruze was playing in the Oldskool room playing with a 92 set and such tunes as Love Overdose, plus a couple of moving shadow classics.

Back in the main room and Lisa Fallout was on, I didn't hang around too much during her set as I was catching up meeting some old Flashback faces but I did catch her play the Chopper 2003 remix.

Back in the oldskool room and I didn't recognise the DJ that was playing, but he was playing an oldskool break beat set. Playing quite a number of early happy hardcore classics such as Six Days and Take Me Away.

Mistress Mo was on in the main arena and this saw the arrival of Flashback resident MC Lenni, accompanied by Fila and Magika. Mo played a rolling set to get the crowd lively as the main arena started to fill up, playing tunes such as Vault, Silence RMX and Outer Space.

Well half way through Mo's set I went back to the Oldskool room to find Wolverhampton's DJ Pilgrim was on, playing a wicked 92 set. Playing stuff like the Prodigy classic Ruff in the Jungle and Sound Corp's Dreamfinder amongst others. Lenni was on the mic during this set to keep the crowd going.

From one Flashback resident to another it was time for Mistress Mo. I quite enjoyed this set as she was playing an early 91 set. Mo also played one of my favourite Moving Shadow tunes Star Eye's by Cosmos and Dibs (thanks for the rewind) along with the Rhythm Section monster Feel the Rhythm.

Back to the main room and the man from Charge Recordings was on, Mampi Swift alongside 'El Matador' IC3. I enjoy seeing IC3 especially in Birmingham as he knows a lot of the crew here and gets the crowd jumping. Swift was double dropping as always and he played the likes of Floodlight with The One over the top, which went down a storm.

Back to the oldskool room and Quest favourite DJ Nexus was on. The last couple of times I've caught Nexus play he has been playing back to back with Glenn Aston playing 88-92. Well this time round he was playing a 93 and beyond set. His selection was quite dark playing many 93 dark side tunes throwing a few anthems such as Music's So Wonderful with quite a number of the more obscure tunes from the 93 era including Foolz Gold by Outta Intelligence. Nexus started to move up the years and played a few drum and bass stompers such as Champion Sound and even the True Playaz classic Reach Out by DJ Zinc.

Well after Nexus it was the set that I was waiting for, Check one check two, yes it was the voice of Topbuzz MC Mad P alongside Jason Kaye. Jason started the set different to what he played back in at Illusion a couple of weeks ago playing a lot more of the rarer tunes but thrown in with the classics as he played Music Takes You (Seal vocal version) Kiss the Sky, Anastasia, Return of the Donut and the massive hit from '91 Rabbit City - Beyond Control.

Last time I saw Topbuzz I was a bit gutted that Jason didn't play Living in Darkness, but this time round they didn't disappoint, he played Living in Darkness and to hear Mad P flow over the top of this was amazing. As he did the " if you like things ruff…." lyric, which got the crowd into a frenzy in this room. Well like last time Jason finished the set by playing Jungle such as Terrorist and the mighty Formation classic Black.

Overall it was a good night as the atmosphere was great as it seemed to pick up after midnight, but I was quite disappointed as a lot of the artists that I came to see were cancelled mainly due to low ticket sales. I was looking forward to hearing Hixxy and UFO playing an Oldskool 95-96 happy hardcore set, the 10 years of Quosh set from Sy and Unknown and the Live PA from Xpansions were all cancelled.

Flashback has always been about oldskool in its varied forms but to have upfront drum and bass in the main arena, well, its just another drum and bass night with oldskool tucked in the side room. That's what it felt like that night. There are many oldskool purists that come to Flashback (I would say that I'm one of them) based on the fact that oldskool is the main ethos of the night's entertainment.

It seemed that a lot of the people that did go were more for the drum and bass as the main arena did fill up quicker than the oldskool room.
The Flashback following seems to have now become more drum and bass with oldskool taking a backseat.
But saying that I did still have a good time as my favourite sets of the night were of course the Topbuzz set, Nexus and Mampi Swift.

Massive shouts to Mo and Jimmy, Lenni, Mad P, Jason Kaye, Nexus, Pilgrim, Swift, IC3, Phase 2 and Alpha.

Big respects to the raving crew, Ed, Tina xxx, Jon XLR-8, Zoë + Collette, Scotty, Dave and JoJo, Ross, Wallace and also to everyone else whose names I don't know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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