10th Birthday Blast
Custard Factory
Saturday 7th October 2006

After 2 years in the wilderness, Flashback returned for one final night in Birmingham as they staged the ‘10th Birthday Blast’. With the legendary Que club being no more, there were very few venues in Birmingham that were capable to stage an event such as this and the Custard Factory was chosen host the legendary raves anniversary party!

There was a star studded line-up, which had been carefully chosen to represent Flashback’s 10 year history, featuring plenty of past Flashback favourites spread across two arenas and a third arena showcased the best midlands talent, giving the up and coming dj's a chance to shine at such a prestigious event.

The night was a total road block, as all the advance tickets sold out in the last few days leading up to the event and no tickets were available on the door whatsoever.

We arrived in Digbeth just after 9, having met up with friends and decided to head down to the custard factory, shortly after and we were greeted by a sizeable queue. The doors hadn’t open at this point but the queue was starting to increase in size rapidly and it stretched back as far as the top of Digbeth High Street.

There were people who had turned up expecting to purchase a ticket on the door, even though the event had sold out in advance and as usual the ticket touts were out in force, reminding me of the old queues at the Que club which used to stretch all the way down Corporation Street.

It wasn't until shortly after Ten that security started to allow people into the venue. After finally getting inside, via some lengthy talks with the security team, I walked through the small gangway and I was taken back by the production set up employed for this special event! The pool had been drained dry and an enormous marquee had been erected at its bottom end.

At the front of the marquee there was a large stage, featuring 2 massive projection screens with a huge lighting rig illuminating the marquee. It looked like DJ Randall was running late, so DJ Pace of Prosession fame was on the decks warming the crowd up, playing a ‘93 set. GQ and Boogieman were both on the mic hyping the ravers up as the pool started to fill up slowly with ravers.

DJ Pace played some classic tracks such as ‘Valley of the shadows’, and ‘I bring you the future’. A great selection from Pace considering the small duration that he was on. Following on from Pace was the turn of the Darkside kings Tango and Ratty.

The tune selection was immense, totally mind blowing stuff with hardly a an anthem in sight, Playing some 93 rollers like ‘Rolling energy’ (awesome track) ‘Dark stranger’, ‘Underground feelings’ and ‘Dubplate’. GQ was mcin for the first half of this set, hyping up the crowd with his powerful trembling voice. GQ was later joined by MC Ranski with a brief appearance from Robbie Dee too, Ratty and Tango finished of the set with the drum and bass classic ‘R-type’

Seeing as Randall had turned up later than planned he was on next, as he and Good Looking Records - DJ Nookie went back to back. Nookie opened the set with Peshay’s ‘Piano tune’ and the crowd went wild!!! The set was varied playing some 93 tunes like ‘NHS’, ‘Let’s go’ and of course Nookie’s very own ‘You got me burning up’

Biggie and Lenni were mcing for this set and when Lenni graced the mic he was greeted by a rapturous roar from the Flashback faithful. Nookie and Randall switched genres as they began to play some early drum and bass such as ‘Set speed’, ‘Fashion’,’ Truly one’ and ‘It’s jazzy’. As soon as ‘It’s jazzy’ was played the crowd in the pool exploded with Lenni getting the rewind! Randall and Nookie finished the set with the timeless classic from Moving Shadow, ‘Terrorist’.

Mistress Mo took over in the pool playing a more upfront drum and bass set with MC Ranski doing the mic duties as she dropped ‘The beginning’ and Hazards,’ World of darkness’. At this point I thought I’d go and check out the Medicine bar.

The Medicine bar was located to the left of the pool, with a small outdoor area supplying a full on barbeque along with merchandise to the raving massive! I managed to catch the tail end of DJ Pilgrim, who had both MC’s Man Parris and Robbie Dee doing a grand job working up the crowd in true oldskool fashion.

I enjoyed the remainder of Pilgrims sets as the tunes took me back to the Que club days! ‘Express yourself’, and Pete bouncers ‘Ravin I’m ravin’ were 2 examples of clasics that he dropped in his set! The production in here was awesome, as they had a massive projector screen above the DJ box showcasing loads of old flashback flyers from the past 10yrs, along with inflatables hanging from the ceiling.

What I was quite surprised with, was that it wasn’t overly busy inside the Medicine bar. It was about a 1/3 full, which was not expected, especially as it was well after midnight.

After the Flashback resident it was the turn of another legend the DJ Sy, dj'ing with Robbie Dee, showcasing a 93-94 hardcore set kicking off with ‘Head in the clouds’ and gradually moving up the years scratching in classics such as ‘ In effect’, ’6 days’ and ‘Notice me’. Excellent stuff from the oldskool legend and it wasn’t long before Sy started to play early hardcore tracks dropping the likes of ‘Take me away’, ’31 seconds’ and ‘Cheddar II’.

Robbie Dee was amazing during this and truly in his element working the crowd with his lyrics, proving why he was voted the number one oldskool mc earlier this year. This set really took me back as it reminded me of what both Sy and Unknown played at the Que in April 2002.

Back outside and it was PA time from Production House’s Baby D. Baby D arrived with MC’s Nino and Micro, who were here to entertain the ravers. They started off with a new drum and bass tune and then moved onto ‘I need your loving’ before finally finishing with ‘Let me be your fantasy’. As soon as ‘Let me be your fantasy’ was sang the crowd went wild as baby sang live and it was definitely karaoke time!

Very surprised at how short the PA was as only a very few number of tunes were played surprised classics such as ‘So pure’, ‘Day dreaming’, ‘Casanova’ and a few others weren’t played.

Micky Finn was running a little late so Mo stood in for him, tho this was for all of 5 minutes. Long john introduced Micky as he came dashing to the DJ box. The Jungle legend started the set with his dubplate of ‘Arsonist’ and spent the first half of his time on the wheels of steel playing a ‘95 set, featuring classics such as ‘Music box’, ‘Temper’ and ‘Pulp fiction’.

Micky was joined by the legendary Birmingham MC, MC Lenni! These two were awesome, a truly great mc and dj combination, I can recall plenty of memorable sets that these two have concocted over the years.

Micky stepped up the years and started to play ‘2 Degrees’, ‘Li Li’, ‘Special dedication’ and ‘P-Funk Era’ before finishing his set with the timeless classic ‘Bad ass’ which saw the crowd brocking out hard in the pool.

After Mickey Finn it was the turn of another Flashback favourite, the one and only Mix’N’Blen Kenny Ken.

Kenny was playing an upfront set with the likes of ‘Bounce’, ‘Represent’ and ‘Wardance’ remixes. Fearless was mcing for Kenny and hyped up the crowd with his lyrics, which were being recited by the raving faithful, whilst bouncing around the stage entertaining the massive. Kenny continued to play ‘Ghetto story’, before finishing his set with a new remix of the jungle classic ‘Fire’.

Well, to the final set of the night and who better to finish off the proceedings than Nicky Blackmarket playing an upfront set!
Nicky really tore the roof down with his selection, plenty of current party anthems being played, keeping the ravers rocking into the early hours of the morning.

Biggie was closing the night on the mic hyping up the crowd with his infamous ‘it’s a Birmingham thing’ lyric, he was joined by Boogie man and Nicky was dropping dance floor slammers such as ‘ Dark soldier’, ‘Back to your roots’, ‘Trippin’, ‘Rah’ and’ Where’s my money?’ sending the crowd into a frenzy!

The pint sized junglist soldier was about to drop one final tune but was told by the security to stop, yet Nicky didn't give up without a fight!!!

What a memorable night and a fitting way for many to remember the past 10 years of Flashback.

The venue was about 2/3rd full to capacity which is shame considering the night had sold out in advance but this was due to the police not allowing more people into the venue. The security team were taking their time allowing people inside, thus creating a very large queue which dragged all the way up Digbeth High Street leaving hundreds of people disappointed.

This was like a very similar incident that happened in Milton Keynes at Slammin Vinyl on New Years Eve 2003/4, where people were left out in the cold come midnight.

For those that got in though, it was a great party. The atmosphere was electric, no attitude, just pure party vibes! I was Impressed with a number of the DJ's tune selections, with not much in the way of anthems being played all night, especially during Ratty & Tango and Randall & Nookie. These two sets definitely stood out for me, along with DJ Sy’s early happy hardcore selection.

The production was amazing with the lighting rig, lasers and the main stage itself and you could tell no expenses were spared when it came to dressing up the Custard factory.

It’s a sad shame that the night was a disappointment for many people, as all the hard work and effort that was put into the night had been wiped away and the reputation that Flashback have built in the past ten year’s has been tarnished in one night.

I will always remember the 7 years I had with Flashback, especially those sell out events that I enjoyed at the Que club. When Flashback retired people still asked for more parties and they did that finally but were under the mercy of the security team and police as it was their decisions that led to hundreds being turned away.

Well, this marks a final chapter in Flashback’s ten year history, not the finest way to bow out and most certainly not what the Flashback team deserves!! I just hope people remember all the sell out parties and those memorable nights at the Que club.

Massive shouts to Mo, Jimmy, Lenni and the Flashback crew... those parties at the Que club will never be forgotten thank you for the past 7yrs!!!! Pilgrim, Glenn Aston, Nexus, Sy, Kenny Ken, Man Parris, Robbie Dee, Fearless, Vibes, Livelee, Dougal, Charlie B, Slipmatt, Micky Finn, Nicky BM, Baby D, Nino, Micro, Food Junky, Ratty, Tango, Boogieman, Esther, Devise, Fozz and Rik the Hippy.

Big Respects to Ed, Mat, Zoe and Collette, Sarah and Vicky, Escape, Luke, Will, Elton, Jonny Cee, Cat and Leanne ( Happy Birthday), Doug, Nursa, Opiate, Flexa, Georgina, Claudia, Sanjay, Mairead, Rickey, Taz B, Gold, Tri, Jo Jo, Dave, Scotty, Faye, Donna, Jacquie, Steve, Phill, Witts, Duckaz, Kayleigh, Raye, Gemma, Manny, Elaine, Mike Capitol P, Mags, Tom, Vicky, Rich, Peter C and Charlie, Sam, Danielle, Claire and Donna, Munkeh and Floyd, Welly, Emma, James from Suburban Sounds, Alpha, Andy Immz, Bertie, Lee, Cybergroove and the Terminal sounds crew, PM, Astro, Aries, Tammy and Nicole, Sytronik, Tom Nocturnal, Pace, Phase 2, TNT, Stu Gt, Michael Syz and to everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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