Hardcore Express
’The Ride Of Your Life’
Sanctuary
Birmingham
Saturday 15th October 2005

Tonight saw a new promotion in Birmingham bringing Hardcore and Oldskool to the Sanctuary in Digbeth, Birmingham. The Sanctuary already embroiled in raving history originally being called the Institute holding events such as Amnesia, Pandemonium, Flashback to name a few.

It’s been along time since I’ve been back to the Sanctuary for a massive all nighter so I was really looking forward to returning back to the Sanctuary. It was the first time that I’ve witnessed the main arena boasting a massive Hardcore line-up. To be honest I came here tonight predominately for the Oldskool line up which was definitely value for money considering you had two hours of Topbuzz!

Having been out the previous night for HTID vs Raver Baby in Cambridge we decide to arrive before 10.30, as I was feeling exhausted. When we arrived there wasn’t much of a queue, there were a number of ravers congregated around the main entrance to the main arena as it looked like they were running late as they had some problems with the sound system.

We headed straight to the Oldskool arena to find that Noizee B was just finishing, he played a few 92 tunes./ Noizee B finished his set with ‘Don’t go’, Coventry’s The Saint stepped up next take things over.

MC Hi-Fi of Amnesia fame was on the mic warming things up in here, it was quite busy in here considering that the main arena wasn’t open yet. I’ve not heard of The Saint before and didn’t really know what to expect from him but I was quite pleased with his selection playing plenty of party tunes. He played ‘Energy Flash’, ’Move your body’, ‘Anthem’, ‘Pacific state’ and a few Belgian R&S type tunes too.

After The Saint it was the turn of Amnesia house’s very own MC Man Parris performing a DJ set. Man Parris used to DJ before he started MCing and played a blinder of a set.

I popped out and decide to check out the main arena, the balcony wasn’t open but everyone was on the dance floor having it whilst DJ Cruze was on. The production in here was spot on with a massive green laser cutting through the crowd. There were plenty of inflatable’s hanging from the ceiling and the stage was decked with a massive mural. There were some problems with the system as the mic’s hadn’t been configured properly.

Back to the Oldskool room and Man Parris was finishing up he played ‘Take me Away’, ’Lets do it’ and ‘Mentasm’ before ending the set with the original version of ‘Candi station- You got the love’ which went down really well, as there were plenty of hands in the air!

After Man Parris it was the turn of DJ Ratty another awesome set in the Oldskool arena as Ratty took us on journey through Hardcore and early drum and bass. Ratty’s set featured of underrated and underground tunes as he dropped ‘High in the sky’, ’Cutter Mix,’, ’Hurt you so’ before turning to the dark side. I also noticed MC’s Storm and Whizzkid lurking in the crowd having a night off MCing and enjoying some Oldskool beats, after MCing at HTID the previous night.

I really enjoyed watching Ratty mixing, using the mixer to its full potential mixing and cutting up tunes. He continued to play ‘Return to champion sound’, ‘Tales from the Darkside’, ’It’s a jazz thing’ and the classic from the Rufige Cru ‘Terminator’ which fully deserved a rewind! Hi–Fi was MCing right till 2am fair play for holding up the mic for such a long time.

Well it was that time the headliners 2 hours from the Jungle Techno kings Topbuzz! Many people that I spoke to were down here specifically for this set especially to see Mad P and he didn’t fail to disappoint his audience. Patrick stepped up on the mic and had to utter a few words to get the crowd going. ‘Check one check two….’

Jason started the set ’89 and moving up the years as he played ‘Beyond Control’, ‘Sounds of eden’ which got the crowd singing and a few harder tunes such as ‘Anastastia’ and ‘Kiss the sky’. Jason started to play 92 tunes such as ‘Feel this way, ‘Hypnosis’ and ‘Your love’.

It sounded like he was going to play a number of 92 anthems, so I headed to the main arena and caught Vibes and Live Lee. Vibes was playing a lot of new material as he’s been in the studio making tunes with a producer called Hattrixx. Vibes played ‘Heaven on earth’ and a new tune which samples Livelee’s lyrics called ’10 years of Hardcore’ he also played ‘The quickening’. Livelee was on stage working up the crowd and keeping them bouncing and with many of them reciting his lyrics.

Back to the Oldskool arena and just in time as Topbuzz were rocking and I returned just in time as Jason was about to drop ‘Living in darkness’, would of kicked myself had I’d miss this moment. There were quite a number of older members in the crowd reciting Mad P’s lyrics, Mad P got Jason to rewind ‘Living in darkness’ and asked the crowd to MC over it as he uses his two famous lyrics over this tune, ‘If you like things ruff…’ and ‘Will a beast…’.

Jason started to play a jungle selection for the remainder of the set he played a few Moving Shadow classics such as ‘Helicopter’ and ‘Terrorist’ along with DJ SS’s ’95 rumbler ‘Black’, and ‘Dubplate’ before ending the set with the classic ’P-Funk era’

After 2 hours of Topbuzz it was the turn of Flashback’s very own Mistress Mo, she started her set with ‘Orca’s 4am’ which was fitting as it was 4am. Mo continued to play a ‘92 set dropping tunes like ‘Head in the clouds’, ‘Music’s so Wonderfull’ and ‘Vertgio’. With it approaching the end of the night I headed to the main arena to see the last hour from DJ Rampant.

Rampant recently won the UK Scene DJ competition so I was very interested to see his set as I know of some of his production, his work appeared on the previous ‘Hardcore nation’ album. MC’s Obie and Dizzyvibe were MCing for his set and they seemed to have worked well together on the mic running of each other’s lyrics. Rampant played ‘Rhythm of the night’, ’Music is moving’ and ‘Goes like this’ which went down well. Rampant finished the night with the Force and Styles classic ‘Field of dreams’.

Overall I thought tonight was amazing the atmosphere and vibe was brilliant especially in the Oldskool arena plenty of people up for it all night. I was impressed with all the DJ’s in the Oldskool arena, the DJ’s didn’t have to resort to typical ’92 anthems to keep the crowd entertained in here. There were plenty of underground tunes being played tonight in the Oldskool arena, which kept the place rocking till the early hours.

The Hardcore arena was busy but it could have been busier, but I guess it didn’t help having HTID on the night before. It was great to see an new promotion in Birmingham trying something different, especially having the Hardcore in the main arena of the Sanctuary. In the past 4-5 years I don’t think there has been an event here which featured upfront Hardcore in the main arena. I think though for less than Ten pounds tonight’s event was definitely value for money!

Was just a shame that they had to open the main arena late but this was due to a problem with the sound but other than that it was successful night roll on the next one!

Massive shouts to Adi and the Hardcore Express crew, Storm and Whizzkid, Mad P, Vibes and Live Lee, Man Parris, Ratty, Kev Energy Mistress Mo, Wotsee, Hi-Fi, Seduction, Rude, Wotsee, Cruze, Rampant, Dizzyvibe and Mrs Amnesia.

Big respects to Mike Fraggle, Doug and Steve, Michele + Obie and the Tamworth crew, Womble, Juicy and the Shrewsbury crew, Maz, Farmin Heather and Craig, Noizee B, Adam Timeless, Double Drop, Rswxite, Delite and Zoe, Liberty, Shazza and Dave, Elle, Strongforce, Jonny, Phil Friction and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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