Hardcore Heaven
The Carling Bristol Academy
Bank Holiday Weekend
28th August 2005

Hardcore Heaven this year have toured round various venues across the UK including the successful Hardcore Weekender in Southport and tonight they arrive at the Bristol Academy. This was also my first visit to Bristol!

Bristol itself is no stranger to the rave scene, this was the first time that Hardcore Heaven have ventured here. Bristol doesn’t have just a massive Hardcore following but is also home to V recordings very own Roni Size, Krust and Die too!

After travelling down the M5, we arrived in Bristol after 11, having located the venue just off the main street were the nightlife was situated, we were greeted by a slow moving queue. There was two queues one for those paying on the door and another for tickets, credit card and guest list. The paying queue was moving quite fast in comparison to the ticket and guest list queue.

After a thorough search and having my guest list place confirmed we were in, soon as you walked in you could feel the heat and humidity from the main arena. So you know tonight was going to be hot and sticky!

We walked straight into the main arena and Darren styles finishing up. The place was rammed with people dancing away to the Raver Baby sounds, Darren ended his set with ‘I will be’. The main arena was a spectacular sight, there was a double tiered balcony which overlooked the dance floor. At the front of the arena was a raised platform this was the main stage, there was massive speaker stacks either side of the stage blaring out the hardcore beats and the system was quite loud!

Nu-Energy’s DJ Kevin Energy was on with Smiley on mic duty, rocking the party as it was in full flow. Kev Energy was playing a freeform hard set continuing off from the earlier PA from the Nu-Energy Collective. He played ‘Power in the light’, and ‘Crack whore’ remixes.

Not a massive fan of Freeform so I decided to have a wander around the venue. There were two other rooms of techno and hard trance and another showcasing the best up and coming from the South West. The techno room was located behind the 2nd balcony and boy it was sweat box in here soon as you walked in here you could feel the heat right in your face felt like a sauna! Walking around the balcony out in the main arena, I found some cools spots were they had cool air flowing through some small vents, which was handy as it was getting hot in here

Back to the action and Brisk was on along with MC Wotsee. Brisk played an awesome set was great to watch him mix using the mixer to its full advantage. Teasing in mixes and keeping the mixes in long and interesting. Wotsee was on the mic keeping the crowd hyped, good to see how far he’s come on in the past few years.

Brisk was playing a hard bouncy set, some of the stuff he was playing had a raw edge similar style to drum and bass which went down well with the crowd. There was lots of forthcoming material from his Next Generation label and the new Hardcore Heaven album being featured within in his set. Brisk played ‘Second sight’ and the remixes of ‘Angel eyes’ and ‘In your life’

After Brisk it was the turn of the Quosh duo Sy and MC Storm. Sy started the set with ‘Rock ya Hardcore’ to keep the ravers bouncing. With Storm on the mic hyping up the crowd getting the crowd involved as he does best. Sy was scratching throughout his set, whilst being complimented by MC Storm’s vocal scratch. Sy continued to play ‘Slide away’, ’Cry’, ‘Something like this’ and ‘Making me wanna dance’

Next up was Evolutions very own Scott Brown along with Whizzkid MC, and this was a blinder of a set from the Scotland’s number 1. In true Scott Brown form he started the set with Hardcore playing tunes such as ‘I Call the shots’, ‘Bring me round to love’, ‘So about you’, ‘Taking drugs?’. For the remainder of his set Scott moved onto some hardstyle gabba. Whizzkid was on stage carrying out his Michael Jackson impressions including a moonwalk across the stage go’on!

The crowd were giving it when Scott was dishing out the gabba, Whizzkid was tremendous working the crowd, he’s quite versatile mcing to both Hardcore as well as gabba, having worked with Scott brown for many years, bit like Sy and Storm really.

Final set of the night was from ‘The Boss’ DJ Hixxy alongside MC Storm. Hixxy and Storm are definitely getting a good reputation working together having both represented Hardcore at this summers Global Gathering festival, and are definitely great ambassadors for the Hardcore scene.

What a way to finish the night with, Hixxy opened his set with ‘Fires in the sky’ before moving onto ‘Electric’, ‘Be alone’, ‘I adore’, ’24-7’ playing plenty of vocal tunes from his Raver Baby label. Hixxy also played the Breeze and Styles remix of’ ‘The Way’ by ‘Divine Inspiration’ which went down really well. I haven’t really heard this remix played out since it was released back in 2003.

Storm was Joined by Whizzkid as Hixxy dropped ‘Free at Last’, Storm continued to mc getting the crowd hyped up into the early hours, with many of them reciting his lyrics. Hixxy continued to play ’Back to the oldskool’ before ending the night with ‘4am’ what a tune and a fitting way to end the night.

Overall I had a good night though I wasn’t too impressed with the queuing system as I think ticket holders should definitely have priority over those paying on the door. As some other promoters have the right idea by not letting in people without tickets till after 11.30.

The atmosphere was great lots of up for it ravers didn’t see or notice any trouble at all. What I really enjoyed was seeing Hardcore at different venues across and promoters taking a risk and trying something different. I do hope that Hardcore Heaven would come and use the Birmingham Academy in the future as the Bristol Academy is very similar as the Academy in Birmingham which was formerly known as the Humming Bird. An oldskool venue for those that know!

Respects to Micheal and Grant at Slammin, Storm, Whizzkid, Hixxy, Brisk, Wotsee, Scott Brown, Sharkey, Smiley and D-Ice.

Big shouts to Shaun, Lou Lou, Leanne, Andrea, Pete Komplex, Compulsion, Julie Delicious, Nikki, Charlie and James, Sallie and Sarah, Astraboy, Overlode, Matty, , Hiney, Uplift and Kaylene also to everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognize.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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