Custard Factory Complex
Saturday 14th March 2009
It's been an absolute age since Hardcore Heaven was last in Birmingham
their last event was Hardstock at the Birmingham academy back
in May 2006. Hardcore heaven touched down at the Custard Factory
complex a venue which is now familiar with the Hardcore fraternity.
Hardcore Heaven took over the full Custard Factory Complex using
not only the Rojac and Pool but a further 3 arenas brining 5 arenas
of Hardcore madness. Tonight featured a who's who of hardcore
as there was the best artists from the UK's underground Hard dance
scene ranging from Hardcore, Hard Style, Hard Dance, Hardcore
Techno and support from the rising stars in the Hardcore scene.
Headed down to the Custard Factory shortly after 10 and was greeted
by a colossal queue that spanned right down Digbeth High Street.
The queue was moving swiftly and after a throughout search from
the security team we was on.
The Hardcore Heaven production team went to town as they transformed
the Custard factory into an outdoor nocturnal raving village.
Headed straight over to the Rojac warehouse and was greeted the
Notorious Sounds of Marc Smith. The production inside here was
spectacular I really enjoy the Rojac as it brings back that warehouse
vibe that has been missing since the loss of the Sanctuary Milton
Keynes, as the layout inside here was quite similar to that.
The front of the arena had a massive stage set up with lots of
hanging inflatable dotted around the ceiling. Each side of the
stage was towered by an enormous set of speaker stacks which were
booming all night in here, this was backed by a visual onslaught
of LED walls, lighting and massive laser show that lit up the
Marc Smith was laying down some hard and bouncy beats inside
here as he played 'Tricky Disco', 'Turn up the music', along with
a remix of Eminems 'Lose yourself'. MC Odyssey was on the mic
warming up the crowd for tonight's 10 hour hardcore marathon.
Nicky Blackmarket was on inside the Rojac arena playing a drum
and bass set was quite interesting as tonight crowd was strictly
hardcore and well his set went down rather well. The Rojac stayed
to capacity whilst Nicky laid down the slammers taking the crowd
through a journey of drum and bass playing a more 97-2002 set.
Nicky Started off with 'Champion sound' and then rolled with
'Represent', 'Chopper', 'The nine' and 'Sound in motion'. With
Keyes doing Seduction beforehand he proceeded to MC for Nicky
Blacmkaret but was rather reluctant at first but into the swing
of thing when he was later joined by Ortie and Friction.
Next set was one of the set' I was looking forward to Junkbox
records very own Darren Styles. It's been an absolute age since
I last seen Darren ( 6 months to be exact) and it was well worth
the wait he got things rocking with a remix of Lucid 'I can't
help myself', the reaction from the crowd was awesome!
Darren rocked the crowd with a very euphoric banging set as he
played 'Sorry', 'Taken me higher', 'Dance' and '1,2,3,4'. Joining
Darren was MC Storm who took full advantage of this massive stage
hyping up the crowd from left to right as he ensured every one
Darren continued to play 'Welcome to the club', 'Toca's miracle',
'Never too late' and a remix of The Verve's 'Bitter sweet symphony'
before finally closing the night with a remix of the hardcore
classic 'Higher ground'
With the crowd highly charged after this set who else to step
up next no other than the Raver Baby head honcho DJ Hixxy. This
was quite an interesting set as Hixxy started off the set with
a more hardstyle vibe, but it wasn't too long before he flipped
the switch with a number of hardcore belters including 'Overload',
'Love comes', 'Tricky Disco', 'Electric' and 'Free at Last'
Taking to the stage for the first half of this set was Whizzkid
MC. Was good to hear him over the harder styles of Hardcore really
working up the crowd with his lyrics and beatboxing to compliment.
For the latter half of the set Storm took over on the mic ensuring
the crowd were kept electrified whilst Hixxy continued to lay
the slammers. There were quite a lot tunes that Hixxy was playing
that I've not heard in a very long time including 'More &
more', 'The theme', 'I can't wait', 'Sacrifice' which went down
a treat inside the Rojac before closing off with 'You're my angel'
After spending 5 hours inside the Rojac it was time to have a
wonder around the outdoor complex whilst catching up with some
friends. The outdoor area was also the chill out area with people
taking seat on the side of the lake along with the numerous picnic
benches dotted out here. The Slammin Vinyl merchandise stall was
out here with packs from past events along with clothing and other
bits of memorabilia at bargain prices.
Headed over to the Pool Marquee and DJ Gammer was on with Whizzkid
MC. The pool was completely rammed with every single spot taken
up, people were raving on the sides and around the marquee underneath
the stars. Once again there was a massive stage with a massive
lighting rig and laser that illuminated the marquee.
Gammer was showing off his mixing skills using the mixer to its
full potential pulling off some quick fire mixes whilst working
the crossfader! Tune selection from Gammer was spot on as he threw
in a number of tracks from the Essential Platinum and Muffin labels
dropping the likes of 'The Beach', 'Rokk ya body', 'Reach out',
'1,2,3,4' and 'The game' which had the crowd bouncing throughout.
Whizzkid and Gammer are a good DJ and MC combination of recent
times, the pair work well together. The duo have gained a big
following over the past few years gaining a great reputation on
the hardcore circuit making them firm crowd favourites. Whizzkid
hyped up the crowd delivering his lyrics as he rocked the ravers
inside the pool. Gammer continued to roll out with 'Doesn't Matter',
'Cut & recycle', 'Amigos' and finally ended his set with 'Feeling
Twister Records Squad-E took over from Gammer and delivered a
very euphoric uplifting set with plenty of vocal tracks being
played including 'Every time we touch', 'Long Long way from home',
' Feel like I feel' and 'thousand Kisses'. 2007 Award winning
breakthrough MC Static was up on the stage and working the crowd
for the penultimate hour keeping the ravers in check.
Well it was that time 5 am which can only mean one thing the
power hour from Sy & Storm and what a set this was! Sy delivered
a hi-octane set for the final 60 minutes playing a wicked bouncy
set. There was a number of new tunes fresh from the Quosh records
camp including 'Pac-Man', 'Alabama', 'Don't wanna let you down',
'Digital lover', 'Just can't get enough'.
Storm rocked the party right till 6am hyping up the crowd with
energetic style ensuring no-one was left standing still for the
final hour. A lot of new lyrics were being showcased by storm
alongside memorable classic lyrics which were recited by the ravers
throughout as he rocked the crowd from left to right.
Sy flipped the switched as he dropped Johnny L's 'Back to your
roots' which has become a favourite drum and bass track for the
hardcore ravers. Sy was scratching and mixing into 6am with a
number of crowd favourites including 'Passion', 'Dreadland' before
closing the night with 'Show me the sunshine'
Well it's been a long wait since Hardcore Heaven last visited
Birmingham and it was well worth it. The whole Cusatrd Factory
complex was busy all night in the various arenas particularly
the Rojac and Pool marquee. A great turnout from the hardcore
crowd especially as were in the middle of a recession plus there
is quite a lot of events going on too.
The atmosphere and vibes were awesome great friendly up for it
hardcore crowd in attendance with the event being trouble free.
There was a police presence here but they were here to ensure
that the event ran smoothly and deter any would be trouble as
the ravers safety is paramount. As expected at any hardcore event
the production was 2nd to none very impressed particularly by
the LED wall and lasers within the Rojac.
There were a number of fantastic sets being played really particularly
enjoyed mainly Darren Styles's set, lots of fresh new tracks being
showcased by him complimented by the energetic performance of
MC Storm. Gammer and Whizzkid was another favourite of mine a
very fast paced energetic set by the Muffin man the pair never
fail to disappoint!
The event itself was a great success for a first time visit in
here from Hardcore Heaven, fingers crossed we don't have to wait
over 3 years for the next visit!
Big shouts to Grant, Michael, Darren and the Slammin Crew, Storm,
Whizzkid, Hixxy, Knighty, Sy, Darren Styles, Breeze, Supreme,
Casper, Nicky Blackmarket, Brisk, Chris Unknown, Marc Smith, Gammer,
Squad-E, Dougal, Lisa Marie, Seduction, Rude, Jade & Vizzy,
Wotsee, Enemy, Static & Vicki, Ribbz, Scorpio, The Doctor,
Orite, Friction, Keyes, Scar & Steve Uplift
Massive Respects to Andy Legs, Chelsea, Mat KoTR, Nick Xero,
Joe, Foggy, Katie, Gemma, Smithy, Skatty, Brian BK, Jon Brown,
Dave the rave, Andy, Hardcore Mark, Clodhopper, Obie, Laura, Rachel,
Kate Roxie, Emma, Chris Mental, Taha, Mad Maz, Nikkita, Andy from
Birkenhead, Mitch & Gemma, Nelza, Psychosis, Tristian, Fluffstar,
Tessa, John G, Ronni, Stella, Adam Lee, Vizor and everyone else
whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.
Written by Xtra-C
Flashbackin' & Rewindin'