Hardcore Heaven Weekender 2
3rd-4th March 2006
Pontins
Southport

After the success of the first weekender in 2005, Hardcore Heaven returned too Pontins in Southport to presented - Hardcore Heaven Weekender 2- Last year I didn’t go, this event was timed too close to the Innovation in Spain (they had hardcore there too) and gave it a miss. After hearing about success and hype of the first weekender in 2005, I decided that I wasn’t going to miss this event for the 2nd time round.
The line-up looked spot on, featuring the finest artists the scene has to offer, spread over 2 nights including some daytime raving courtesy of Raindance.

Friday 3rd of March arrived. It was that time to pack our bags and head up the motorway via the M6 to Southport. When we arrived in Southport it began to snow, the weather wasn’t looking great for this weekender. Locating Pontins was quite a bit of a nightmare as it was poorly signposted and spent nearly an hour looking for the holiday camp.

We finally arrived at Pontins. Security checked out our weekender passes that had been posted out to us previously and searched our car. After parking up we headed to the reception and picked up our lanyards. The lanyards featured the set times for the weekend and a list of activities on offer, along with the keys to our chalet. I noticed from the set times was that there was no Raver Baby PA happening at the weekender, this was one of the sets I was looking forward to, but I wasn’t about to let that ruin my weekend!

There was a massive merchandise stall from the Hardcore Heaven team with loads of Tapepacks, albums and other rave paraphernalia, all on offer at bargain prices! This was also the point of call if anyone had any problems. All the Slammin’ team were here, on hand to offer assistance.

Our chalet was located quite close to the main complex which was handy. The room had two single beds and a sofa / double bed. Our chalet was self-catering featuring a kitchen with cooker and oven along with kitchen utensils to get us through the weekend.

The dance arena wasn’t due too open till 9pm each night, so we stayed in our chalet, the television keeping us occupied though we didn’t have the Hardcore Heaven TV channel beaming through. Odd we had all the other regular terrestrial channels.

We left our chalet about 10pm and headed to the main complex where the rave was being held. You could hear the bassline from the sound system as we walked towards the complex. There were random searches taking place by the security, checking people’s passes to allow you to venture into the dance complex.

One thing that stood out for me when I walked into the main arena for the first time was the sound system, it was spot on, loud and clear. DJ Marc Smith was on with things already bubbling in here, MC Odyssey on the mic.

The production in the main arena was everything you’d expect from the Hardcore Heaven team with no expense spared. At the front of the arena was the main stage for the mc and dancers to utilise, the dj box was at the back of the stage. There were massive projector screens either side of the stage with huge speaker racks. The projector screens were displaying mad videos throughout the night. At the front of the dj box were a few plasma screens as well.

Marc Smith played a stomping set, as you’d expect from the Notorious one, showcasing his own stuff along with a few other bits and pieces. Marc played ‘Pull over’, a remix of ‘Such a feelin’ and dropped a few drum and bass tunes such as ‘Pendulums – Slam’. I’ve noticed this happening quite a lot in his recent sets, something to split the set up with.

After Marc it was the turn of Raver Baby’s DJ Re-Con with MC Storm on the mic. Soon as Storm stepped on stage the crowd went crazy. You know this was the kick off, getting the weekender into full swing! During this set saw the arrival of some crazy stage dancers as Craig David, Mel B and other characters from Bo Selecta kept us entertained on stage with MC Storm.

Re-Con played plenty of material from the Raver Baby label which is heavily featured on the recent Bonkers compilation, Re-Con dropped ‘Love comes’, ‘See the light’, ‘We can do this’,’ Pull over’ and his own remix of ‘Angel eyes’, wicked stuff !

Following from Re-Con was the turn of the oldskool legend DJ Seduction along side Uproar’s MC Rude. I didn’t hang around for much of this set as the heat in the main arena was taking its toll. It felt was quite odd as it was snowing outside!! We decided to head back to our chalet and cool off for a bit and grab a few drinks seeing as the Raver Baby PA had been cancelled and Scott Brown was filling in.

We returned back to the complex, where Scott Brown and MC Wotsee were on. We caught the tail end of his set. Scott was playing ‘Fly with you’, ’Elysium’ remix, ‘So about you’ before finishing the set in true Scott Brown fashion, with some gabba playing ‘Boomstick’ and ‘Fuck your style’.

Next up was Raver Baby’s DJ Breeze with MC Storm, another great set from Breeze. Breeze was showcasing plenty of material on the forthcoming Clubland X-treme album. Breeze played ‘I will be’,’ Let’s fly’, ’I need you’ and ‘Pull over’. Halfway through this set saw the introduction of Whizzkid MC on the mic going back2back with his partner in rhymes, MC Storm. This sent the crowd crazy, showing us why these two are hardcore’s number one entertainers! Breeze continued to play ‘Nessaja’, ‘Connections’ a new remix of ‘24-7’ before finishing of with a new remix of ‘You’re my angel’

Continuing from Breeze was DJ Kevin Energy and to be honest I didn’t fancy listening to his set and decide to head back to the chalet to get some rest for the last set featuring Raver Baby’s head honcho DJ Hixxy. With the long drive up and being up from 6am my short rest ended up with me going to sleep and not waking up till the following morning. Ultimately missing out on Hixxy’s set...gutted...!!!!

The next morning we chilled out for a bit, with Tesco's only up the road we decide to pop up there for a few bits and pieces to get us through today and Sunday’s journey home. After returning back from Tesco we decide to see what day time activities were on offer, we doubted much was going to be happening outdoors, due to how cold the weather was. As last year there was an outdoor arena and 5-aside football tournament.

Raindance were on during the day, playing yesterdays classics. They opened the arena from about lunchtime, this was located in the dance complex keeping the ravers warm from the sub artic condition outside.

DJ’s Ramos and Hixxy were on in here, this was ‘The apprentice and the teacher set’ featuring MC’s Whizzkid, Ronnie G and Knight on Mic duty. Hixxy and Ramos were playing a ‘92 set keeping the tempo down for those feeling the pain from last nights hi-octane beats.

I enjoyed what these guys were playing. I was quite surprised by there selection especially near the end of the set. They played plenty of ‘92 tunes like ‘Hurt you so’, ‘Some justice’ ‘The slammer’. The pair started playing some oldskool jungle which got the crowd brocking out even at 3 in the afternoon! They dropped ‘Valley of the shadows’, ’Pulp fiction’ and ‘Lighter’ before ending the set with ‘Panic’

Following on was another oldskool legend DJ Billy Bunter this was an awesome set from him and with Ribbz on the mic keeping the crowd hyped with minimalistic lyrics. Billy started the set with some house classics such as ‘Rozalla - Everybody’s free (to feel good)’, ‘Let me be your fantasy’. We were sort of dressed from shopping and it starting to get hot in the Raindance arena and quickly nipped back to our chalet to get changed into something more appropriate. This is what I quite liked the fact you could return to and from your chalet to the dance arenas.

When we returned Billy Bunter was still on, he was playing some early 94-95 Happy hardcore. He played a few classics from Ramos and Supreme ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Crowd control’ along with a few other ‘95 stompers ‘U had it all’ and ‘6 days’. Billy moved back into a ‘92 set for the remainder, with him dropping SL2’s Monster anthem ‘On a raga tip’ he also dropped the vocal mix of Topbuzz’s ‘Living in darkness’ featuring Mad P on vinyl this definitely made my day !!!! Billy ended the set with Xenophobia’s ‘Rush in the house’.

Next up was the turn of RSR’s DJ Supreme with MC’s Knight and Ronnie G. An awesome set from the oldskool legend as Supreme played ‘Hold on’, ‘Higher love’ and ‘The RIP EP’. Supreme finished the set with ‘Sun always shine’, though with the Ratpack in the house they decide to end the record before the vocal dropping which I was kind of disappointed at as this is one of my favourite tunes, never mind….

At this point we decided to head back to the chalet to get some rest for the final night, after some rest and a few pre rave drinks we headed to the dance arena for the final night.

DJ Flyin was on rocking the crowd with Futurevibe’s MC Mental on the mic. I quite enjoyed Flyin’s set, his tune selection was spot on he playing plenty of material from his Fast Music label. He played a number of vocal tunes featuring the one like Charmy on vocals. Flyin’ played remixes of awesome 3’s ‘Don’t go’ and ‘Free (magic potion)’ wicked remix!!

At this point we headed to the oldskool arena, originally the oldskool arena was to be used on the Friday night but was swapped round to the Saturday instead, which I was quite glad as I had quite a lot more energy in me compared to Friday.

Scott Brown was on in here to start things rolling. He was playing a Rezerection set, plenty of bouncy tunes from the Scotts man. There was no mc for this set which allowed the music do all the talking. Scott dropped ‘Power to the people’, ‘Burn mother fucker’, ‘Cold as ice’ and ‘Jiieehaaa‘. Scott finished off with Bassheads ‘I wanna be hippy’ excellent stuff from him quite darker than what I’ve heard him play before but was brilliant stuff. What I’d love to hear is Scott go back2back with Brisk and do a Rezerection Vs Kinetic set. Now that would be stomping!!!!

After the sounds of Rezerection it was the turn of Aldershot’s Rhythm station hero’s Druid and Hixxy, Druid started the set without Hixxy. Druid playing a bouncy set with Charly lownoise and Mental theo’s – ‘Stars’ and ‘Fuck my best friend’. Better late than never was Hixxy. He arrived when Druid decided to drop Hixxy and Sharkey’s classic ‘Toytown’.

Hixxy was gracing the mic along with the decks as they started to play a more 96-97 selection with plenty of tunes featured on the early Bonkers compilation. ‘Rock this place’, ’Driving me crazy’, ’United in dance’, ‘Ride like the wind’ and ‘Wonderland’. Hixxy and Druid pushed up a gear with Force and styles ‘Shining down’, ‘Wonderful world’ and ‘My way’ before finishing with ‘Break of dawn’.

The oldskool arena was getting quite hot with these bouncy sets & it was turning into a bit of a sweat box. Luckily someone opened a door to allow some fresh air in, which chilled the sweat off me brow.

It was another trip up to Edinburgh to Rezerection as it looked like DJ Clarkee was not going to play a classic ESP set. Up stepped Rezerection’s DJ Marc Smith gracing the decks.
This set was similar to Scott's earlier but not as dark, very bouncy with Marc playing ‘E-Creation’ Detonated’, ‘I’m a raver a baby’ the Rezerection anthem ‘Do what u like’ and ‘Now is the time’. MC’s Casper and Voyager were mcing for Marc taking it turns on the mic and not ruining the music...Good Job lads.

Having virtually spent most of the night in the oldskool arena, I finally dragged myself away and chilled out next door. With this being the bar / pub during the day, there was plenty of chairs to sit down and rest my poor soles as I didn’t fancy listening to Tommy Knocker, Brisk and Scott Brown, I was feeling kind of exhausted after my stint in the oldskool arena.

After cooling down I was ready for the DJ Styles and MC Storm. What an amazing set from the Raver Baby duo. Storm was fantastic on the stage keeping the ravers jumping with the last few hours left of the weekender and Style’s selection was awesome, even featuring a small PA from the man himself as he got on the mic to sing ‘Jealous’ live.

Styles played tunes which will be featured on the forth coming Clubland album with him and Breeze were showcasing and promoting the album during the weekender. Styles played ‘I will be‘, ‘Love comes’, ‘Skydiving remix’, ‘Pull over’ ‘Dropzone’ and finished the set with ‘Save me’

Next up was Essential platinum’s DJ, DJ Dougal with Whizzkid MC. It’s been along time since I’ve heard Whizzkid MC over Dougal but he did a grand job like a true professional that he is. True to Dougal’s form he played plenty of vocally tunes, opening the set with ‘Drive me crazy’ and continuing to play ‘Open ur eyes’ a favourite of mine at the moment, ‘All the tears I’ve cried’,’ Elysium remix’ and finishing with ‘Through the darkness’. Whizzkid was amazing on the mic totally commanding the crowd and the stage.

Final set of the night came from the Quosh trio of Sy, Unknown with MC Storm. This set also featured a live PA with Lou Lou singing live. Sy and Unknown were scratching up the rave with Storm complementing their scratch with his own vocal scratch. Storm owned the stage with his mighty presence to keeping the ravers raving for the final hour of the weekender. Sy and Unknown played ‘I see the light’ and ‘Let the beat commence’.

Lou Lou entered the stage complete with her dancers Sallie and Sara all dressed in something from Moulin Rogue. Lou Lou performed live’ Making me wanna dance and ‘U r my fantasy’.

I was feeling quite tired and knowing we had a long day in front of us we decided to retire to the chalet.

Overall I had a fantastic weekend. This was my first hardcore weekender and definitely won’t be my last, every second of the weekender was memorable. Having only experienced the weekenders with Innovation, this was something different. The atmosphere was spot on as soon as we arrived at Pontins everyone was up for it from the word go!

The Ravers were brilliant all 4,000 of them. This was a full house travelling from all over the UK as far as Southampton and from the highlands of Scotland, along with some flying from overseas as I met a few ravers from across the Atlantic respect. With the sounds of hardcore uniting them together for one weekend of complete madness under one roof!

I did notice that on the Friday night many people had retired to their chalets early guessing they had a long drive during the day and were tired. The beauty with the weekender was the fact you could go back and fourth from your chalet

The production was spot on and I was very impressed with the laser’s being used not only in the main arena but also in the small arenas too. The sound system was perfect, very crisp and very loud I’m guessing they used the Funktion one system, similar to the one used at the NEC and other drum and bass events.

The only thing that let the weekender down was the weather, totally unpredictable. Putting an event on in early March was always quite risky, it was even snowing during our journey up to Southport. It didn’t rain too badly but during the day there wasn’t much going on outdoors .Know ones to really blame we all knew the risk of it being artic conditions outside, good old British weather!
Also, we didn’t have the hardcore heaven TV station on our telly...

I did think that the weekender was value for money, 2 nights of raving with a bed and a full equipped kitchen weren’t too bad. You could also bring your own alcohol with you so you can save your self buying drinks in the club.

I’ll definitely be back next year just hope the weather will be better!!

Massive shout’s to Grant, Michael and the Slammin team, Storm, Whizzkid, Hixxy, Breeze, Styles, SY, Unknown, Ramos, Supreme, Knight, Ronnie G, Sunset regime, Druid, Vibes and Livelee, Rude, Marc Smith, Odyssey Wotsee, Flyin + Charmy, Scott Brown, Smiley, D-Ice, Ribbz, Gammer , The Doctor and Casper.

Big respects to the ravers there was too many of you!!!!

Room 215 crew: Shaun, Mike, Tom and Charly, Caddy, Ad, Andy Legs, Lisa, Sara, Awren , John Buzz-B, Gillian and Gareth, Mark Mervin, The Smither bro’s, Marcus, Lucy and Andy Immz, Doug, Andy and Heather, Craig, Maz, Cruze, Sharl, Ciara, Scott Womble, Juicy and the Shrewsbury crew, Rob from True Hardcore, Damo, Jim Andrea and Kel from UkScene, Astraboy from Ush, John McGuiness, Claire and her Smints, Jacquie and Leanne, Mat KoR, Kev Pikey, Charlie and James, Sykee, Foggy, Vic, Ecksta-C and Overlode, Steph and Obie, Compulsion, Annabelle, Sallie, Lou Lou, Sara and Lozzy, Uplift, Joey riot, Jane and Outburst, Gemma, Jay Nixxy, Izzy, Sezzy Spencer, Toastie and Hatty, Shazza and Dave also to everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise, as I know I’ve forgotten enough people!

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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