Hardcore Til I Die
Event 16:
‘The Summer Gathering 2006’
Air (formerly Code)
Saturday 5th August 2006

Hardcore Til I Die returned back to Air, Birmingham and brought back the long awaited outdoor stage, to be showcased within the car park outside of Air. It’s been two years since the first outdoor stage which featured an oldskool lineup who were raving under the stars. Tonight the outdoor stage showcased an array of hardcore styles featuring artists from the hardcore scene old and new.

Apart from the outdoor stage the arenas of the club had a switch around form the norm. The Harder they come arena had moved from the Nitrogen arena to the main arena of the club and the oldskool til I die arena was shifted from the Carbon lounge down to the Nitrogen arena.

Once again all the guaranteed text entries for tonight had sold out in advanced of the event, so you know that tonight was going to be roadblock. Headed upto Air we arrived at around 9pm and there was a massive queue of eager ravers waiting to get in. Keeping the ravers entertained where numerous characters dressed up patrolling the queue whilst the party people were waiting anxiously for the doors to open.

We walked through the side entrance via the cark and straight into the outdoor arena. The outdoor arena was underway with the JB Project who were banging out the tunes. The main stage was laid out differently compared to the first time 2 years ago.

I was very impressed with the layout of the stage. The stage was larger in size for a start and the system was loud, the lighting was spot on with the strobes and coloured lighting making the stage glow underneath the sky.

Along with the outdoor stage there was the nocturnal village with the massive merchandise stall selling tape packs from previous events and for those who like their thrills there were 2 free funfair rides on offer

The JB Project were finishing up playing ‘Makin me wanna dance’ and ‘Too late’. We decided to head into the club. It was quite odd to see the main at this time not as busy like previous events but I guess the main emphasis of tonight was really about the outdoor stage, plus it was only 10pm anyway. Headed upstairs to the Nitrogen arena and DJ’s Twista and Faydz were on.

Faydz and Twista were playing an oldskool set mainly ‘92 tunes with classics like ‘Edge 1’,’ Hypnosis’ and ‘I feel this way’, Faydz was showing off his scratching skills during this set. This room was starting to fill up nicely whilst these two were on, the pair are starting to make an impression in the oldskool circuit and getting more known for their sets. Twista and Faydz continued to play ‘DJ’s Unite’ and ‘Feel good’.

Back outdoors and Chris Henry of Ultrabeat fame was finishing up playing a scouse house set. The set was slow and bouncy to warm up the crowd for the all mighty kick off set.

It was fast approaching 11pm, Darren Styles and MC Storm took the stage for the ‘Kick off set’. Outside was completely rammed whilst these two were on hardly any room to move especially near the front of the stage. Darren Styles rocked the crowd raving under the stars from the word go. He was playing tracks like, ‘Free your mind’, ‘Report to the bassline’, ‘ Save me’, he also sneaked in the odd drum and bass tune from Dillinja ‘Twist em’ out’ aswell.

Storm was magnificent on the stage rocking the crowd whilst bouncing form left to right, many of the raver’s reciting his lyrics whilst he was performing new and old classic rhymes.

Darren Styles carried on with ‘Back to the oldskool’ remix, ‘I need you’ Lisa Abbott’s ‘Blow me away’ which I haven’t heard since the very first HTID back in May 2004! Finally Darren finished off with ‘Through the darkness’.

Following on from Darren was the turn of Notorious Vinyl’s Marc Smith alongside Nu-Energy’s Kevin Energy. Odyessy and Wotsee were mcing out here for this set. Marc Smith started off with the ‘2001 space odyssey’ remix and ‘Report to the bassline’. Dancers Sallie, Sarah, Emma and Lou Lou were on stage showcasing various outfits whilst busting out some moves!

We decided to venture back inside to catch some oldskool and were greeted by two oldskool legends in the form of Ellis Dee and Robbie Dee. Ellis was playing a breakbeat oldskool set with classics like ‘I feel this way’, ’Tribal bass’, ‘Closer to your dreams’ and ‘Ravin I’m ravin’. Robbie was mcin for this set but he looked a bit worn out having performed in the charity cycle ride earlier today and was sitting down whilst mcin. Robbie was coming out with some cheeky one liners in true fashion.

Mid way throughg his set, Ellis started to play some nu-skool breaks with a few remixes of some classic oldskool tunes which went down well. Dropping the likes of ‘Jamrock’, ’Found a café’ and a remix of the classic from Topbuzz ‘Living in darkness’ which saw the crowd go crazy !!!

It was starting to get hot up here and decided to head outside to cool down. What a nightmare we had getting back outside. We had to wait virtually 20 minutes to get out whilst sweating even more, waiting for security to let us out. There was a queuing system put in place to allow people in and out of the venue, the downstairs exit was only allowing people into the building and the upstairs exit onto the balcony was used to allow people out to the outdoor arena.

Finally once outside we had a wander around the small nocturnal village and made use of the free entertainment available, persuaded some friends to go on the funfair rides.

We were in time for the Ravers Champions DJ Sy and MC Storm on the main stage. I was very impressed with Sy’s set tune selection which was spot on. Sy started of with ‘Ur my phantasy’, ‘Product of a devil’ and ‘Angels’. Some great tunes and was definitely more impressive than when I saw him at Digital Circus a couple of weeks back

Sy and Storm one of hardcores infamous and DJ and MC combinations, the pair was working with each other as always. Sy was having a scratch off with MC Storm on the massive outdoor stage proving why they are the Ravers Champions. Storm was getting the crowd rocking and with Sy dropping ‘21st century rush’ the crowd in the car park were reciting with Storm the lyrics to this track.

Sy continued play ‘Sky diving’ remix, ‘If that’s alright with you’ and ended the power hour with ‘Take control’

Next up playing a classics set featuring the dream team of Dougal and Magika. Dougal and Magika were taking us back to the hazy days of Dreamscape and Helter Skelter playing a classic 96-98 hardcore set. Dougal played plenty of hardcore classics to get the crowd singing under the nights stars, with tunes like ‘Feeling fine’, ‘Forever Together’ and ‘Love of my life’.

Magika did a great job of hyping up the crowd and was a complete shadow of himself from when he was booked 12 months ago on an upfront set. Hardcore classic sets from this golden era is Magika’s speciality. During the set Magika was joined on stage by the legendary stage dancer from the old hardcore raves ‘Vinny’. Vinny was stomping on stage getting everyone hyped up and dancing!!

The final set outside on this magnificent stage featured the award wining jungle DJ Nicky Blackmarket alongside one of the original jungle mc’s MC 5ive-0. Nicky was making his presence known, when Dougal was finishing off his set with ‘My way’, Nicky was mixing it up with the jump up classic ‘Bad ass’.

Nicky played a typical oldskool jungle drum and bass set littered with plenty of jungle anthems for the hardcore crowd. Nicky was playing a cross section of drum and bass with anthems like ‘Arsonist’, ‘R-Type’, ‘Pulp fiction’ and ‘Trick of technology’ going through the various years whilst taking the hardcore crowd through a trip journey jungle’s memory lane.

5ive-0 was entertaining the crowd with his familiar style of mcing of preaching and educating the masses of drum and bass etiquette. Spreading a vibe of peace and unity, whilst wearing his infamous torch glasses and fanning himself off even though we were raving outside as it was quite cool.

With this being a predominantly hardcore night the crowd were loving the drum and bass that Nicky was playing as it was still quite busy outside not as busy as before but there was large number of people out here brocking out!

The music on the outdoor stage finally came to an end and we moved onto the club. DJ Re-con was on inside in the main arena as it looked like he had replaced Seduction. A great replacement in my opinion as it’s been along time since I last saw Re-con especially as each time I try and catch me he hasn’t shown as I was disappointed when he never turned up at Digital Circus.

Well he didn’t leave me disappointed tonight!

Re-Con is one of my favourite producers at the moment making plenty of ground breaking tunes with the Raver Baby crew. Re-Con was playing plenty of his own production with tracks like ‘1000 kisses’, ‘Report to the bassline’, ‘Right here’ and ‘Bang 9’.

MC’s Odyssey, Wotsee and Scottie B were all mcing for this set, all sparring with each other on the mic. Scottie B looked very comfortable mcing alongside Odyssey and Wotsee and was rocking the main arena with these two. I guess after performing outside with DJ Kurt on that massive stage showing why he deserved his breakthrough MC award.

Re-Con showed why he won the breakthrough DJ, he has been working in the studio alongside another DJ from Liverpool by the name of Squad-E. Who have been making some ground breaking tunes together along with various remixes. Re-Con continued to play ‘What ever you want me to be’, ‘My direction’, ‘24-7’ before finally finishing up with a remix of the oldskool classic from Jimmy J ‘Take me away’.

Well it came that time 5am and we had a special 2 hour ‘Morning glory’ set from the boss DJ Hixxy. Marley stepped up on the mic for the first hour as Hixxy began to play a classics set taking us back on a hardcore journey playing timeless anthems like ‘Have it all’, ‘Break of Dawn’, ‘Virtual dreams’, ‘Sail away’ and ‘Passion’.

Hixxy started to step up the pace with tunes from the 2003 era with stompers like ‘Sonic’, ‘Paradise’, ‘You’re shining’ and ‘Connections’. Marley was awesome on the stage replacing Whizzkid, who was away tonight. This was also the first time that Marley has performed in the Oxygen arena of Air and truly deserves to MC here on a regular basis.

For the final hour of this 2 hour spectacular MC Storm took over from Marley. Hixxy was showcasing a history of Raver Baby playing plenty of old favourites along side new material from his label. Hixxy continued to feature plenty of crowd favourites like ‘I adore’, ‘Electric’, ‘New years day’, ‘Heavens above’ and ‘The Theme’.

Storm was rocking the party for the final 60 minutes keeping the ravers stomping right to the bitter end. Storm was moving on the stage from left to right bouncing up and down! I don’t know where he gets his energy from especially it was quite humid inside the club on this mid summers night.

Hixxy carried on playing out plenty more Raver Baby classics into the early hours as the sunlight was creeping into club Air. The ravers carried on stomping to ‘Getting better’, ‘Chase’, ‘Come with me’ and ‘Cry’. Hixxy and Storm finally finished the set with ‘Out of space’ into ‘Save me’

Tonight was truly a spectacular event, having witnessed the first outdoor stage 2 years I was really looking forward to tonight purely for the outdoor stage arena.
Unlike the previous outdoor stage tonight they featured hardcore from past present and future. So not only were the top tier DJ’s from the scene were performing out here, but the stars of the future where given the opportunity to play at this phenomenal party.

The ravers were well up for it tonight as it was really rammed and there was really good friendly atmosphere. The artists on the main stage were tremendous really living up to the hype of this event!

The production of the stage was out of this world and was very impressed by the lighting the rig. The sound system out here was awesome and there seemed to have been not a strong restriction on the volume, as it was loud throughout the night right through till 5am.

The only problem I had tonight was having to queue to get from the club to back outside to the main stage. I had to wait 20 minutes to get back outside and with this sweltering heat I didn’t fancy doing that again. In return I ended up missing DJ’s Swan-E and Slipmatt in the oldskool arena. Also with Whizzkid missing tonight I did feel that his presence was missing as it did feel a bit odd with him not here especially during the kick off and morning glory sets with his partner in rhymes MC Storm.

It was definitely well worth the 2 years wait for the return of the outdoor stage, just hope we don’t have to wait as long for the next one!

Massive shouts to Hixxy, Joe, Mark, Chris, Spruce and the HTID crew, Storm, Knight, Darren Styles, Marley, Sunset Regime, Marc Smith, Sy, Nicky Blackmarket, Magika, Re-Con, Robbie Dee, Ben from Up the Cut, Odyssey, Wotsee, Twista, Faydz and Brookzy, Scott Brown, The Doctor, Dougal, Swan-E, Vinny, Mark, Bubble and Scottie B from Jellybeanz Flyin and Charmy.

Big Respects to Sangita (Happy Birthday), Rachel, Lisa Jo and Phil, Zoë and Collette, Sallie, Lozzy, Sarah, Emma and Lou Lou, Mike Fraggle, Andy Legs, Mat KoTR, Nicky and Danny Smithers, Dodgee, Vic, Hannah, Lisa, Julie Delicious, Lucy, Nat C, Mike and Dave Quavers, Slammin Sam, Juicy, Scot Womble, Sharl, Toni, Rooni and the Shrewsbury crew, Hanna, Kev Pikey and Laura, Charlie and James (congratulations), John Buzz B, Heffers, Hayley, Izzy, Turkish and Foggy, Si Overlode and Rob from True hardcore, Jessi, Michael Syz, Wayne Dizzyvibe, Wookie (Happy birthday), Dave, Mark and Emma, Andy form Birkenhead, Brian BK, Marcus Time, Gsus, H100, Jacquie and Leanne, Steph, Keaty, Kel Glow and Damo, Mark Mervin, Stu Gt, Chit Chat, Laura and Mam, Ravid, Hiney, Sketchy, Nick RSI, Dave the rave, Hardcore Paul, Smithy and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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