Hardcore Till I Die VS Raver Baby
’Forever Hardcore’
The Corn Exchange
Cambridge
Friday 14th October 2005

The Hardcore Till I Die promotion are known for trying something new for their events as they were the first Hardcore promoter to bring Hardcore to the Ministry of Sound, London. Tonight they packed up and took Hardcore to the Corn Exchange in Cambridge. The Corn Exchange is an old Victorian building, a multi purpose venue used for staging live concerts and exhibitions.

This was a special event as it featured two massive live PA’s from Raver Baby and Essential Platinum, both showcasing their classics and forthcoming material.

We left Birmingham and headed up to Cambridge via Bedford along the M1, The Corn Exchange was easy to locate as it’s close to the lion yard car park which was sign posted once we were off the motorway. The Corn Exchange is only a short walk from the Lion yard car park, were we were greeted on the door by co-promoter Joe.

We entered building and entered the foyer with plenty of ravers congregated in here. Though what I did notice was the heat which hit yourself soon as you entered the building headed to the cloakroom and dropped off my coat before heading to the main arena.

Headed straight to the main arena and I felt the heat straight away as it was quite warm in here, which surprised me especially being in the middle of October too! I arrived just in time for the Raver Baby PA.

I was very impressed by the production as this the Corn Exchange is used for exhibitions, and concerts there was a massive stage at the front of the main arena which gave it a concert feel to the party. The sound system was powered by the mighty Funktion-One system which was loud! There was massive backdrops featuring the Raver Baby logos and at the front of the stage the keyboards and other bits of paraphernalia was setup ready for the live PA.

MC’s Storm and Whizzkid introduced the PA as they started the PA with Hixxy’s tune ‘R U Ready’. Lisa Abbot was on the mic as she sang ‘Getting Better’ with the crowd singing along with her. This was also the first time that I heard Darren Styles singing as he sang ‘ Your my angel’ and what a response he got for singing live on stage. Not only did they have the vocal tunes sang live but obviously the Raver Baby MC’s had a major involvement with tune such as ‘ Nightmare’, ‘Dark like Vader and ‘End of Time’.

Karen Danzig who sang Heartbeats was also here singing live along with Mike Da Scarla of Ultrabeat fame aka DJ Recon as both have had chart success with ‘Heartbeatz’ and ‘Pretty green eyes’.

After the first PA it was back to the action as Scott Brown took control on the decks with MC Odyssey on mic duty. Scott Played a good set he played he started off the set with the Elysium mega mix last time I heard this was Slammin new years 03, he also played ‘Be Happy’,’ Bring me round to love’ and ‘ Keep Taking drugs’ before playing some hard style gabba . The crowd were stomping during the gabba Scott ended the set with ‘Boomstick’

Next up was Seduction and MC Rude, Seduction played the new remix of ‘Keep on trying’, at this point I decide to have a wonder and find some were to cool down. There was not a proper chill out area though I found somewhere to keep cool as they had one of the fire exits open to allow some fresh air in, which did help me and others cool down.

Back to the main arena and Hixxy was on with the MC duo of Storm and Whizzkid. Hixxy was playing a 95 onwards Hardcore set. There was a large fan at the front of the stage and the venue security was giving out cold water to the ravers. What I noticed was the large presence of the HTID staff walking around the venue to curb attitude and bully boy behaviour.

Hixxy played an awesome set really enjoyed his set as it was a trip down memory lane as he started the set with ‘Time bomb’ and then played ‘Higher love’, ‘Passion’ and ‘Surrender’. Storm and Whizzkid were MCing on stage working up the crowd MCing off each and getting crowd to recite their lyrics’ Hixxy continued to play ‘ Elysium’, ‘Discloand’ and ‘ Is this love’ an awesome tune before finishing the set with ‘Field of dreams’.

After Hixxy it was time for the 2nd PA of the night featuring Essential Platinum with Dougal, Gammer, Micky Skeedale and MC Smiley introducing and MCing throughout the PA. Dougal’s dad was even here to film the PA was good to see him again!
The Essential Platinum crew started off the set with ‘Still the one’ which had Lisa Marie singing live her voice was truly amazing very angelic! To get the PA going they had some pyrotechnic Fireworks before littering the dance floor with Confetti.

Gammer was scratching on the decks with Dougal mixing keeping a constant flow. Jenna joined Lisa as she sang for ‘Through the darkness’. There was plenty of Vocal tracks being played with both singers singing but I was really taken back by Lisa Maries voice, they played tunes such as ‘ Drive me crazy’, ‘Ordinary people’, ’Paradise’ and ’Lift me above’.

Next up was Next Generations DJ Brisk along with MC Wotsee on mic duty. Brisk was playing a hard bouncy set with lots of material featured on the fourth coming Next Generation album ‘Vol 3’. Brisk played ‘Crazy love’, ‘In your life’ and ‘Sweet child of mine’. Brisk finished the set with some gabba as he played ‘To you who doubt me’ which saw the dance floor go absolutely mental!

Final set of the night was Sy as he performed the ‘Morning glory hour’ with his partner in rhyme MC Storm. SY played plenty of 95-99 tunes, he opened the set with the RSR classic ‘Life force generator’ and continued to play, ‘Silk Cuts - Vol 4’, ‘Rave heart’ and ‘Life is a mystery’.

Storm was having a scratch battle with Sy throughout the set, whilst working the crowd into the early hours under the heat.

Sy played ‘Stay With me’ I’ve not heard this tune in ages and brings back memories of Helter Skelter Millennium Jam along with ‘The RIP EP’ another awesome tune! There were plenty of tune’s I haven’t heard in a long while being played in Sy’s as it looked Sy had dug quite deep in his record box for tonight’s set, Sy finished the set with ‘Hold me now’

Overall it was a great night but real shame about the heat as it did let down the venue, the venue itself was superb as it had the massive auditorium giving it the concert feel so fair play to the HTID crew for trying a different venue. With The Empire in Milton losing it’s licence which resulted in September’s Raver Baby event being cancelled this did really make up for it !

The atmosphere was good though it was good to see the HTID promotion staff patrolling the venue as I noticed there heavy presence especially at the front stage, making sure that there wasn’t any trouble from the crowd.

The PA’s worked really well as I enjoyed hearing my favourite Hardcore tunes being sung live and nice to finally put a face to the vocalist’s. The idea of live PA’s is definitely a must and would love to see an event like this again.

Massive shouts to Hixxy, Joe Chris and Mark Lambert, Storm and Whizzkid, Ben and Katie, Rude, Styles, Breeze, Re-Con, Brisk, Odyssey, Wotsee, and Smiley.

Respects to Doug, Lisa, Hannah (happy Birthday), Vic, Nikki, Ronnie, Andy Legs, Rob and Stacie, Lou Lou, Sharl, Julie Delicious, Sarah and the Northampton ladies, Astra, Rob from choons.net, Sallie and Sarah, Phil Friction, Zane, Stu Gt, Matty, Gareth, Charlie, Uplift, Brian BK and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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