Raveology & Legends of the Dark Black Presents:
MC Bassman Birthday Bash 2007
Air Nightclub
Saturday 14th July 2007

After the massive success of last years prestigious event Raveology and Legends of the Dark Black teamed up once again to present MC Bassman’s birthday bash in his hometown Birmingham at Air nightclub.

MC Bassman is an iconic figure within the rave scene particularly in the drum and bass world. Having a career dating back for 20 years, Bassman is an influence to many of today’s mc’s not only in the drum and bass scene but across the board. Tonight once again we celebrate with him and pay our respects to the one they call Bassman.

Tonight’s line-up was once again hand picked by Bassman featuring plenty of artist’s from across the drum and bass world, with the main arena featuring many artists from the classic jungle era.

Arrived at Air shortly after 9 and there was an enormous queue that stretched back down Heathmill Lane, I noticed that there was a heavy police presence tonight with making sure things ran smoothly. Tonight was strictly a ticket only event but yet there were many people who had made the journey expecting to gain entry without a ticket.

The security team were tight but fair, they were enforcing tonight dress code of no hoods and caps. After receiving a thorough search from the security team headed to the oxygen and was greeted by the sounds of Wolverhampton’s very own duo Dangerous D with MC Red Bandit.

Dangerous D was on warming the crowd the main arena featured a large stage at the front for Bassman and his comrades to perform on. Above the DJ box were 2 large projector screens which was displaying birthday messages to Bassman from various high profiles celebrities including Tim Westwood, Carl Cox, Goldie and Roni Size to name a few.

MC Red Bandit opened up the night on the mic as he warmed up the crowd. Dangerous D was playing plenty of new dub plates as he played his own remix of the Nebula II classic ‘Anthema ’ Dangerous continued to play ‘Fear of the future’ and ‘Beast City’.

Headed upstairs to the Nitrogen room and Random Concept’s very own Garry K was on, the 2nd arena was starting to fill up in here whilst Gary was on. There was no mc whilst Gary was on allowing the music to do the talking. Garry got the party bubbling in here dropping the likes of ‘Holla’, ‘Pump up the volume’ and ‘Evil streets’.

Back downstairs and 3D Modes DJ Devize was on, the main arena had filled up nicely at this point. The crowd were enjoying Devize’s set of tunes as there was a nice dark selection as you’d expect from Devize deep dark and deranged!

Envy was hyping up the crowd during Devize’s set and was later joined by Juiceman. Devize dropped a number of fourth coming beats off his 3-D Mode label and others as he dropped ‘Deep in the jungle’, ‘Don’t be a hero’, ‘Beast city’ and ‘Worries in the dance’ remix.

Upstairs and oldskool legend DJ Pilgrim stepped up playing a drum and bass set, Pilgrim opened his set with the classic from Ram records ‘Atlantis’. This was a very interesting set from Pilgrim as he was playing more of a 98 - 95 selection with tracks such as ‘ The Pulse’, ‘Circles’, ‘Jungle brother’ and ‘Warning’. A great tune selection from the oldskoool master that was welcomed by the crowd in arena 2 as he gave them a history lesson in drum and bass.

Back downstairs and it looked like Baby D were not turning up tonight as the Shadow Demon’s very own DJ, DJ Sly was on with MC’s Loki, Juiceman and Shaydee who where performing on stage in full military uniform. Really enjoyed this set, really dirty and grimey as you’d expect from the Shadow Demon Coalition.

It came that time for the birthday boy Bassman to make his grand entrance, he was greeted by an ecstatic crowd who gave him a warm reception. The four walls of the main arena was completely full with next to no room at all as was tight like a sardine tin!

Micky Finn, Darren Jay and L Double performed a 3 way back to back special with the three teachers of mcing Bassman, Lenni and Mad P. Mickey Darren and L Double started off playing a jungle selection dropping in classics such as ‘Pulp fiction’, ‘Dark soldier’, ‘Bass II dark’ and ‘P-funk era’.

The three oldskool masters where in the element as they hyped up the crowd with Mad P’s infectious lyrics , Lenni hyping skills and Bassman getting dirty and nasty with the crowd. Bassman and Lenni were sparring with each other over the mic like the old days at the Institute!

The Narni shakers came on stage and strutted their stuff as they stimulated the male audience in the crowd. Micky, Darren and L Double stepped up the pace as they started to play some upfront drum and bass as they played ‘Busted’ and ‘Game over’, Trigga joined the three teachers on the mic.

It was announced by Bassman that tonight will be finishing prematurely at 4.30 as opposed to 6am as advertised, but this still didn’t dampen the spirits of the ravers inside.

DJ Sly filled in for Kenny ken as he was running late due to the commotion happening outside. Sly played an upfront set and kept it nasty as he dropped ‘Fuck headquaters’ and ‘Beast city’. The full Shadow Coalition where on stage rocking the main arena getting rowdy with the crowd.

Kenny finally arrived and played an upfront selection was a good set but was expecting some classic drum and bass from the original jungle don. Kenny’s mixing was immense keeping the records going as expected and he drew some great tracks. There where plenty of dubs being showcased as Kenny dropped ‘Everyman’ remix and ‘Immaculate conception’. Birmingham’s Biggie and Bassman were rocking the crowd during this set with Biggie hyping up the crowd as he does whilst Bassman got dirty.

Final set of the night came from another jungle legend the one and only DJ Randall. Randall continued where Kenny had left off with an upfront selection. Biggie continued to mc and held down the stage. Randall dropped a number of rollers throughout this set as he played ‘Phantom force’ remix, ‘Mr Happy’, and ‘Get closer’, midway through the set Fearless arrived.

Randall flipped the switch and played a classic jungle selection which sent the crowd wild. Fearless true to form hyped up the crowd with his lyrics and party style mcing that he owns. Fearless was mcing over classics tracks such as ‘Valley of the shadows’, ‘Babylon’, ‘Set Speed’ and DJ Rap’s classic ‘Spiritual Aura’ sending the crowd ecstatic!

At the end of the night Biggie got the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to MC Bassman.

After the success of last years event many people wanted to come and party with Bassman but this proved the Bassman bash is far too small to be held at Air. With hundreds of people turning up without tickets, even though tonight was strictly a ticket only event it did not deter those who arrived.

This caused a nightmare outside and delayed people getting into the venue, which resulted with the police having to turn people away. Not only did this effect the ravers but also a number of artists, including Fabio which resulted to night being closed off early.

I enjoyed tonight but was disappointed in the no show of Baby D, but this gave way for DJ Sly to showcase his talent to wide audience. I was impressed with the mcing from Bassman, Lenni and Mad P, I do think they should be booked more often in the main arena over a classic jungle set. It was Randall’s set that really stood out for me with his tight mixing and tune selection 2nd to none hence why he is ‘Daddy Randall’.

The atmosphere inside the event was subdued at the beginning of the night as a number of people were annoyed with the shenanigans going on outside as you’d expect. But it didn’t really ruin the vibe of the night overall. The crowd where still up for it and weren’t too disheartened as they partied hard, enjoying the tunes throughout right till the 4am finish calling for Randall to play more tunes!

Massive Shouts to Magika , Jo and the Raveology Crew, Lenni and Jo, Fearless, Mad P, Bassman (Happy Birthday), Pilgrim, Fozz, Biggie, Escape, Gary K, Presha and Ripper, Micky Finn, Darren Jay, Spyda, Juiceman, Trigga, Kenny Ken, Randall, Kirstie and the Narni Shakers, Devize, Sly, Shaydee, L Double, Mr Kid, Longjohn, Ned Ryder, Alpha, PM, Ref Bandit, Derspa, Chris and Darryl, Helen, Manny, Kizzi, Lloydy, Gemma and Sue, Hollie, Sippy, Josh, Aaron, Foggy, Mairead, Duncan, and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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