Slammin Vinyl presents
The NEC Arena
New Years Eve 2008
Wednesday 31st December 2008

Tonight Slammin Vinyl headed to the heart of the country to present their end of year finale at the prestigious NEC. This has now become an annual fixture in the raving calendar since its first fixture back in 2005. The venue is able to hold over 15,000 party minded party people under one roof with 3 massive arenas of Hardcore - Drum and Bass and Hard Dance making tonight one of the biggest underground New Years Eve parties of 2008!

The NEC is an ideal location for party of this magnitude as it is located in the middle of the country and is easily accessible on all the major motorway routes. We got to the venue shortly before 10 and parked up in the patrolled car park. Having parked up we headed straight for the box office and joined the queue, queuing didn't take too long and once again was being done inside away from the elements. After a thorough search from the security we found our friends and headed straight for the massive hardcore arnea.

Slammin vinyl and their production team totally went to town as they transformed the NEC into a nocturnal mini festival. The layout was completely different to my previous visit back in 2006. Taking the main stage inside the NEC arena was HTID vs Hardcore heaven this arena was really breath taking and shows how massive hardcore's following has become in the last few years.

Walked straight into the Hardcore arena and could hear a remix of the hardcore classic 'Take me away' blaring out from this colossal speaker system.

The production was truly breathtaking inside the hardcore arena a technological showcase, as there where 9 massive LED panels that lit up the stage added with a further LED panel that covered the front of the dj box too which was counting down right through to 2009. The NEC arena would normally stage various concerts throughout the year that's what I felt like being in here tonight.

The main arena was filling up rather nicely during whilst Re-Con ensured the ravers where bouncing throughout his set as he laid down tracks such as 'Cut & Recycle' '1 2 3 4', 'Dance' and 'All I wanna do', 'Tell me'. Whizzkid was rocking the crowd complementing Re-Cons bouncy style with his beatboxing before Re-Cn closed off with 'Sorry'

Final set of 2008 came from the Quosh Records duo of Chris Unknown and MC Storm. Good to see Unknown playing a momentous set of 20008 showcasing many of the big tunes from the past year along with the production work from the Quosh label including 'Rise again', 'Clit commander', 'Don't leave me now' and 'Burning love'.

Storm was fantastic ensuring the crowd were all hyped up throughout the final hour of 2008 as rocked the crowd into a mad frenzy. Unknown continued to play 'come running', 'Sure feels good to me', 'Only for you' and 'Now you're gone' remix.

For the end of year finale Chris unknown played Daren Styles awrd winning 'Flashlight' which was voted the best track of 2008 .Storm called for everyone to find their friends and close ones as he prepared for the countdown.

It had reached 23:59:90 Storm, Whizzkid and the 10,000 ravers inside the NEC arena counted out the final 10 seconds of 2008 and welcomed in 2009

The main arena exploded and was ignited by an array of pyrotechnic firework whilst the crowd was littered with confetti bombs with the laser that cut through the crowd. Whizkzid and Gammer performed the first hardcore set of 2009 with Gammer opening up with his award winning track of 2008 'Let it shine' remix.

There was a good buzz throughout the crowd during this set with everyone feeling rather euphoric and Gammer complimented this with tracks such as 'Take me away', ' 1,2,3,4' , 'Why does my heart' and 'Horns of Jericho'

Mid way through the set I headed over to the Drum and bass arena to catch the remainder of Ganja records head honcho DJ Hype who had just performed the midnight set.

The Drum and Bass arena was hosted by One Nation and Random Concept and I was quite surprised to see how small this arena was compared to previous years as the drum and bass arena had been scaled down.

There was a large stage at the front of the arena with a massive lighting rig that covered the DJ box along with a number of large speaker stacks either side of the stage.

The atmosphere in here was quite electric at this point, with the ravers having just celebrated the New Year. IC3 ensured the ravers were kept buzzing with his lyrics whilst hyping up the crowd. Hype was rocking the drum and bass junglists with a very upfront front as he was dropping current crowd favourites such as 'Can you feel it ?', 'Machete', 'World of hurt' and 'Oi (Who)' and 'Mr Happy'

After this set I headed over to the oldskool arena to find Random Concept trio of Garry K Dollar and Presha performing in here. The Oldskool arena was small but there was quite rather intimate vibe in here.

Garry K and Dollar was playing amixture of recent drum and bass favourites along with jungle classics as they dropped 'Dual voltage', 'Watchin' windows', 'Ding dong bass' and 'Valley of the Shadows'.
New year eve is notorius for the amount of events being on and it was lookin like that marc smith was running extremely late in the oldskool arena so I headed back to the Hardcore arena in time for Squad-E and MC Storm.

Squad-E's selection was spot on with lots vocally stuff from Raver Baby being played including 'Doesn't Matter', 'Cut & Recycle' 'Feel like I feel' and 'Tricky Disco'. Storm was rocking the crowd in the early hours of 2009 taking full advantage of this massive stage whilst keeping the ravers on their toes.

Midway though the set I headed back over to the drum and bass arena and caught the Shogun Assassin DJ Friction. This was one of the sets that I was really looking forward to tonight and the pair did not disappoint at all.

Friction opened up the set with Original Sin's monster anthem 'Dr Feel good and proceeded to play 'Can you feel it', 'One finger test', 'Clear skyz, and 'Pulp Ficiton' Eksman accompanied Friction these two are a formidable force on the drum and bass circuit a great dj and mc team of recent times.

Eksman rocked the crowd in here hyping them up with his lyrics ensuring no-one was left standing still. This was complimented with Friction hi-octane mixing as he was double dropping and teasing numerous tunes throughout using the mixer to it full potential Friction continued to roll out with 'In love' , 'Be true', 'Mr Happy' 'Overfiend' before closing off with 'Planet dust'.

Over in the Hardcore arena hardcore legend DJ Dougal was playing the penultimate set of the night. As expected he was playing a very uplifting and euphoric set which kept the crowd bouncing as he was dropping 'First serve', 'When I close my eyes', 'Phase 2 Phase', 'Through the Darkness' and '1 2 3 4'.

From one legend to another as over in the drum and bass room closing off the arena was the hardest working dj on the scene Nicky Blackmarket. Nivcky opened up with a remix of a drum and bass classic 'Turn on the heat' which went down really well in here.

The black tarantula aka mc Spyda was doing the mic duties in here toasting the music with his ragga chat that works well with drum and bass especially when nicky dropped the ragga jungle classic from Congo Natty 'Code Red'. Nicky ensured no-one was left standing still for the final 60 minutes as he laid the slammers including 'Muzik', 'Offline, 'One finger test' and 'D is for danger'.

Midway through the set we decided to call it a day and go home.

What a night from the Slammin Vinyl team down at the NEC arena in Birmingham an impressive show to say the least.

The NEC event itself now being in its 4th year is a complete former shadow to the first event back in 2005 especially with the dramatic change mainly with regards to the queuing system which once was rather notorious with people having to wait a good hour or 2 where as tonight waits were rather minimal.

With the various arenas spaced quite far apart from each other there was no sound leakage from each of the different arenas that have plagued the NEC in the past. These things have really improved over the years making the NEC a very enjoyable night out.

As always the artists were putting on a fantastic show across the various arenas Friction and Eksman was one of my favourite sets of the night along with Re-Con and Storm and the midnight set from Gammer and Whizzkid.

The production was rather remarkable as I was well impressed with the Hardcore arena as this was rather mind blowing, the sound system in here was top notch too! All night the hardcore arena was ram jammed showing how much hardcore has come along over the past few years with a following that constantly keeps growing each and every year.

From walking into the NEC there was a really electric atmosphere that buzzed from arena to arena that could be felt all night. The ravers were all out in force tonight ensuring that 2008 was given a great send off, here's to 2009!

Massive shouts to Grant, Michael Darren and the Slammin Crew, Storm, Whizzkid, Eksman, Friction, IC3, Hype, Spyda, Nicky Blackmarket, Garry K, Presha, Ripper and the Random Concept Crew, Re-Con, Gammer, Chris Unknown, Marc Smith, Wotsee, Static, Enemy, Casper, DJ Andy, Kurt, Biggie, Ric at the Night Times Shaun, Jules, Lisa and Phil, Sallie, Lozzy, Scottie B, Matt KotR, Sarah, Emma, Lloydy, Ben and Sam, Nelza, Alpha, Foggy, Izzy, Mitch and Gem, Clodhopper, JB-C, Damo, Hatty, D-Ice, Sketchy, Saz, Alana, Phill Noize B, Jade & Vizzy, Amy, Vawny, Anna, Emily, Phil Friciton, Graham & Psychosis, Sippy, Emma, Powertoolz and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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