Random Concept
‘Innovation warm up to in the sun 2007’
Air Nightclub
Saturday 2nd June 2007

Random Concept touched down back at Air night club after their successful event back in March in conjunction with Metropolis. Tonight was the warm up party for those travelling out this summer Llorett de mar, Barcelona for Innovation in the sun 2007, an annual drum and bass party festival.

Tonight’s line-up featured plenty of back to back specials from the drum and bass world featuring many crowd favourites.

Arrived in Digbeth shortly before 11 and there was next to no queue which I thought was very odd for tonight’s event. There was no queuing but after a stringent search from the security team I was inside the venue within minutes.

Straight for the main arena and it was quite busy but not rammed which was ideal with tonight’s heat. Not only was Random Concept using the in house sound system but also the EV-Lav system from Clearsound. This rig took up most of the space at the front of the arena as they had numerous speaker stacks and subs at the font stage of the main arena.

Random Concept and innovation resident DJ’s Garry K and Ollie where finishing as we welcomed Birmingham’s very own award winning producer, DJ Hazard. Hazard was accompanied by one of the New Breed MC’s Fatman D.

A great set from Hazard to make sure things got kicked off tonight as he was playing tracks such as ‘Beast city’, ‘Don’t be a hero’ and of course ‘Busted’. Hazard was to play back to back with Distorted Minds but instead they played 30 mins each. Distorted Minds took over for the remainder of the set playing tracks from their D-style label which also features TC on the label too, as they dropped ‘Where’s my money’ and ‘Jump’

Next up was one of the back to back specials I was looking forward to tonight featuring the veteran Bryan G alongside DJ Clipz. This set was phemoninal especially with the added touch of having both MC’s Eksman and the Birthday boy MC Fearless! Bryan Gee opened the set with a remix of Roni size’s ‘Fashion’, the bassline from this track rippled through the crowd in the main arena.

Bryan proceeded to play ‘Trust me’, ‘Back to your roots’ and ‘Snapshot’, MC’s Fearless and Eksman where doing a grand job at hyping up the crowd. With Eksman spitting his lyrics left, right and centre combined with Fearless’s party crowd hype, a perfect combination which the ravers were enjoying thoroughly. Fearless didn’t stay for too long as he had to jet off to his birthday party at the Brixton Mass.

Clipz took over from Bryan G and played ‘Warhead’ remix’ ‘Wheres’ my money’, ‘Get Closer’ and ‘Axel Grinder’ MC Foxy joined Eksman when Fearless left.

Following on was the turn of Futurebound and Matrix with MC Foxy taking over the mic duties. The two where showcasing plenty of their own production work from their album ‘Universal truth’ tonight, with them playing ‘American beauty’ and ‘Knite riderz’. Foxy was great on the mic as he was getting rowdy with the crowd with his hip hop style he was later joined by MC Rhymes on stage.

Half way through the set I headed upstairs to the 2nd arena, tonight was the return of the DJ and MC competition. The DJ and MC competition was whittled down to 6 finalists 3 DJ’s and 3mc’s who were performing up here. The sets from arena 2 were being recorded and judged later by DJ Friciton and MC Eksman.

When I arrived in the Nitrogen arena DJ Stanza and MC DAP where on, two budding stars that are making a great name for themselves. The arena was busy whilst these two were and the ravers were looking rather impressed. MC DAP was doing a great job as when you hear him, you expect a big GQ / Dett type character to be on stage, but this was not the case as DAP is quite small and has a very powerful voice for such a small guy !! DAP complimented the music not having to chat ridiculously fast and allowed the music to breathe through out.

The mixing from Stanza was spot on with some cracking tunes as he was playing a mixture of styles from liquid to jump up to some dark tunes as he dropped ‘Watchin windows’ remix, ‘ Number one’, ‘Messiah’, ‘Odyssey’, ‘Phantom Force’ and his track ‘Fuck off’ which features Foxy on the vocal! The arena busy whilst these two budding stars were on and there was plenty of support from the crowd.

Headed back downstairs and caught the tail end of J Magik and Wickaman tonight was also their Album Launch for their forthcoming album ‘Crazy World’. MC’s Bassman and Spyda where mcing on stage, the pair as always compliment each other as they worked up the crowd in the Oxygen arena. Bassman and Spyda one of my favourite mc combinations which works really well every time as the crowd enjoyed the one liners mixed up with the ragga chat.

J Magik and Wickaman were showcasing forthcoming material produced by themselves with some crowd favourites, dropping the likes of ‘Tarantula’, ‘Look to the future’ ‘Spaced invader’ and the self entitled ‘Crazy World’.

Next up was the award winning DJ Andy C accompanied by the MC trio of GQ, Biggie and Tonn Piper. 3 mc’s from 3 of the major drum and bass cities in the UK, this back to back was very interesting from the MC trio. Andy C was amazing as usual with him utilising the mixer to its full potential pulling off some great mixes. The tunes he was playing were spot on, especially when he dropped ‘Dark soldier’ the crowd went ballistic, Andy also played ‘Be true’, ‘Aliens’ and ‘Ladies night’.

The MC trio worked quite well, with the MC’s taking turns on the mic with Biggie and GQ’s big voices rippling into the crowd and Tonn piper hyping up the crowd with his flowing lyrics. In true Andy C form he was carrying out some great teases as Andy sneaked in ‘ Night flight’, ‘Pacman’ and ‘Nosher’ within his set.

Following on from Andy C was the Full Cycle duo featuring Krust and Die, I really enjoyed this set. There were lots of dubplates being from them which went down really well. They also played current crowd favourites such as ‘Who’ remix, ‘Downlow’, ‘Number one’, and ‘Chatting rubbish’. MC Skibadee was on and hyped up the crowd with his lyrics, Skibadee was very impressive and was showcasing lots of new lyrics along side his classic ones for the crowd to participate with.

Closing the night was the set I was looking forward to featuring Ray Keith and Nicky Blackmarket. Mcing for the final hour was MC’s Juiceman and Youngman, though they were accompanied MC Trigga who was making a surprise appearance at Air tonight. Nicky and Ray where on back to back, Ray with his infamous style of mixing with some nice rollers thrown in for good measure and Nicky ensuring the party was jumping.

Juiceman and Trigga were great together on the stage, working off each other lyrics very well with the shadow demon mcing they are known for. With Trigga hyping up the crowd from front to back ensuring no-one was left standing. I enjoyed Nicky and Ray’s tune selection with a number of new tunes were played including a tune that sampled Tina Moore’s ‘Never gonna let you go’ vocal along side other tracks such as ‘Where’s my money’ ,’The one’, ‘Dark soldier’, ‘Phantom force’ and ‘Jamrock’ remix.

Nicky closed the night with Shy FX’s Feelings which was the anthem of Innovation in the sun 2005 a great way to send everyone off to Spain with!

Overall I enjoyed tonight, but unfortunately it was not as busy as the previous event back in March. I’m guessing this is mainly due to many people who are saving their pennies for the innovation holiday in just a few weeks time.

The sound system was something different to what I’ve heard before as it was loud and was enjoyable to the ears as you could feel the bass rattle your insides. Where as Valve can be distorted, though at times throughout the night the EV-Lav system did cut out this could be due to the amount of power being pumped into the system.

The night itself was a good night great atmosphere from the crowd with everyone up for it. With the DJ’s playing some great sets particularly Bryan Gee with Clipz and Ray Keith with Nicky Blackmarket as their tune selection was spot on and the mcing particularly from Fearless and Eksman back to back really stood out for me tonight!

Massive Shouts to Mark and Chris Lambert, Presha, Garry K and all the Random Concept Crew, Fearless (Happy Birthday), Eksman, Magika and Jo, Nicky Blackmarket, Hazard, Devise, GQ, Andy C, Rhymes, Biggie, Fatman D, Foxy, Bassman, Juiceman, Trigga, Spyda, Skibadee, Ollie from innovation, Tali, Ripper and Reaction.

Big Respects to Zoë And Collette (Good luck), Lozzy, Sallie and Lou, Escape, Helen (Happy Birthday), Alice and Kirri, Stanza, DAP and Stacey, Manny, Gemma, Blackmajik, Metzie, Pricey, Mikey J, Aimee (Happy Birthday), Sippy, Hollie, Chris, Foggy, Accapello, Lloydy Mark SFX and everyone else whose names I don't know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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