Random Concept
Featuring the Valve Sound System
Air Nightclub
Birmingham
Friday 10th November 2006

After a busy summer of touring the UK Random Concept returned back to Birmingham at Air night club with star studded line-up featuring the some of the best artists in Drum and Bass, who were all backed up by Lemon D and Dillinja’s gut wrenching Valve sound system.

Not only did tonight feature the best names in Drum and Bass but also Random Concept were giving the opportunity for some of the best new talent to shine in Arena 2, running a competition to give the winning DJ and MC to play a prime time spot in the main arena at their next event.

Headed down to Digbeth just before 11 and there was a large queue stretching down the road, with plenty of ravers waiting patiently for tonight’s entertainment. The door staff was enforcing the dress code tonight, of no hood or caps and were asking those to leaves these items in the outdoor cloakroom. Queuing didn’t take too long and after being patted down by the security team we was finally in Air.

Headed straight to the main arena and DJ Steppa was finishing up with MC Magika. Magika was hyping up the early crowd getting them jumping and into the party vibe.

The main arena was quite busy with the doors being opened for just under an hour the crowd already bouncing. You could feel the system in the main arena especially at the front as it was an improvement on the last Valve event at Air. The front of the arena was packed out with numerous speaker stacks on either side backed up with various bassbins rumbling the floors of Air.

Nicky Blacmarket was on next and got the party truly underway with a typical party set from him. Nicky was playing the likes of ‘Alien girl’, ‘Dark soldier’, ‘Warhead’ and ‘Represent’ remixes. MC Eksman was mcing for Nicky and did a grand job of hyping up the crowd and with the ravers reciting his new ‘Nah blud’ lyric along with his classic ‘Semi automatic’ which sent the crowd wild.

With the club being fitted with the Valve system there was not much of a stage here than normal, as there was a small stage at the front of the arena. Eksman was later joined by resident mc, MC Presha. Nicky dropped some ragga in his set as he dropped the infamous ‘Wardance’ remix off Congo natty records which sent the crowd wild and continued to play out ‘Hand grenade ’remix , Blood sugar’ and ‘Holla’.

After Nicky it was the turn of DJ Friction which saw the return of Eksman, these two are definitely tearing down the dance floor recently a great DJ and MCc combination at the moment. Friction’s set was awesome, with him on the decks mixing and cutting up tracks with some big teases. Friction dropped the likes of ‘Game over’, ‘Bell tune’ and ‘Bounce’, whilst teasing in ‘Signal’ and ‘The nine’. When Friction dropped ‘Who’ the crowd went berserk and hearing it on this deafening system was truly mind blowing.

Eksman was joined by MC Fearless and the pair went back to back, these two were battling out it on the mic as they worked the crowd into a sheer mad frenzy. Friction finished the set with ‘Where’s my money’ and teased in ‘Bacteria’.

Following on from this awesome set was the turn of the guv’nor Andy C, Andy started this set off really dark with some dirty grimey tunes that were really ear piercing and stressing the Valve sound system tonight. Shabba D took over from Fearless and was joined briefly by Eksman.

Birmingham’s Drum and Bass dancing troop The Vixens, were dancing for Andy’s set but unfortunately with the layout of the stage it was a shame that you couldn’t get to see them all dance. Though they made the best out of this situation and danced individually hyping up the male audience in the crowd.

Andy’s set featured some classic tunes with the likes of ‘Buck Rodgers’ and ‘Helicopter’. Andy in true form was teasing in ‘Planet dust’ and ‘True romance’ as well as playing upfront slammers such as ‘Back to your roots’ remix, ‘Swamp Thing’, ‘Shadow Knows’ and ‘Holla’. But when Andy dropped the infamous jungle anthem ‘Terrorist’, the reaction he received from the crowd as this was dropped was phenomenal!

After Andy C it was the turn of Accelerated Cultures resident DJ, Garry K. Birmingham’s very own MC Biggie mced for the first half of this rocking his hometown crowd. Garry set was quite interesting playing a remix of an old jungle classic ‘worries in the dance’ along with ‘Jamrock’ and a favourite of mine from Clipz ‘Download’.

Following on from Garry K was Wolverhampton’s Dangerous D I quite enjoyed this set from Dangerous and was impressed with his DJ skills especially his scratching! Tune selection was good too as he played ‘Who’, ‘Holla’ and ‘Creeper’ remix. The shadow demon coalition of Bassman, Spyda and Trigga were on stage, getting rowdy with the crowd with their infectious lyrics and Spyda complementing the music with his ragga style.

It was time for the godfather of drum and bass the one and only Grooverider. Grooverider these days is now using final scratch to mix his records off with playing plenty upfront tunes and dubs. Grooverider was teasing in the intro of both ‘Who’ and ‘Bounce’ and rewinding the intro just before it dropped which he done several times big tease!!!

Penultimate set of the night came fro the duo behind this awesome sound system Dillinja and Lemon D. A good set from the Valve pair testing their system with some bass rattling tunes playing as they played ‘Who’, ‘Holla’, ‘Feels like I’m alone’ and ‘Back to your roots’ remix. MC Ryhmes mced for the first half of this set getting the crowd rocking, I’ve not heard him before but enjoyed what I was hearing.

Dillinja and lemon D continued to play a new remix of ‘Who’ interesting but not touch on the original, ‘Hand grenade’ remix and ‘bell tune’.

Final set of the night came from the Charge recordings awesome duo Mampi Swift and IC3. In true Mampi Swift form he was playing a very fast and furious set from the word go, double dropping and teasing in plenty of tracks. Swift opened the set with ‘Special place’ and continued to play ‘Style baby’, ‘Voodoo people’ remix whilst teasing in ‘Dubplate’ and ‘Rah’

IC3 was doing a grand job for the final 60 minutes keeping the ravers on their toes and entertaining the crowd which he does best!

It’s been quite some time since Random Concept visited Air well over 6 months and worth the wait the main arena was busy all night and the sound system was a slight improvement from the last time that valve came down here. With how big the Valve system is and the size of the night club it did restrict the extent of how loud the system can go and the amount of the valve system being installed.

The main arena was rocking all night, the ravers were out in force out to hear the Valve system once again in Birmingham. I would of thought the 2nd arena could have been a bit busier but it’s good to see Random Concept supporting the talent breaking through and allowing the future stars to shine at a prestigious event like this.

The DJ’s played some wicked sets and Friction’s set once again stood out for tune selection was spot on and with both Eksman and fearless rocking the crowd through out this set. I really enjoyed Andy C especially as he sneaked in numerous old jungle tunes and I’d love for someone to host a classic jungle night on this mighty sound system.

Massive shouts to Mark and Chris Lambert, Garry K, Ripper, Presha and the Random Concept crew, Fearless, Eksman, Nicky Blackmarket, Friction, Andy C, Spyda, Magika, Bassman, IC3, Mampi Swift, Dangerous D, LongJohn, Fozz, Escape, Vicky, Sarah, Andrea, Jade and Nike (Vixen Crew), Ryhmes, Darrsion, Trigga, Dillinja and Lemon D.

Big respects to Zoë and Collette, Munkeh, Amy and Chris, Andy Trackin, Alice and Kirri, Gemma, Duckaz, Witts, Missy, Kayleigh, Sam, Alpha, Chris Blunt, Brian BK, Robe$, Dap, Drum and Bass Arena / DSI Crew, and everyone else whose names I don't know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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