'The Return of a Legend'
Air (formerly Code)
25th February 2005

It's been along time since an oldskool night has been held in Birmingham. I was quite looking forward to tonight, as I didn't know what to expect seeing as this event was being promoted by the oldskool MC, MC Magika.

Events at Air that are non Godskictchen have to be held on a Friday night as apposed to Saturdays, which they used to be before the beginning of this year. Luckily I have to take off all my holiday before the end of February, so by chance I was able to make the visit tonight.

Well we all met up at New Street as one of my friends made the visit from London tonight for this event. After a short walk we arrived in Digbeth at Air nightclub for 10.30 and was greeted by a small queue. People were able to pay on the door though it was £20 as opposed to pre booked tickets, which were only £13.50 in booking fee. Though I did think that charging £20 on the door was bit steep.

After a brief search and handing over our tickets we were in, headed straight to the main room. The dance floor wasn't too busy when we arrived, the clubs walls were covered in Raveology murals and had a massive banner draped across the ceiling.

I headed upstairs to the Legends of the Dark Black room to find District FM's DJ Astro on the decks. This was were everyone was hiding, as the drum and bass room was busier than the main room. Astro's set was getting everyone in the party mood as MC Biggie accompanied him. Astro was bouncing around really enjoying himself behind the decks as he was playing plenty of party tunes to get the crowd bubbling as he dropped tunes such as 'Twist em out', 'Power of rah' along with others.

This room was hotting up time for me to make an exit, back in the main arena and the DJ was finishing up though I was quite impressed with his scratching as he played 'Sweet harmony'.

Next up were Raveology's residents and also the original MC and DJ team the mighty
Ratpack. The main arena was quite busy whilst they were on, though I was quite shocked seeing that these guys were on quite early playing at 11.
In traditional Ratpack form Everson greeted the crowd with his infamous 'oi oi' though this was ear piercing as the mic volume was extremely loud.

Ratpack played a typical set from them though they did play a few new tunes that I've not heard, one with a vocal called 'I got soul' which sounded quite good, along with the traditional Ratpack tunes 'Found a café' which I never get bored with, ' Brothers and sisters',' Out of space remix' and 'Uptempo'. During this set the dancefloor started to fill up seeing as it did turn 11 and that local pubs would be shutting at this time the Ratpack finished the set with 'Searchin' for my rizla'.

Well after the Ratpack it was the turn of DJ Ratty, Ratty started off the set playing a '93 dark set. The room started to fizzle out whilst he was on which was shame as he played lots of dark tunes, as he started the set with 'Doc Scott's - NHS', 'Mentasm' along with the Basement classic 'New direction' also 'Brothers grimm-Exodus (Lion awakes)' and 'Living in Darkness'. He started to move onto an early drum and bass tip for the later part of his set. Ratty dropped 'The champion sound remix - Return to champion sound' and 'It's a jazz thing'. He ended the set with the Metalheadz roller from the Rufige Kru 'VIP Riders Ghost' which has the amazing 'Everyday in my life' vocal heavy tune should get played more often!!

Next up was DJ Pilgrim, Pilgrim played a 92-94 set as he dropped The Prodigy classics 'Ruff in the jungle',' Out of space', 'Total XTC', 'Hardcore Heaven' even sneaked in a few early happy hardcore tunes as he played Hectic 001 'Ramos and Supreme- Crowd control' and 'Music is so wonderful'.

Well it was PA time featuring Production house's Baby D, Dyce, Nino and MC Micro of MC MC's Rush hour was here to accompany Baby D.

Baby D with MC Nino and Micro started the set with a new upfront drum and bass tune with full on vocals. The main room was rammed especially at the front during the short PA. Baby D played 'I need your loving' and of course performing 'Let me be your fantasy'. It's surprising that they only play a small handful of tunes, as one of my favourite Baby D tunes off the 'Deliverance' album is 'Daydreaming'. I would love it for them to perform that along with many others. But it was good to see MC Micro as I've not seen him in many years as we reminisced about MC MC and other members of the Rush hour posse.

After the PA it was the turn of Raveology resident and Flashback heroine Mistress Mo, Micro and Nino were MCing for her set. Mo played a 92 set featuring some great classics as she started the set with the Moving shadow classic from 'Blame - Music take's you', along with 'Some justice', 'Dub war dance conspiracy', 'MC Lethal's - Rave Digger 'and 'Hypnosis'.

Well after the Mistress it was the turn of the Ravers Choices DJ Vibes. Having spent a majority of the night in the main room I decided to head up stairs. BBC 1-Xtra's Dangerous D was on, MC's $pyda and Bassman were MCin for his set. The room was absolutely rammed in here, it reminded of the sweatbox that was once the chapel room back at the Que club.

Headed back downstairs for the remainder of Vibe's set as he played 'Everybody can be'and 'Freedom' for the latter part. He ended he set with the Kniteforce classic 'Take me away'.

Well next up was the jungle don from London town Nicky blackmarket. Nicky started the set with Krome and Time's ' The Slammer' before taking us on a trip down Drum and Bass memory lane playing plenty of anthems from the yesteryear. He played 'Ratty and Tango's - Final conflict', 'Champion sound' and 'Champion DJ'. The upstairs drum and bass room shut and everyone congregated in the main arena for the last 20 minutes dancing to some oldskool jungle. Nicky upped the tempo playing plenty of jump up tune's as he played the roller from V recordings 'Trouble' along with 'Bad ass', '2 Degrees' and 'Trick of technology' Nicky ended the night with DJ Zinc's remix of 'Junglist'.

Overall I did enjoy the night, as it has been over 6 months since an oldskool night has graced Birmingham. With a good variation of sets from the DJ's though Ratty and Nicky Blackmarket sets did stand out for me. There was a bit of attitude in the upstairs room nothing that I couldn't handle with, but I did notice a few skirmishes. The oldskool crowd downstairs were definitely up for it and really friendly as I did meet plenty of the old Flashback heads from the Que club days here tonight with some new faces as well.

I do think that the MC line-up for the main arena was very weak as really it was Magika, and Everson Allen. Magika didn't really MC much in the main arena for most of the evening. Had someone like Robbie Dee or Mad P been booked it may have been a bit more busier and obviously as its MC's job to keep the crowd lively.

Massive shouts to Mistress Mo, Pilgrim, Vibes, Everson Allen and Lipmaster Mark, Nicky Blackmarket, Biggie Accapello, Bassman, $pyda, Baby D, MC Nino and Micro.

Big respects to Zoe and Collette, Jon Xlr-8, Astro and Faye, Rob Learner, Brain Bk, Vicky, Manny, James from Suburban Sounds, the midlands DNBA forum crew and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
© 2000-2007 www.jungletechno.co.uk