The Birmingham Tour
Payback Special
The Sanctuary
Saturday 13th October 2007

After holding a string of successful events at Air Raveology presented the Birmingham Tour with their first visit being held up at the road at the Sanctuary. Not only was this the first part of the Birmingham tour but also the annual Payback special featuring a massive line-up spread across two arenas for a very special price.

Raveology welcomed back a number of favourites into the Sanctuary and there were few special guests from abroad who came to make their Raveology debuts tonight. Headlining tonight was a special b2b not from the artists performing behind the decks but those on the mic, as the New breed crew went back to back with the Shadow demon coalition for the very first time ever.

It’s been quite sometime since a drum and bass all nighter was held at this venue. For those who have not been the Sanctuary before. The Sanctuary was formally known as the Institute, where it held events including Amnesia House, Pandemonium and was also the former home of Godskitchen when it was renamed the Sanctuary.

Headed into Digbeth shortly after 10 when the doors had opened, the queue had reached down the road as people waited eagerly to get inside. Security at the Sanctuary is quite tight as I received a stringent search when I entered the venue.

Headed to the main arena and Raveology’s very own DJ Escape warmed up the crowd inside here. For those who have not been to the Sanctuary, located at the front of the main arena is a large stage and the dj box is situated on an elevated platform.

There is a balcony that overlooks the dance floor along with seating which allows people to chill out without missing any of the music from inside the main arena. The main arena started to full up quite rapidly and Escape was joined by MC Accapello. The crowd were enjoying the set from Escape with him showcasing stuff off his Musik Hertz label as he dropped ‘Fear of the future’ which sent the crowd crazy.

Headed upstairs to the Dragon bar and Random Concept 2007 new talent winners DJ Stanza and DAP were on, this arena was starting to fill up and I was very impressed with pair. Stanza mixing was tight as he played ‘Outter Space’, ‘Satellite type 2’, ‘Dead Dread’ playing a mixture of styles whilst performing a number of teases throughout his mix. DAP was holding down the mic with his deep reverberating voice.

Back to the main arena and the arena had filled up with the ravers bouncing to DJ Escape as he entertained the crowd as dropping the likes of ‘Mr Happy’, ‘Deep in the Jungle’, and ‘Downlow’.

Next up was the man from V recordings Bryan G this was also the start of tonight’s MC back to back special as Fatman D and Shaydee took to the mic. Bryan was rocking the crowd by playing tracks like ‘Keep moving on’, ‘Dubplate’ and ‘Clear Skyz’. Fatman D and Shaydee were well received by the crowd as they got thing rolling in here.

Following on was Wolverhampton’s very own Dangerous D, nice set which kept the ravers bouncing. He was playing a number of tracks from his Shan Counter label alongside ‘Where’s my Money’, ‘Stranded’, ‘ Fear of the future’, and ‘Game over’. Shaydee and Fatman D were joined by MC’s Shortston, and Loki. The four of these where going back to back passing the mic and getting the ravers hyped up interacting with the ravers.

Virus recordings very own duo Ed Rush and Optical took to the decks next and played an upfront set mixed up with a number of dark tunes. Ed Rush and optical got things rolling as they played ‘Dubplate killah’ and ‘Get that girl’.

A majority of the Shadow Demon crew were mcing during this set, Midland Mafia’s Nut cracka joined the Coalition on stage. The crowd were enjoying his flow and charisma as he was bringing his grime style to the drum and bass stage.

Ed Rush and Optical started to get things dark known for their tech style dropping a number of my favourites such as ‘Pacman’, ‘Ladies Night’ and ‘Messiah’ which was welcomed by the Coalition on stage as they stepped and got murky.

Next up was one of the set’s I was looking forward too Micky Finn. This saw the introduction of Bassman, Eksman, Hersbman, Juiceman, Evil B and Foxy all on the mic going off on each as the mc’ed back to back. Foxy made a speech explaining that tonight wasn’t a battle between the two different mc crews but the brining together of both groups.

I really enjoyed Micky’s set a nice selection of tunage as he started off with ‘Ghetto Story’ and moved onto ‘Mr Happy’, ‘Game over’ and ‘Western riddem’. Micky played a number of upfront tracks with a raga influence through out too. The crowd were really ecstatic whilst the two different crews of mc’s where on, as these two mc groups have their own unique style that they brought to the stage.

Hailing all the way down from Sao Paulo, Brazil was DJ Andy who was making his Raveology debut. DJ Andy was on the start of his UK tour and touched down in Birmingham tonight. DJ Andy was spinning a bit of everything ranging from jump up to liquid and dark tunes, dropping ‘Screamer’, ‘Nitrous’, ‘Worries in the Dance’, and ‘Deadline’ a bit of everything really whilst performing a bit of deck trickery when he played two copies of TC’s ‘Jump’.

Midway though his set he lifted off the deck and began to start scratching the record on his knee. The mc’s stop briefly and looked on in amazement by his antics not only that in true Brazilian showboat style he laid the turntable and stood up to scratch the record with his foot !

Following on from the Brazilian was Birmingham’s very own award winning producer DJ Hazard. Hazard was playing a lot of his own material through the set dropped tracks like ‘Super drunk’, ‘Busted’, ‘Selector’ and of course current dance floor slammer ‘Mr Happy’. MC Biggie took to the stage and was rocking his Birmingham crowd with his lyrics as he hyped up the ravers on the dance floor. Hazard closed his set with TC’s ‘Raise the roof’.

MC Shabba and Trigga did the mic duties, the pair ensured no-one was left standing still for the final 60 minutes. It was the turn of the drum and bass legend Grooverider, an interesting set from the godfather. Shabba and Trigga were sparring off each other on the stage rocking the crowd with their energetic style of mcing through this last hour.

Grooverider hooked his ibook to the mixer as he using Serato to choose his tracks and mix off so I had feeling there was plenty of fresh dubs being played alongside a number of party anthems. Grooverider dropped ‘Feelings’, ‘Number one’, ‘Where’s my money?’ and ‘Ska’.

Another successful night from the Raveology crew, the main arena was full to the brim for a majority of the night. The dancefloor itself was ram jammed with next to no room to move, was nice seeing the main arena busy like this.

Felt the production could have been better though I did like the large projector screen which was showing plenty of visuals along with information on forthcoming events and tonight sets time through out the evening.

There were plenty of ravers out in force to show their support to their favourites mc’s during the b2b special tonight. The atmosphere was spot on quite a number of new ravers to Raveology tonight a range of ages where out tonight. It was nice being here making a change from Air, as it has been 3years since a drum and bass event of this capacity has hosted this venue.

Massive shouts to Magika Jo and the Raevology Team, Lenni and Jo, Mickey Finn, Eksman, Bassman, Foxy, Herbman, Shaydee, Bryan Gee, Grooverider, Shabba, Shortston, Fatman D, Evil B, Trigga, Biggie, Juiceman, Nutcracka Macca, Shaydee, Loki, Longjohn, Fozz, Benny, Escape, Hazzard, Accapello, Dangerous D, Red Bandit, PM, Faye boo, Lloydy, Classic and the Eternal Music crew, Dap, Stanza, Gem, Helen, Josh, Aaron, Lady MJ, Cybergroove, Hollie and Sippy, Drakey, Barry and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognize.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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