Raver Baby
Event Two
The Empire
Milton Keynes
Saturday 9th July 2005

It's been a massive wait since the first and successful Raver Baby event back in February. Tonight's event featured an awesome line-up that included the Gabba master all the way from Holland, DJ Neophyte and from Germany DJ Rush-Dee, along with the Funktion-One sound system and the recently installed cooling ventilation system.

Will tonight's event live up to the success of the previous event?

We left Birmingham just after 7 and arrived just before 9, having found a space to park up in the nearby Argos car park. We parked the car and headed to the venue. We were greeted by a large queue on this glorious sunny night, with plenty of ravers out in full force I just hoped the cooling system is working tonight. The queue was split into two with guaranteed entry numbers and guest list queue. Luckily I had a guest list place though I found security being quite stringent and tight tonight with myself and other ravers.

Headed to the main arena and again I was very impressed with the production and décor put into tonight's event. Again there were murals covering walls and the balcony around the club, along with numerous inflatables hanging from the ceiling. At the front of the stage was the DJ box with a projection screen advertising the forthcoming event and displaying text messages sent from ravers throughout the night.

CLSM were on and the party was in full flow, with plenty of people raving on the dancefloor. CLSM were playing plenty of breakbeat London style set as they played 'Incomplete Darkness', 'Driftin away', 'Body Slam' remix, and 'Timebomb'. Which went down a treat, it was nice to hear a different style of hardcore as not many DJ's really play much of the break beat stuff.

After CLSM it was the turn of Dougal, I was a bit surprised that there was no MC for Dougal's set. I enjoyed Dougal selection as he played 'Sound without a name', 'Slide away', and 'Gettting Better'. Near the end of his set saw the arrival of MC's Wotsee and Whizzkid getting ready for the kick off set with Scott Brown, Dougal finished his set with 'Drive me Crazy'.

Well it was that time, 'The Kick Off' set featuring Scotlands number one Scott Brown. Scott played plenty of his tunes, which are featured on his Evolution records label. Scott dropped 'Call my name', 'Serial Killer' and 'So about you' before moving onto the Gabba in true Scott Brown fashion. Whizzkid MC and Wotsee were MCin together, it's not often that these two MC's are paired up together. It was definitely different as I thought they both done an excellent job.
It was getting quite hot in the main arena during this set, as I, along with many others were waiting for the air con system to kick in.

After Scott Brown, Hixxy graced the decks along with MC Storm, Storm and Hixxy were playing the crowd into their hands, Hixxy played an incredible set. Hixxy's set included numerous remixes of old classics. As he played 'Let me be your fantasy', 'Keep on tryin', 'Heavens above' and also the new remix of '4am'. The heat was unbearable, MC Storm was throwing bottles of water to the crowd, as the ravers safety are his and the promoters top priority.

I thought there could have been a death as it was seriously intolerable with ravers pushing their bodies to the extreme and it didn't really help with the day being as hot as it was. Hixxy continued to play 'Baby I know your mine' which is definitely a favourite of mine at the moment along with 'Dark like vader'. Also what was annoying is that the sound system was turned down at various points during his set, which not only infuriated myself but also MC Storm too.

After Hixxy it was the turn of Germany's DJ Rush-Dee along with MC Smiley, there was no sign of MC Marley who was supposed to be MCin with Smiley during this set. At this point I decided to head outside, to cool down. The outdoor arena was ideal, not only does it give the ravers a chance to cool down but also an opportunity to mingle with other ravers like the old Sanctuary days. Out here was an ice cream van, which was very appropriate, especially with the heat of the main arena.

After cooling down I headed back to the main arena and Rush Dee was finishing up he played 'We need more core'. After Rush-Dee it was the turn of Raver Baby's DJ Styles with Whizzkid MC on mic duty. A massive cooling fan was erected at the front of the stage, which definitely helped to cool things down to a bearable temperature. Styles played a fantastic set featuring plenty of Raver Baby material, which included a remix of the Next Generation Stormer 'I belive'. Styles also played 'So Real', 'Cry', 'Do we have to say good bye' and 'I will be'

Next up was the turn of the infamous Neophyte, this was a dirty set and something new for the Raver Baby event. Not a big fan of this hard style gabba, but I did enjoy parts I even recognised the vocal from 'Angels' an oldskool jungle track he played. Odyssey was mcing for the Neophyte set, the crowd were going crazy stomping like loons, though after a bit I had to venture upstairs as Vibes and Livelee were on.

Vibes was playing an upfront set with Livelee up here. It was kinda busy in the upstairs arena whilst these two were on, with Livelee on the mic there were plenty of ravers were reciting his lyrics. The system in here kept playing up too as it would go quite on the right speaker during Vibes's mixing which was definitely irritating. Vibes played 'Neck breaker', 'Heaven on Earth', 'Do we have to say goodbye' and the new 'Music so wonderful 'remix.

I found the Future breed arena, which featured plenty of up and coming stars within the hardcore scene. It was really cool in here quite chilly to be honest as it's also the VIP bar, with it's own air con system. This was opened up to the ravers and DJ Shauny C was on playing upfront set. Luckily I was here tonight as I had to let him know that he was playing tonight, what a 21st Birthday present, to play at Raver Baby. Big up Bro!

Well I wandered downstairs and DJ Breeze was on with the MC duo of Storm and Whizzkid. Was amazing to see these guys working together to see how well the MC² partnership has worked. Establishing themselves in a totally different league to other hardcore MC's. Breeze's set was very uplifting with many vocal tracks as he played 'Hold me tonight', '24/7', 'Slide away' and finishing the set with 'I will be'. During this set the promoters had some kind of dry ice cannon to cool the crowd with.

After Breeze it was the turn of Next Generations very own DJ Ham alongside MC Wotsee. It's good to see DJ Ham being booked more regularly in main arenas at larger events, giving him a chance to showcase plenty of his own material from the Next Generation label. Ham played 'Drunk with love', 'In your Life', 'Angel eyes' and 'Hardcore Velocity'.

It was time for the 'Power Hour' featuring DJ SY alongside MC Storm. This was an incredible set from the oldskool legend, in all my years I don't think I've heard a disappointing set from Sy to be honest, I'm glad he continues this trend. I couldn't believe the energy from Storm especially in this heat as the night was physically draining, but Storm was hyping up the crowd keeping them going for that little bit longer. Sy played 'Kick it', 'Pacific sun', also played a tune featuring MC Marley, which had a dirty drum and bass drop to it. Sy finished the night with the new remix of 'Raving I'm raving'.

Again this was an amazing night from the Raver Baby crew.

The heat at the start of the night was very intolerable, though Raver Baby did know about the Empire's problems with the cooling system before hand. So they had over a good month to try and sort this out. As they advertised that a new system had been installed, it looked like that they must have been let down by the club itself. As the promoters themselves tried to make amends by placing a large industrial fan in the front of the stage around 12ish, they were also blowing dry ice into the crowd and giving out free cold bottles of water throughout the night too.

Another problem was the sound system, as the sound engineer kept turning down the system during various points throughout the night. The Funktion-One sound system is a very powerful loud system, as I've heard it numerous times in Birmingham so I know to what levels of bass this system can produce. When it was turned up I was very impressed but it was a shame this sound level wasn't constant throughout the whole evening

Other than that it was really was an amazing night all the DJ's played amazing sets really enjoyed the sets from the Raver Baby trio along with Vibes and SY, I have to take my hat off to the MC's for MCing in the intolerable heat. Especially to Storm and Whizzkid as they MC'ed to 3 sets over the night, under the stage lights which didn't help either, but like true professional these guys soldiered on till the early hours.

The atmosphere was electric very intimate to be honest especially compared to that of Colossus the previous weekend. No trouble from the crowd what so ever even when the heat was very intolerable people continued smiling through their pain. With the outdoor area open lots of people were using it to chill out and get a rest with the ice cream van out here too as it was definitely cool out here with the summer's night breeze. Which reminded me of the old days back at the Sanctuary, as it's actually 1 year (10.07.04) to this day that the last ever event was at this legendary venue.

Massive shouts to Hixxy, Mark & Chris Lambert and the Raver Baby crew, Storm, Whizzkid, Ben + Katie (cheers guys), Breeze, Sy, Vibes and Livelee, G Spencer, Wotsee, Smiley, Ribbz, Odyssey and Alex Energy

Big Respects to Mike and Quavers @ Bornhardcore, Shauny C (Happy 21st Birthday Bro), Heather, Michele, Sarah and the Northampton Girls, Andy Immz + Little Immz, Lucy, Vic, Carrie, Maz, Brian BK, Nikki, Daz Rampant, Andrea, Julie Delicious, Zane, Cruze, Hiney, Sykee, Sarah and Sallie, Stu GT, Lisa and Lee, Andy Legs, Matty, and all the car park crew, Choons.net crew, Astraboy, Obie, Andy M, Pete and the rest of the Ush.net crew also to everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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