Saturday 6th May 2006
It’s been a massive wait since the last Raver Baby event the last being in the summer of 2005. Since the Empire club in Milton Keynes lost its licence late last summer, Raver Baby has been struggling to find a home to hold their events.
Tonight saw Raver Baby use the Brunel rooms in Swindon, the Brunel rooms is the home of The Fruit club, an established hardcore night in the West Country. Raver Baby packed their bags and headed down to Swindon.
Leaving Birmingham we headed down the m40 and through oxford we arrived in Swindon for just before 11. The Brunel rooms is located in Swindon town centreand is located close to the shopping centre, we parked up in the near by Sainsbury car park and headed directly to the club.
There were quite a number of ravers still queing outside We was greeted on the door by Hixxy and the Raver Baby team
To my surprise found that Breeze was on and tearing down the roof with Storm and Whizzkid on the mic. As originally billed at this time was The JB Project but it looked like with the place reaching full capacity they brought the Kick Off set an hour early.
The main arena was heaving especially at the front of the arena a total contrast from two weeks earlier at the Fruit club. Storm and Whizzkid were in full party mode hyping up the crowd with Breeze laying down the hardcore slammers, as Breeze dropped ‘Dark like vader’, ‘Connections 2006’ , ‘Getting better’ and ‘Slide away’. Soon as Breeze dropped ‘Slide away’ for his last tune, the crowd reacted with sheer ecstasy and were in full karaoke mode singing along with last year’s number one hardcore anthem.
After Breeze it was the turn of The JB Project formally known as the Jellybeanz Crew. The layout of tonight was immense as Raver Baby brought in their own sound rig which was booming the capacity crowd’s ears. The lighting and production was spot on, as the whole club was totally transformed, with a fine lighting rig including a full on laser show and looked totally different compared to my previous visit’s to the Brunel rooms.
The main stage was still here but the DJ booth was cut off with fencing at the front of the arena allowing the MC’s and stage dancers to take full advantage of the stage, at the back of the stage was a set of keyboards and other bits of equipment for Kev Energy and the Nu Energy PA.
Headed downstairs and caught the end of the set from the oldskool legends the mighty Ratpack. The Ratpack had swapped set with DJ Faydz and decide to play an hour early. The oldskool arena was rocking and covered with oldskool til I die banners which were dotted around the arena along with smiley faces hanging from the ceiling. The DJ box was decked with military issued camouflage
The Ratpack were palying more breaks as opposed to true oldskool which went down really well they also threw in plenty of crowd pleasers such as ‘On a ragga tip’ and ’Don’t go’. The Ratppack played a breaks remix of their chart topper ‘Searchin for my rizla’. Lipmaster Mark finished the set with ‘Raving I’m raving’, Evenson a true entertainer that he is got the crowd singing along and getting the crowd to take off their ‘raving shoe’ and wave it in the air! It can only happen at a rave, magical stuff!!
Following on from the Ratpack was the turn of DJ Faydz, I really enjoyed this set from Faydz, he didn’t stick to your typical 92 anthems playing a host of tunes from the golden rave era along with a few nu-skool breaks thrown in for good measure. Faydz tune selection was top notch with him playing ‘Hurt you so’, ‘Express urself’ a nuskool breaks remix of the Prodigy classic ’No good (start the dance)’ and ‘Never Lost his Hardcore’ awesome tune a fully deserved its rewind.
MC Brooksy was mcing for the first half of his set, but Whizzkid MC took over down here. Really enjoy Whizzkid mcin over oldskool but better late than never as the original detonator Robbie dee finally arrived and took control of the crowd. Arriving late due to a Hungarian driving the bus he was travelling on with Robbie having to give him directions this can only happen in Robbie dee’s world!!!
I was very impressed with Faydz Scratching as he was throwing everything out of the bag for tonight’s crowd especially playing in his hometown!! Even Whizzkid MC was getting in the thick of it, raving it up in the crowd for the remainder of Faydz’ set.
Back upstairs and DJ Brisk was on with MC Wotsee on the mic, Wotsee was on the mic hyping up the crowd he was also joined by the lovely Sallie and Sara dancing on stage! Brisk was playing a stompy set lots of people bouncing around to his Next generation beats with him dropping ‘Flowing free’ and ‘Rip roar’, before ending the set with some harder stompy stuff as Brisk played ‘What the hood made me’ and finishedx up with ‘Break free’
After Brisk it was set that I was looking forward to from the legendary duo of Force and Styles. Force and Styles were magnificent as the whole arena was completely rammed to full capacity whilst these two were on. There was hardly any room to move in the main arena, though I found my space at the back of the venue to have a good old stomp!
Force and Styles were playing an oldskool set featuring many of their own tunes and plenty of dance floor slammers from the 96-97 golden era of hardcore. Force and Styles started off with ‘Pacific sun’, and moved onto ‘Here I am’, ‘Steam train’, and ‘Don’t go away’. Whizzkid MC was mcing for this set but would of loved MC Junior to have been mcing as that would have been the icing on the cake for this classic set. To be fair though Whizzkid was doing an awesome job, as the heat in the arena was reaching boiling point.
It wouldn’t really be a Force and Styles set if they didn’t play either ‘Pretty green eyes’ or ‘Heart of gold’ which they did and went down a Storm with the crowd singing along they also played a few more anthems from 97 dropping in ‘Eye opener’ and ‘Shooting star’, educating those new to hardcore ! Force and Styles finished off with the duet from MC Junior and Jenna ‘Paradise and dreams’
If that weren’t enough Dougal was on downstairs with MC Magika playing a classic ESP Dreamscape set. The oldskool arena was rammed whilst these two were on, to be honest I was quite impressed with MC Magika during this set. Oldskool from these golden years is his forte, a total contrast to when I saw him last summer at HTID. Dougal was playing through the years starting off with the more 94-95 breakbeat stuff like ‘Air head’, ‘Higher love’ and ‘Peoples party’. Then through to the bouncier side 96-97 with ‘Forever together’, ‘Follow the sun’ and ‘Toytown’ and throwing in plenty of vocal tracks in for good measure with ‘Love of my life’
This set was a journey through the times and years of Dreamscape the tunes that were once played at the Sanctuary and Shepton Mallet both home to the legend that is Dreamscape.
Following on from Dougal and Magika it was the turn of the RSR crew Ramos and Supreme with MC Knight on the mic. I wasn’t impressed much with the first half of their set as I know they can play better and decided to head upstairs for Hixxy and Storm.
Hixxy and Storm were tearing the roof down in here once again the arena was rammed like a sardine tin especially at the front. Hixxy rocked the crowd with ‘Bass X’, ‘Suck my …!’, ‘All night long’ and ‘Wanna be free’. Storm was tremendous on the mic taking full control of the crowd. The heat was starting to take it toll so I decided to retreat back downstairs to the oldskool arena.
Ramos and Supreme were still on in here with many people using the arena to chill out in, but the tunes these guys were now dropping was something else. They played plenty of my favourites like ‘Incognito’, ’Sun always shine’, ‘I believe’ , ‘Life force generator’ and ‘The Terminator’. MC Knight was mcing for this set hyping up the crowd with his classic lyrics, great to see this oldskool legend still rocking things!
Ramos and Suprmee ended the set with ‘Ravestation’ awesome tune, next up was the drum and bass oldskool master, the one and only Nicky Blackmarket.
Nicky Blackmarket’s set was a history of jungle / drum and bass, Nicky was playing through the year’s starting off in ’93 playing up to the ’98. Educating the ravers with his tune selection as he played DJ Rap’s ‘Spiritual aura (get raw)’, the Chart topper from M-beat ‘Incredible’, Mickey Finn’ s jump up classic ’Badass’, the Formation roller ‘Dual Voltage’, DJ Krust’s ‘Warhead’ and finally Nicky finished up with ‘Man of steel’ (superman tune)
MC Five Alive was mcing for Nicky’s set there was quite a fair number of ravers brocking out for Nicky’s set considering that this is a predominant hardcore rave, many people were enjoying Nicky’s selection, with this being the final set of the night in the oldskool arena I headed straight upstairs back to where the action was.
For the final hour of the night as DJ Sy and Storm were on closing the night with the ‘Morning Glory set’. The power hour from these too was awesome as the club was still rammed with only less than an hour left to go.
Sy and Storm in true fashion played a stormer of a set, Sy was rocking the crowd with tunes like ‘Take control’ ‘U r my fantasy’, ‘Save me’, ‘Cry’ and ‘Kick it’. Storm was immense working under this heat rocking the crowd as he does best into the final minutes of the night. It wouldn’t be a Sy and Storm set without them having a scratch battle against each other.
It was great to finally see Raver Baby return and definitely well worth the wait! The atmosphere form the party people was 2nd to none with everyone up for it. I’ve never seen the Brunel rooms so busy from all the times I’ve been coming down here in Swindon, the place was rammed though with so many people here it did get quite hot in the main arena.
The production was spot on with the club being totally transformed and the sound system in the main are was something else. The DJ’s played excellent sets especially in the oldskool arena as I couldn’t drag myself out of here for most of the night. Force and Styles was definitely one of my favourite sets of the night a proper trip down memory lane.
There were plenty of new faces here at Raver Baby who I’ve not seen at the past hardcore events at the Brunel rooms, so hopefully people will see what a great club this is and will venture down here more often. It was finally great to be back at a Rave Baby event hopefully the wait wont be as long for the next one!
Massive Shouts to Hixxy, Joe, Mark, Chris and the HTID crew, Storm , Whizzkid, Force and Styles, Wotsee, Breeze, Nicky Blackmarket, Sharkey, Ramos, Supreme, Knight, Caspar, Ronni G, Dougal, Magika, Lisa Marie, Faydz, Mark One, Evenson Allen and Lipmaster Mark, Smiley, Robbie Dee, Steve Uplift and Kaylene (Congrats), Zoe from Fruit Club, Flyin and Charmy.
Big Respects to Shaun, Mike Fraggle, Leanne, Lisa, Arwen, Andy Legs, Mat Kor, John Buzz-B, Gillian, Annabelle, Compulsion, Caddy, Juicy, Womble, Roony and the Shrewsbury crew, Andrea, Sallie, Sara and Lou Lou, Saz, Izzzy, Jay Nixxy, Adam Harris, Clare, Nick RSI, Foggy and Maggie, Pete Komplex, Wookie, Staci from True hardcore , Brian BK, Charlie and James, Paul Jessop, Gemma, John McGuiness, Chris Roach, Astraboy, Johny G, Little Immz, Bonna, Pure Blood and the Bromsgrove crew, Wookie also to everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.
Written by Xtra-C
Flashbackin' & Rewindin'