Magnetik and Broken Minds presents:
Renegade Hardware
Saturday 26th May 2007
The Custard Factory

Part of their UK Tour Renegade Hardware presented their Midlands leg of the tour and landed at the Custard Factory, Birmingham. Renegade Hardware teamed up with Midlands promoters Broken Minds and Magnetik to present a night featuring an all star lineup from the harder,deeper and darker styles of drum and bass. Featuring a number of artists who are pushing the harder beats and adding to the lineup some Electro House, Breakbeat and a dash of oldskool for good measure!

We arrived in Digbeth shortly before 11.30 and to my surprise, there was no queue. After a thorough search from the security team, we were inside the Custard Factory. The pool was emptied and a large marquee was in place to protect the ravers from the elements.

Headed straight for the Kitchen arena to catch Glenn Aston, who was playing a '93 hardcore set dropping tunes such as ‘Let’s go’, ‘Darkage’ and ‘Valley of the shadows’ to warm up the crowd. The Kitchen arena was getting nice and busy with the night still being young.

I decided to leave the Kitchen arena and headed directly for the pool. The production in the pool was really eye catching and I was very impressed.
Located at the front of the pool was a large stage that had been erected and along with a full lighting rig coupled with the laser illuminating within, the marquee appeared a tremendous spectacle!

There where 2 large projector screens placed either side of the stage which showcased tonight’s set times along with future events at the Custard factory, with some entertaining visuals throughout the night. Up on the platform were located two massive inflatables featuring the Broken Minds heads logo. The Clearsound sound system backed up with the Broken Minds rig in the pool, created something else to what I’ve heard in the past, the sound was really crisp, clear and of course loud!!

DJ Status from the duo Chase and Status was entertaining the crowd with a nice rolling and deep set, with MC Ad doing the mic duties. Some deep rollers were being played and keeping to the hardware vibe, with tracks like ‘Plan B’ ‘Dumpling Riddem’, ‘Duppy man’ and ‘Ladies night VIP’.

Following on from Status was Grooverider. Grooverider was booked for a retrospective Hardware showcasing the past 10 years of Renegade Hardware but played a very upfront Hardware set, which was kind of disappointing but it still didn’t dampen the evening. He started his set off very dark with ‘Electric’ and ‘Axel Grinder’ but then in the middle proceeded to play a jump up selection with TC’s ‘Bounce’ and ‘Chatting Rubbish’.

At this point I headed to the Oldskool arena to catch the tail end of DJ Opiate's oldskool jungle set. The Kitchen was busy whilst Opiate played a 94/95 selection, finishing off with the likes of ‘Dead dread’ and ‘Dark soldier’

Following on was DJ Escape. Escape livened up the Kitchen crowd with his choice of tunes, not only was he playing oldskool but he was mixing it up with upfront tracks too. Escape was switching in and out of 96 and 2007 with tracks like ‘Reach out’, ‘Busted’, ‘Hearing is believing’, ‘Fear of the future’, ‘This style’ and ‘Everyday’. Giving his set a different dimension and was very welcomed by the crowd as this arena was rammed at this point.

Headed back to the pool and caught Spirit in the middle of his set. Really enjoyed the tunage being played from him, especially when he dropped ‘Phantom force’ a favourite tune of mine. A few other blinders got played including ‘Scrabble VIP’, ‘Mind to mind’ and ‘Temporary insanity’. MC 2Shy had just arrived and took over from MC AD.

Next up was DJ’s Loxy and Ink and a fine set from the Renegade horsemen. The crowd were really enjoying the dark nasty riddems from these two. There were quite a number of fresh dubs being played throughout alongside ‘Be true’ and ‘Drumz’. There was very minimal mcing from MC 2Shy allowing the music to do the talking.

Penultimate set of the night in the pool came from DJ’s Teebee and Calyx. Another heavy set taking the crowd to the darker depths of the drum and bass underworld. Teebee was showing off his turntables skills with a bit of scratching in the set and there was an awesome array of tracks being played, including ‘Exodus’, ‘Knock you down’, ‘The shape of things to come’ and the mighty joint production from the pair ‘Warrior’ which tore the roof down!

Closing the night in the Kitchen arena was a last minute replacement featuring two of Birmingham’s local DJ’s, Freenote and Tekprime. The set was received very well by the crowd with the Kitchen still busy during the graveyard shift. This also gave a chance for the duo to show off some of their own production work alongside some of the bigger known tunes as they played ‘Standing room only’, ‘Up all night remix’ and ‘Screw up’

Finishing off the proceedings in the pool was Vicious Circle. Only the Renegade faithful where left now, true soldiers of the darkside!
MC Manikular was keeping the crowd going with his rolling minimal style. Only one of the members from Vicious circle outfit was here and he rolled out with ‘Welcome to Shanktown VIP’, ‘Friday’, ‘Hard noise’ and ‘Ladies night VIP’.

Tonight was something different to hit Birmingham, it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a lineup of this magnitude from this genre of drum and bass in this city. The style of drum and bass being showcased tonight was what we'd come to expect from Renegade Hardware, different and cutting edge.

It was nice to see the pool of the Custard Factory full to capacity once again and the other arenas busy too, particular the Kitchen arena. The production in place was something else and I was very impressed by the whole layout of the stage. It was quite bizarre with the outdoor marquee as come 4 am the morning light started to lighten the venue.

I really enjoyed tonight especially as this was a different type of drum and bass night to be put on in Birmingham. I was slightly annoyed with Grooverider as he didn’t end up playing a retrospective Renegade Hardware set, though I did think him playing a few jump up tracks did liven up the crowd as it did break things up.

There was a great atmosphere all round inside the venue with no trouble or moody vibes at all throughout the night. The crowd was a good a mixture of both students and the die hard junglists. Hopefully this wont be the last time we see Renegade Hardware in Birmingham on a massive scale like tonight!!!

Massive shouts to Joe, Leechy ,Watcher, DJ X and the Broken Minds / Magnetik crews, Zoë and Collette, Vicki, Mat Tek Prime, Glenn Aston, Reaction, Manikular, Mistress Mo, Skitty, Andy, Fozz, Hades, Dan B, Will and Millie, Lucinda (Happy Birthday), Taz B, Phill and Millard, Capitol P and Mags, Dave, Scotty, Faye, Donna, Jacqui, Steve and Rory, Freenote, Alpha, Fierce Mike, Steve Phate, Doug, Hollie, Samas, Munkeh, Kirri, Alice, Jo Jo, Jinx, TnT, Andy Trackin, Opiate, Dizasta, Princess G, Flexa, Aries, Andy Witts, Sam, Clair and Donna, Tom Nocturnal and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognize.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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