The Nottingham Arena
Saturday 2nd July 2005

After coming back from the Innovation weekender in Barcelona this was my first event on the list. With Uproar looking for a new venue, the Nottingham arena was something new to the Hardcore scene, with so many events in such a short space of time would tonight be near to capacity? The mighty Gatecrasher previously hosted an event here earlier in the year would Uproar be able match up the same success?

Travelling from Birmingham along the M1 and through Nottingham, somehow we missed our turning in Nottingham. Once finding our bearings we found the Nottingham arena and used the car park situated close to venue and parked up. After a brief stroll we arrived at the venue and from the outside the arena looked similar to that of N.I.A in Birmingham as this place I also used as a Concert hall. We were greeted by a massive queue with plenty of eager ravers waiting to get in with the queue spanning outside around the complex, they were very tight with security as apparently there sniffer dogs walking up and down the queue taking out certain individuals. Luckily I had a guestlist and strolled my way to the front entrance.

After having my guest list confirmed I headed through the turnstiles and was given a card which featured the set times for tonight's event which came in quite handy. Walking around the venue I found the oldskool and techno rooms situated on the upper tiers along the corridors. I headed directly into the main arena and yes the name Colossus does do the name of this event justice.

The main arena was huge literally Colossus in size, very similar to the Skydome in Coventry when I visited there for the drum and bass awards late last year. The name done the venue justice!

The production in the main arena was immense with two gigantic speaker stacks either side of the front stage. The stage was similar to that of a concert stage to give you that concert feel for tonight's event. In the middle of the stage was the DJ box and either side was the podium for the dancers. As the DJ box was quite far away there were 3 massive projection screens videoing the DJ's and MC's throughout the night, along with some other crazy visuals.

As I arrived DJ Sharkey and CLSM were finishing up with Wotsee MCin, you couldn't really hear Wotsee MCin through the system at this point, as I don't think the system was turned up to it's full potential. Next up was the Raver Baby duo of Breeze and Styles and the MC team of Storm and Whizzkid. When these guys took to the stage there was an announcement to let people know who was playing, this happened for each set through out the night.

Storm and Whizzkid MCin on this massive stage was amazing as they had plenty of room to manoeuvre to interact with the crowd, working the crowd and literally having them in the palm of their hands with there rhymes and chats, bouncing from left to right. The mics and sound system was turned up nice and loud at this point.
Breeze and Styles started the set with 'Dark like vader' featuring Storm, hearing this tune on a loud system like this was electrifying. Breeze and Styles continued to play 'Slide away', 'Still the one', 'Sound without a name' and 'Baby you know your mine'. There is also a new remix of an old happy hardcore classic from the Alchemist 'Keep on trying' which they also played within this set.

Marc Smith and Odyssey were on next but I decided to locate the oldskool arena to catch Dougal and Magika as they were billed to play a classic Dreamscape set. The oldskool room was situated upstairs, going up these stairs a was a bit of a nightmare as there were no handles to hold on to, I thought there could have been an accident on these stairs especially when they got wet from people spilling drinks, luckily there weren't!

The oldskool, room was located through the techno arena. I wasn't too impressed with the oldskool room as it was bit of sweatbox with little production in here, though the system was loud. Dougal was on but without Magika. Dougal was playing through the years as he played the original mix of 'Let me be your fantasy', 'Dance conspiracy,' he moved up the years as he played 'Feel free', 'SMD #3',' 6 Days' and '4 AM'. MC Nice and Easy was MCing for this set I was impressed with beat boxin and vocal scratching but wasn't too keen on his lyrics.

After Dougal it was the turn of the midlands scratcher mixer DJ Ratty along side illusion's MC Energy and Kinetic's MC Connie. Ratty played dark jungle techno set. Unfortunately the arena wasn't as busy for his set as it was for Dougal's, which meant there was plenty of room for me to dance with other like-minded oldskool ravers. Ratty played the Production house classic from the Brothers grimm 'Exodus (when the lion awakes), ' Step up general' before moving onto early drum and bass as he played 'Dub plate,' 'I bring you the future', 'Music box' and Slipmatt's 'Breaking free'.

Back downstairs and Essential Platinum's Dougal and Gammer were on with Uproar's very own MC Rude on mic duty. You could see from Rude's face how happy he was with the way things were going with Uproar knowing that his and Seductions months of planning and hard work had paid off to bring tonight's enormous event at the Nottingham arena. Dougal and Gammer played a varied set with Dougal's uplifting selection along side Gammers harder style as they played 'Lift me above', 'We need more core' and 'Drive me crazy'.

After this set it was the turn of the Maximum Impact PA showcasing material from their label. MC Rude was once again MCin as the Maxium impact crew played 3-4 tunes featuring Gammer, Seduction, Flyin and Sparks. Seduction and Gammer opened the proceedings with 'Put your hands up'. There wasn't really much new material being played but it was something to split the night with.

Well next was the man who brought you tonight's event MR. Uproar himself DJ Seduction alongside MC Storm. During this set I headed to the oldskool in time for Vibes and Livelee. What an amazing set this was from these two. It's been a very long time since I've seen these guys together and it was definitely worth the wait.
Vibes started the set with a more '94 break beat as he played 'Take me away' moving onto 'All I need I your love' and 'Elysium'. It was great to watch Livelee working the mic and crowd, with the crowd reciting his lyrics back to him. It was getting really hot I here with plenty of ravers out in force to check these two out and definitely worth it!

After this set I headed downstairs and was expecting Scott Brown but instead Hixxy was on, as it looked like these two had swapped sets. Whizzkid was MCing for the first half of Hixxy's set. Hixxy played a remix of Baby D's 'Let me be your fantasy', 'Keep on trying' remix, he also played a new tune featuring Whizzkid's vocal 'Free at last' Hixxy also played the remix of another oldskool classic from Bizarre inc 'Playing with knives'. At this point Storm was MCin for the remainder of the set as Hixxy continued to play 'Dark like vader', the intro from '95 style' no it wasn't a remix just the intro from the original nice one!! Hixxy played 'Come with me' and finally ended the set with 'Heaven's above'

Penultimate set of the night came from Scotland's number one and Evolutions records very own Scott Brown. Scott started the set with a hardcore style as he played 'Boomstick' it was great to hear on this tune on a loud system he continued to play 'Only your love','You're my angel' remix and ' So about you'. When Scott proceeded to move onto the gabba, the dance floor went crazy with everyone stomping till the early hours. Whizzkid was MCin for this set working the crowd, it was great to see Whizzkid MCin back with Scott Brown.

Well the last set of night and it was from the Quosh boys DJ's Sy, Unknown along with MC Storm. Quosh's own Webmaster David Ives was also lurking about as he was filming the event for a future DVD release for the Quosh website. The Quosh duo scratched and mixed their way through the set with Storm working off their scratch patterns. They played their remix of 'Slide away', 'Let me be your fantasy', 'Making me wanna dance' which the crowd got singing. They also played Pete Bouncers classic 'Ravin I'm raving' remix and also a new remix of 'Pacific sun -Lullaby' which features a new set of vocals. They finished the night with 'Do we have to say good bye'. Which was fitting after tonight's event!

Well then, what an amazing night this was with the disappointment of both Skydome events being cancelled at the last bank holiday in May, Colossus definitely made up for that event and for those who haven't been to the Skydome too. With over 4,000 like-minded people dancing in this venue making the atmosphere electric and immense. My hat has to go off to the Uproar team for pulling off this event at this venue and of this magnitude too. Uproar had to even pull out from this summers Innovation weekender so they could focus all their efforts on tonight and it obviously paid off.

An event of this scale was defiantly needed in the hardcore to prove the many doubters out there that hardcore is definitely not dead. Also it was great to visit a different venue with another set four walls to stare at. Respect to everyone turning and making this event what it was.

It was a bit mad having the oldskool and techno rooms upstairs with people dancing in the corridors. Though tonight event was purely about the hardcore in the main arena. I'd definitely love to come back here again rumour has it that the Hardcore Heaven awards maybe back here fingers crossed. I really enjoyed myself at the Nottingham arena and I've missed an event on this enormity since the Drum and Bass awards at the Skydome back in December.

Again massive respect to the Uproar team seduction and Rude for putting on an amazing event, Storm, Whizzkid, Hixxy, Scott Brown, Sy, Unknown, David Ives, Flyin', Marc Smith, Gammer, Ratty, Vibes and Livelee, Connie, Alex and Stacie.

Big Shouts to Quavers and Mike @ Bornhardcore, Lisa-Jo and Phil, Maz, Carrie, Lucy, Andy Immz and Bertie, Sykee, Andy legs, Michele, Daz Rampant, Nikki, Rob and Stacie at True Hardcore, Matty, Tony Res, Lisa and Lee UHF, Andrea, Damo, Dave and Kel @ UKScene, Astraboy, Sam and Paul from USH and also to everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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