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
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
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
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'