Arriving slightly later than planned, at roughly 10:30PM, we proceeded to park the car in the grass field typically used for large Sanctuary events. The organisation of the car park was excellent and there was plenty of spaces available. Thumbs up. :thumbsup:
We could already hear the rumble of the soundsystem within the Sanctuary whilst walking along to join the short and sweet queue. Thanks to the guestlist entry, there was no waiting time for us, however, the line was moving fast in the regular queue.
The Sanctuary security did their usual quick search rather than a thorough check. This made a pleasant change and before we knew it we were standing infront of the Sanctuary building with numerous attractions placed around it.
Past the tent selling tapepacks, and the tent with the cloakroom/bar, was a hectic fairground ride.
Not to mention a pretty damn complete arcade (including Time Crisis II, Daytona USA, all the classics!) and the almighty burger van.
Oh how we love the sweet variety of sauces. We're not worthy.
The Top Spin
In I go to the Sanctuary, to hear Ed Rush playing. I realised at this point just how good Drum & Bass can sound out of a decent rig. Even though it was early, and the system wasn't turned up, I was already amazed at the clarity and levels provided here. This is one party which has it right; it was just -that- much better than the system used at the last Slammin' Vinyl. I didn't stay inside for long at this point - extensive willpower was required to save my energy for the big daddy headliners of the night.
Back in a short time later to witness the legend, the Mickey Finn. His set was amazing, full of rollers and complemented at this point by Navi and Flux upon the mic. They all ripped it up, and being close to the set of bass bins (W folded horns, I believe) near the stage I felt every bit of bass there was to offer right into my gut.
Loving every minute of it until the dancers came on stage. 8O What, you say? Well, the dancers were causing the needles to jump continuously, and seemed not to give up trying to dance on the stage. Mickey did a good job of handling it at this point, though seemed somewhat irritated at it messing up his set. I must point out that it was eventually resolved, and I didn't notice any further needle jumping during the night. I think it was because at first they were on the same stage blocks as the decks, but later moved to the front.
Navi and one of the dancers
Next I witnessed the one, the only Nicky Blackmarket step up. Surely everyone loves that cheeky grin on his face! And we got a close-up too; two large video screens, one each side of the stage showing everything from psychadelic colours to live camera work of the DJ. This video screen was also incredibly useful at times as periodically it showed who was on in each room.
Nicky Blackmarket and Navi
I took a breather during Nickys' set and had a conversation with some random people who attempted to persuade a mate of mine to go on the ride. Apparently it was free? I'm not actually sure, we never did go on it in the end. If it was free, then even more props go out to the promotors!
Back in for Nickys last tune and the start of Baileys' set. Prepared myself for some fresh tunes and, sure as expected, got them with a few aging tracks to complement such as Hotness. I think I heard Blandwagon Poos here, though it could've been a different set. I heard it more than once during the night though!
Bailey on the big screen
Bit more brock action, and we chilled some more.
On re-entering the president Andy C himself was getting ready. Oh lord, what a set! Sure as hell HAD to be set of the night out of all the sets I heard. The teases, the double drops, and all in all the whole the tune selection itself was just spot on what I wanted to hear. It wasn't just me either, he had the crowd eating out of his hand too; with Eksman, Skiba, Shabba and Fearless by his side. Fresh tracks with lots of classics teased in, just what we needed. Actually the only tunes I can remember hearing now are the two of Andy's Floodlight and Signal mash together, Vault, Screamer and Reskarred. That shit went off like a bomb! Lots of classics teased in this set, from the top of my head (and in no particular order) I'm sure I heard The Nine, Squash and Renegade Snares (pitched up). Also, Pacman which was nice to hear again. Last tune, a vocal number, I believe was London Elektricity's Different Drum (Dillinja Remix).
Andy C, Eksman and Fearless
Andy C, Fearless and the laser by a dancer
Up next was Mampi Swift, at which point I sadly had to leave in order to get a lift home! Shame really, as I would have liked to catch Zinc.. maybe next time!
On leaving, a friend bought the Global Gathering CD pack which I must say seems like a good buy! £20, but 6 CD's of decent quality varied Drum & Bass. Can't go wrong really!
All in all, what can I say but.. a wicked night! I probably should've checked out the sets upstairs, but I couldn't pull myself away from the main room.
Can't wait for the next one.
The crowd 'avin it with Andy C