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Oldskool Forever

May 1992: 'Just before the summer, Fantazia were holding a huge rave at Matchams Park, Bournemouth called Summertime. Again, I hooked up with Lee and stayed at his place down in Southampton before driving to the rave on May 15th. When we got there, the roads were completely rammed and it took us well over an hour to get to the site - what a nightmare.

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When we got to the car park, it was a complete mess - a case of if you can find a space, abandon your car type thing. We joined the huge queue of ravers and you could hear the boomin' rave noise in the background. I can remember hearing the MC shouting "Easygroove, Easygroove", I could also make out the sounds of 'Elevation - Can You Feel It' blasting out as we queued, which made me even more impatient to get in. Once inside, we checked out the whole site which was being held at a race course stadium.

There were so many people there and it was one of my best raves ever - again, we were dancing most of the night. I just remember hearing so many classic tunes that night like Project One - Roughneck, Funky Junky - Rushin, Awesome 3 - Don't Go etc. Plus, how could I forget the hanging Robbie Dee who was swinging madly across stage like a man possessed. The highlight was of course the weather which had remained completely clear and in the morning, the sun rose into a clear blue sky - 10,000 ravers going for it and Ellis Dee stepped up with his shades on to play the last set - something I will never forget - what a wicked party.'

Some months later, Fantazia were holding another huge rave , amazingly - it was taking place in Shepton Mallet at The Royal Bath and West Showground, near to where I live. I don't know how we came up with the idea but together with Lee, we set up a magazine for ravers called 'High Life' - we came up with a press release and faxed it through to Fantazia, hoping to get Press Passes for this event called The Showcase. We got back from our lectures and the phone rang, and it was Nikki from Fantazia - saying that we had to write down 2 numbers and quote them on the VIP Entrance, and we were going to be allowed to do interviews etc. We were literally jumping up and down in amazement as we just couldn't believe it - back stage passes.

So, on the evening of November 27th, we drove back to my place in Walton and relaxed before driving up to Shepton Mallet. When we got there, there was quite a huge queue of cars, but luckily the VIP Entrance was really quiet and we drove straight in. We went in via the VIP entrance to the rave, collecting our passes on the way and meeting the people who run Fantazia - all a wicked experience. The whole night was just amazing, the sound system, the DJ's - everything. We spent most of the night behind the decks, which were positioned way up high above the crowd, and you had to climb up huge ladders to get up there. First of all, we were waiting up there and the MC announced that DJ Pilgrim was on next - we had seen this guy next to us, and we didn't even realise it was Pilgrim at all. He played a wicked selection and I remember him playing Edge Of Darkness - Come Together which was a top hardcore tune. When Pilgrim finished, Mickey Finn came on and we asked him if we could do an interview - he gave us his number and told us to call him at a later date. Mickey played a top selection of jungle hardcore in his own style - I remember him playing C Biz - Crowd Says Rewind quite well. After that, Ramjack was playing a unique style of hardcore and after his set, he came up to us and we had a chat and he was quite interested in the magazine we were running and he kept in contact with us all night which was cool.

While Ramjack was mixing, we had quite a funny experience - LTJ Bukem was meant to be DJ'ing next, but none of us knew who he was. Anyway, some guy next to me, asked who was on next - it turned out that it was LTJ Bukem asking me. Of course, I should have said "DJ Creativity's on next mate !" - but I didn't have a bag of tunes with me. LTJ Bukem was a bit nervous, but dropped some classy breakbeat tunes including DJ B + EZM - Shocking To The Break Of Dawn.

In between the DJ's, there were live acts from PSI and Orca who were all really wicked. Next up was Ellis Dee who had arrived late and was a bit pissed off - even more so when he only managed to squeeze in a half hour set - he still played some wicked tunes like 'D-Force - Ruff' and the classic 'DJ Jinx - Paradise Project' tune. After Ellis Dee came DJ Seduction, who played a damn fine set with classics like F Project 4, Dub Two, Terminator etc. If you've heard the tape, you will know what I mean. The funniest thing was at the end of the set when he was playing his last tune - 'Jungle Radio', Seduction went to do a spinback but completely fluffed it up and the needle jumped into the centre of the record, making that nasty noise - while the MC tried to cover it up by saying 'Fantazia' - if you've heard the tape , you will know what I mean - while me and Lee were in fits of laughter behind Seduction. I don't think he took too kindly to that.

The last 3 sets were Top Buzz, Easygroove and Rat Pack. Ramjack introduced us to all 3 of them - which was a totally amazing experience. Top Buzz played their usual blend of Basement classics and next up was 'The Technodread - Easygroove' There were about 8 of us up on the platform where Easygroove was DJ'ing and we were all going for it - he was playing an amazing blend of hardcore and mad techno. By the time F Project 6 came on (Bang Bang Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) - the place was rocking.

Finally, even though we were totally knackered - The Rat Pack came on stage and announced their arrival, calling themselves "The Rat Pack Supreme Dance Team" - but they rocked the party in the last 45 minutes, playing stuff like Jonny L - Hurt You So and Krome + Time - Sound For The Underground. It was one of the best parties I had ever been to and the only bad point was the announcement the next day that someone had been killed after the party, thus giving people the opportunity to talk badly about raves again.

 

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