24th November 2000
@The Dungeon, vauxhall
|I really don't think that I had ever been so excited before a rave before like I was before Elation 3. One look at the flyer - every DJ promising a superb set of top quality hardcore, a quick thought back to past Elations - all those superb memories of raves that will always be the benchmarks of raves to come: this Elation was surely one that will break all expectations.
So, after a week of constantly dreaming and thinking of Elation, Friday night finally arrived! A train journey into Marylebone to meet up with Kat and Andy, a quick (!) walk to Euston station (bloomin' Bakerloo line was shut), and a painless trip down the Victoria line later we arrived at
| Vauxhall Station for the USH pre-rave
meet up. After a quick natter, catching up with quite a few people I hadn't met for quite a while, we wandered down the road to the venue. We waited outside until about 10:20, and then it was time for our first sight of the inside of this new venue to hardcore raving.
I was most impressed with the venue! The first room you entered was the Diverse Music Arena. This was quite a small room, with a few chairs and tables, with decks in one corner. However, as soon as I walked through the doors into the main Hardcore arch I really thought that I had stepped
| into heaven on earth!! I reckon that it was about the size of the hardcore arch at the
Drome, the DJs located high above the dancefloor at one end, and a bar running down about a third of the right side. Comfy seats and wooden platforms edged the arena for those who needed a little rest before raving again. There was a small raised dance platform for the MCs and the stage dancers at the front too.
I quickly dumped my bag in the cloakroom, bought my slightly yellow white gloves, found the toilets, and nearly got lost in the chill out room (it was rather dark!!). Then it was back to the main arena for some serious
| hardcore raving!!
Once again, I have managed to write four paragraphs introduction before getting to the DJs, but this time I promise that I will get to the music quickly!!
Diewrecked was on first in the main arena, playing some nice tunes from 93 to 96. This was the first time that I'd heard this DJ, and some nice mixing and a good tune selection definitely got the dancefloor moving! However, even I, as the eternal cheeser, had to have a quick sit down
| when the Sonique remix came on!! To be fair though, he was playing an extended set until Majestik turned up slightly late (I think).
When Majestik did step up on the decks the hardcore changed into some deep, hard, banging freeform. For the next hour Elation was dancing to some top quality tunage, mixed to perfection by the man from oop north. I don't tend to follow the freeform side of hardcore too much, but what I was hearing was very nice indeed - I recognized some of the tunes, but many were completely new to me, and I was loving it!!
|Just after Majestik finished I decided to have a quick look round the chillout room, to see who was nattering in there. I had a quick chin-wag with some people, but when I saw Conrad I listened to the music emanating from the hardcore arch and said to him "hmm, there seems to be some hard old top quality in there - I'm off to check it out!". Quite possibly that was the best decision of the whole night!! This set from DJ Sonic wasn't just the set of the night, it was probably one of the best sets I had ever heard in my entire raving career!! He played some of my all-time favorite tunes - not content with playing the predicable anthems, he delved deeper, choosing the tunes that make hardcore HARDCORE! The tempo|
| was quick, the beat pounding, the breakdowns divine - what a set!
One slightly disappointing aspect of the night was the slightly low turnout. This didn't affect me, nor the other hardcore ravers going mental in the venue - all I felt for were the people that didn't make the effort and, quite honestly, missed one of the best nights in my entire life.
I really didn't think that anyone was going to come close to Sonic's set, but what was that? Brisk and MC Storm? Wow, things just kept getting better and better! I have the utmost respect for these guys, and they definitely did
| not let me down. Brisk played some wicked tunes: tempo characteristically very quick, mixing, as usual, seamless and the scratching was spot on. To top it all off MC Storm was on the microphone. If the energy from the music wasn't enough, Storm doubled it with his superb style of
MCing! All the MCs on the night were amazing - Storm just stole the show again. Big respect to Elmo, Shotgun, Wildcard and Jam as well - all of the highest quality, raising the standard of the night even further!
The second of the Elation trio, Happy Bounce, was up mixing next. He played some fantastic tunes to bring back the memories of 1994/5. There
| wasn't a non-smiley face in the entire venue! Excuse me if I can't actually remember any individual tunes that any of the DJs played - the whole night was just one big feeling of pure, unadulterated happiness - all the tunes were brilliantly fantastic!!
DJ DNA, the man of the moment in the hardcore scene, was the next DJ to play. Once again, he played a set right from the top drawer, showcasing more of his new tunes. I am constantly amazed quite how each and every set from this man just keeps getting better and better. The mixing was brilliant, scratching wonderful - and joined by MC Jam on the microphone;
| the entire set was fantastic.
Wow, it was 4am already - the night was just whizzing past (heh) - and time for the third of the Elation three, DJ p-p-p-p-p-pick up a Ponder! I really can't imagine a time when a set from this DJ could ever be even slightly less than mind-blowing - and this time certainly wasn't one of those! As I said before, the music at this rave was quite probably the best I have ever heard at any rave - maybe the bigger promoters should be taking a very close look at Elation, as these boys have definitely got it spot on with their lineups.
|After Ponder we were to be treated to a freeform masterclass from the man himself, DJ Energy. I have learnt in the past that if Energy is on a lineup then whatever happens I have to be there for his set - guaranteed to be always a highlight of the night! Energy was yet another of the DJs on the night to showcase many new, banging tunes. With so many new tunes ready to be released, and so many wicked DJs to make and play the tunes - the future of hardcore certainly looks very bright indeed! Top stuff Energy!
Time for the last set of the night now - DJs Uplift and Lukozade back to
| back. What a note to end the night on - 2 hours of pure raving madness! Once again mixing brand-new unreleased material with some absolute blinders from the past couple of years, scratching to die for, mixing that left you astounded - this was yet another absolutely superb set. Ending slightly early than timetabled (well only about 20 minutes early), the last two tunes definitely made me leave the venue with a smile on my face - Sorry and Diamond Eyes, with the
"fa-fa-ff-fa-f-faa-fuck off" scratching over the top of them!!
What an absolutely fantastically brilliantly amazingly wicked night! Everything was perfect for me, and all the ravers inside the venue. I just f
|eel so sorry for the people who didn't make an effort to support the boys who have put so much effort into the scene. You lot missed out - big style. All those who attended know exactly what I am talking about - what a rave, what a night, what a raving experience.
I'd just like to end the review on a personal note - direct to Paul, Mark and Ryan - a big huge massive thank you for one of the very best nights of my entire life, you have made me a very happy smiley hardcore raver - thank you!!
|Massive huge shouts and hugs to: Kat (Little Miss Feline), James, Nat, Andy,
Kev, Sam, Caine, SiMDMA, Barking Boy, Jexxy (really really oh so sexy),
BeckiBoo, Fangs, Twigg, Nemesis, Mupster, Jody, Miss GoMental, Conrad,
Dodgee, Wotsee, Ponder, Happy Bounce, Sonic, Uplift, Morgz, Kev Energy, Luke,
Breaka, Androooo, Raver Jo, Carl, Smithers, Stix, Icekold, Chedda, Adidas Matt, Elmo, MC Jam, Stargazer,
Potfish, Phick, Dan and Joe Haynes, Viking, DJ Storm, Jamie, Kristoph, SD, Tony Resonance, Grant
Epidemik, Peter Ethos, Danny, all the DJs, all the MCs, everyone I met, everyone I didn't meet!
Tom Bennett / DJ U4EA