RIOT! @ The End, 14th September 2003 - Review
Reported by Olly Perris
Submitted 15-09-03 16:59
Another Sunday, another day of madness at Riot! And now with the good news that it's going bi-monthly, we can expect more sunday afternoon shenanigans at this madhouse!! Riot! has to be one of the most friendly club nights I've ever been to - the entire crowd are all friendly and all you have to do is smile a lot to fit right in! You don't even need to go with any mates; just turn up alone, dance like you've never danced before on a Sunday and you'll fit right in!! With an up-for-it crowd and always a superb DJ line up, on paper it looks like it could be one of the best nights around, but how exactly did this particular night fare?
I was one of the first through the doors at 3pm and (after topping up with some large quantities of alcohol!) went immediately to see Danny Gilligan who was playing the first warm-up set. Well, I say "warm-up"...As soon as we got down the stairs we were greeted by a barrage of hard techno rhythms from the likes of the Hydraulix stable. Danny was absolutely belting out a hard as nails techno set which got absolutely everyone rocking. Perhaps co-incidentally, at the same time Guy McAffer was setting up his live PA equipment across the other side of the dancefloor for his set...More on that later!
After the techno died, Danny hit us with hard tune after hard tune which really helped to get the crowd going, By 4pm, an hour after the club opened its doors, the dancefloor across one side was already filling up fast. Danny certainly helped by throwing in crowd-catylysts such as Nick Sentience & Phil Reynolds "Instrumental" and the legendary KY Jelly Babies "Access" remix. Possibly the hardest warm up set ever acted as a perfect build into EJ Doubell, who picked up right where Danny left off by banging out some massive anthems including the future hit Lee Haslam "Free", as well as current hard house bangers such as D&G's "Get On Da Floor". This was the 2nd time I'd seen EJ play and the first time she never really got into the crowd atmosphere a lot, but this time it was the total opposite - EJ played straight for the crowd and the floor filled extremely quickly during her set.
Although the downstairs section wasnt quite as packed yet, upstairs you could barely move! The funk (and the alcohol) was flowing marvellously and cue all of the sexy dancing around the bar! The sounds were provided by the Ignition Crew & special guests The Sharp Boys who both managed to bang out the classic Riot! tunes as well as some funkier breakbeat moments. Bar Riot! has to have one of the most friendly atmospheres of any club in the country and the atmosphere in there is just one large happy vibe!!Back downstairs, EJ handed off to the main man Ed Real, who banged out an enormously hard set. Starting off with anthems such as BK & Glazby's "Outta My House" and his future hit with Rowland & Wright "Pretty Fast", Ed built the set up to reach fever pitch when he dropped in the anthemic Edison Factor remix of Exit EEE - "Epidermic". I've seen big reactions to tunes before but this one almost took the roof off! The floor by this stage was becoming increasingly crowded but in a good way - you had plenty of room to move and dance without knocking into the person next to you, but there was enough people to generate a great atmosphere. Ed slowed the pace down a notch towards the end of his set before handing over to the mighty Geezer.
The specially-constructed stage soon became crowded with people gathering round trying to catch a glimpse of the equipment Geezer was using. The one good thing about Geezer's PA was that is was totally 100% live and via the use of a mixing desk, a laptop, a Roland drum machine and a sampler, Geezer absolutely hammered out perhaps one of the hardest sets I have ever witnessed. It took a while for the crowd to warm to the techno vibes but as soon as the beats became more and more infectious, the crowd got more and more lost in them. Guy banged out an absolutely horrifying collision of beats and bass and it got gradually harder, and harder! In fact it got so hard, that when u thought it couldnt get any harder, there was yet another huge drum line which came in and banged out the beats even harder!! - Guy also worked his way through old skool hip-hop samples and some interesting ragga vocals which sounded fantastic when combined with his nose-bleed inducing beats.
It was only a matter of time before Guy played all the big RAW hits that we know and love, and they came at the end of his 1-hour set. Working his way through RAW 10 ("everybody funk") and RAW 11, eventually the filtered vocals of Mel N Kim smashed through the Thunder Ridge sound system and the crowd went absolutely crazy! RAW 9 was bastardized and maximised through Guy's live set but the vocals stayed the same and gave the crowd a massive sing-along moment! A massive set for Guy who also really seemed to get into the crowd, despite the fact that he was slightly out of his depths in a hard house club!
Guy then followed onto BK who played the last set in the only way that BK knows how - hard, fast and down right filthy! Kicking off with tunes like DK's "Murder Was The Base" and tunes from the Mauro Picotto "Alchemist" EP, BK worked his way through the usual Riot! classics to churn out a wonderful closing set.
Riot is now surely the benchmark for Sunday clubbing in the way that Trade always was. For anyone who's not checked it out, you have no reason not to! Get to London for the morning, turn up the club for 3pm, leave at 10pm and get a late train home - you'll love every single minute of it, I can absolutely assure you! The next Riot! on the 28th September sees Pete Wardman play, which I think is going to be something very special indeed...
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