The HeatUK and HarderFaster Xmas Payback Party — reviewed!
Reported by Less is Bat
Submitted 04-01-06 19:34
Now we’ve all had a little time to digest the Christmas pud and endless flow of chocolates, meats and alcoholic treats it’s time to look back at and reminisce about THE free event of the year — the HeatUK and HF Xmas Payback Party!
HeatUK has long been one of the largest and most successful clubbing promotions in London. 2005 saw their reputation and success climb to a phenomenal level as resident producer Alf Bamford churned out more hit tracks than Mcdonalds dished out burgers! Not only were their residents hot to trot, Heat also enjoyed rapturous praise for their efforts in branching out to boat parties, tours down under and the heaving Heat area at SW4 in London. Fans of the promotion had trekked out to attend their events all year and as a thank you HeatUK HQ decided to give something back and host a free event for Christmas.
London is not short of dance promotions. If you so wished you could almost go clubbing at dance music events 24/7 in the big smoke! There really has been only one website which has continually supported these events and offered an awesome platform for discussion and participation from all in the dance music world — HarderFaster.net. When I first met fellow Harderfasters it was in a dark and dingy basement bar called Sid’s. The thing that struck me most about these ‘members’ was their community spirit and their unity. It was like stepping into a scene from Cheers where everybody knows your (user)name and people are eager to welcome you into the fold and introduce you to the gang.
Since then, my initial thoughts about the members of HF and the astonishing community sense built by one dance music website have remained the same, yet expanded. You don’t have to be in a small hot spot bar frequented by HarderFasters to bump into a friendly username, you are almost guaranteed to see friendly HarderFaster faces at every dance music event in London (and beyond). The promotions owe a lot to HarderFaster for its embrace of dance music promotion but more than that, they owe thanks to HarderFaster for its forums and its creation of a true dance music community. Members of the website can happily head down to events across London on their own, safe in the knowledge that there will be another HF member in attendance to keep them company.
When word began to spread that Heat, the promotion known for its innovative line-ups and up for it crowds, and Harderfaster were to combine their powers and throw the ultimate Christmas gift for clubbers, a FREE event, excitement mounted on a daily basis and hype reached boiling levels. Every week a new thread appeared on the HF forums and a flurry of excited clubbers prepared their outfits, sets to attend and fellow users to try and meet for the first time.
Christmas is a time for selection boxes and the spirit of something for everyone and the Christmas Heat and HF payback party’s line up certainly reflected this. Whether you were a fan of trance, hard dance, house or all three you were going to have your fill! The duo of organisers had managed to secure the legendary Turnmills venue to host the event and everything looked set for a fantastic afternoon of Christmas frolics!
I arrived early, only a short while after the event opened. There was no queue outside and so I prepared myself to be the first person to sneak onto the dance floor. Yet as soon as I descended the regal staircase into the first room (the trance room) I was surprised to see about 30 faces smiling away and already dancing and enjoying the music. The atmosphere was electric and it seemed that everyone became more and more excited with every new set of feet to descend the stairs.
My plan of action for the afternoon had been simple: upon arrival scout out which room was which and make sure I made it to the sets I’d planned. It didn’t quite work out like that though. I stuck to my plan of doing a quick tour around the rooms but the second my ears heard the 80s classics blasting away in one of the back rooms I was grounded for a while!
Many people might argue that a real dance music event is no place for 80s classics, however I saw almost all online sceptical posters dancing away on the day! For me, this 80s to funky house and breaks and eclectic madness room remained my favourite room of the afternoon/evening.
It was nearly impossible to go from one room to the next without bumping into someone you knew and exchanging a few Christmas kisses. Even those who attended the event knowing only a couple of people left with an army of acquaintances.
The music in every room couldn’t be sniffed at. For most sets, every up and coming DJ was matched with a bigger name DJ and the B2B system worked so well keeping every mix fresh. The crowd filtered into every room and there was a fair balance of people appreciating every genre of music on offer. If any room had to be picked out as the most popular I would have to say the trance room won out narrowly followed by the harder dance main room. The trance room was constantly full or cheering and dancing bodies all appreciating the free vibes on offer.
VinDiesel’s thoughts on the event: “I thoroughly enjoyed the party... thought it was a great way to round off the year with some of the biggest DJS across all the difference genres. My favourite set was from Spencer Freeland and Olly Perris... a legend and rising young star combined perfectly to produce an pulsating, energizing set mixed full of classics.”
For me the sets which stood out the most had to be all of the 80s Djs early on in the far eclectic room (those who know me and my love for all things 80s will not be surprised by this), Technical b2b Benz and Marcus Rich b2b La Twinkle. When two Djs go back to back you get a certain fresh and creative style of set and I absolutely loved that about the afternoon. All of the music was upbeat and happy and almost all of the sets were transitional in sound. It’s so rare to hear big names playing out with up and comers and I think the concept was a stroke of genius and really reflected the union of HF and Heat for this free Christmas bash.
Throughout the afternoon people seemed to come and go yet there was consistently good amount of people spread out throughout the venue. I was a little nervous at first that having the whole venue open would mean that some rooms were left empty as everyone congregated, as they normally do, into one room. This didn’t happen on the day though and people flowed about to every room enjoying the different styles. It made a wonderful change to go to such an all dance genre-embracing event and I loved being able to run in a loop and appreciate the different styles under one roof.
WEBBO’s thoughts on the event: “Well done to Heat and HF for throwing a top party, it seemed like the whole of HF was there! I have to say I really enjoyed the 80s sets! The main room was going off every time I walked in there.”
I have to confess to my own failing in staying to make it to the very end. The drink and the jolly Christmas spirit got the better of me and I slunk away just as the final round of sets was about to begin. I was especially frustrated with myself for missing BK as I was so impressed that they’d tied him in to the event. From all the comments I’ve heard across the forums and by word of mouth it seems that the evening ended with smiles and satisfied punters.
Any Harderfasterite or fan of Heat promotions who didn’t make it down on the day really missed out. Everyone left with a glow on their faces and a true feeling of Christmas excitement. If was a really rather remarkable thing to have so many people under one roof experiencing the finest Djs in the land free of charge. My thanks go to the Heat team and the HarderFaster HQ team for putting on a wonderful Christmas party and a brilliant union to see out the year.
Here’s to 2006; I hope that Heat and HarderFaster continue to grow in strength and support and I hope to see more HarderFaster faces out and about making the most of the promotions and forums.
Photos courtesy of Jess the Cat, kr00t0n, Meena, Psycho and Saint. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By Less is Bat:
Celebrating the launch of Party Proactive at its new Turnmills home — an interview with D.A.V.E. the Drummer
The freaks come out! Riot Spooktacular reviewed
Party Proactive is coming: interview with Soto of Botchit and Scarper
Squelcher VS Guilt — The Beach Party review
Review: Sunday morning hymns with ‘F’
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
| From: benz on 4th Jan 2006 21:44.53|
cheers meine Jess! Bebe looks like she's clenching rather hard there!
anyone wishing to listen to my set with Technikal have a look here: www.waxdj.com/djs/1107
From: anton@heat on 5th Jan 2006 01:16.24
What a great end to the year! Just want to say a big thanks to Matt and all the Dj's who gave us there time.
From: Shaf De Bass on 5th Jan 2006 02:21.46
Heads, Shoulders, Knees and ????...
Wiiiiiiiicked party, few too many black Sambucas but great to see everyone else getting just as sozzled!
to all @ Heat and HF that got involved - only 347 days until next Christmas...
From: danj on 5th Jan 2006 02:40.38
Fantastic review Jessica
Congratulations to Heat for throwing the (second, third, fourth) best party of the year!
Here's to 2006!
From: ~deleted1390 on 5th Jan 2006 08:52.32
T'was the business. Had a ball, got to DJ, got to get drunk. A perfect day.
Thanks HF and Heat for having me along.
From: Less is Bat on 5th Jan 2006 10:18.29
to thou all. Sorry there isnt a more detailed synopsis of each DJ but if you consider the number of people playing...it was gonna be too much work. Well done again everyone!
From: Lx on 5th Jan 2006 10:34.18
oi thats me and Matt up there! jeee
From: CustardUK on 5th Jan 2006 10:54.53
Wicked! That was certainly a brilliant party! Thanks Damian and Anton for putting me B2B with Daniel in the trance room, what a top bloke and a great pairing which helped us get it rockin within minutes! Cheers guys!
From: Andy Dunford on 5th Jan 2006 11:10.34
One of the parties of the year without a doubt!
From: Paul on 5th Jan 2006 14:54.55
Wicked review! ZX81 all the way baby, look out for Electric Dreams in 2006.
From: Steve Gillen on 5th Jan 2006 17:56.01
Wicked party. Really glad to play top stuff
From: WEBBO on 5th Jan 2006 18:57.26
: you posted my comments , wicked review jess
From: DJ Widow on 5th Jan 2006 19:35.06
Good God, how did you manage to find a photo of me where I could still actually stand?! Hmmmm is that an orange balloon I'm holding there?
From: mkj on 5th Jan 2006 21:54.05
I took that photo Yvette!!! God that was one messy party!! One of the best things I went to last year!!! Thank you...
From: Alan-Banks on 5th Jan 2006 23:00.32
What a party. Loved it. Really madea great Christmas for me. Top marks!!!
From: Glow Worm on 6th Jan 2006 12:14.14
That was a wicked party, one of the best of the year! Felt very weird coming out at 9pm feeling like it was 3am! Only disappointment was The Ting being pulled off after only 1 tune!
Never mind, roll on next year!
From: Trancers on 7th Jan 2006 23:52.49
Nice review Jess..:-)Had a fatastic day great way to round off the end off 2005!!! more for 2006 woot woot..\0/\O/
From: damian@heat on 10th Jan 2006 22:41.01
Thanks to all those DJs who came to this, whether they palyed or just came to drink and be merry thanks for participating in a great party! And thumbs up to the clubbers who support this scene all year round!!!!!
From: ~deleted9531 on 11th Jan 2006 14:10.55
Thanks for your kind words Jess
Thanks to the Heat crew & HF for putting on a spectacular event
Anton: I got loads more