HeatUK: The 6th Birthday: Reviewed
Reported by Jamie McCarogher
Submitted 12-12-07 17:00
Heat has always been a promotion that has never failed to impress me, but what about the 6th birthday? Was this to be an exception? I remember the 2005/6 NYE party, to this date probably the best party I have ever been to in my entire life. Of course with Heat the production values, quality of music and choice of DJs have always been staggering mix in an awesome atmosphere and with the ingredients for one hell of a night in place, this was looking to be one hell of a birthday.
I arrived at KOKO a little later than planned and was quite taken back by the size of the queue, which took about 45 minutes to navigate to the front. Although, I must admit, this was in part due to the fact that the door staff not only had the usual queues to attend to, but also had to shepherd the herds of smokers lighting up on the doorstep, presumably to stop them from getting too close to the public or gurning at someone. So with the extra supervision and the fact that these walking, talking health hazards only had about 7 minutes to finish up their death sticks and get back inside before the finger printing machine melted their faces, it made for some pretty slow going.
Still soon enough I was inside, only to hit another queue, this time to check my coat! This thankfully was slightly quicker. Now that I had finally managed to successfully punch, jab and claw my way inside I did what every red blooded male, who had been forced to stand around doing nothing for almost 2 hours, would do, I made a beeline straight for the bar and into another queue. But through the depths of my despair, and two JD & cokes later, I thought to myself, since it's the birthday, it was obviously going to be packed, but I wasn’t going to worry as this was still going to be a great night!
Now, to the dance floor, but wait, where had all the big bright balloons and assaulting lasers gone!? Usually a Heat party not only sounds great but looks amazing too and after all that queuing I was expecting to witness the second coming, with harps and angels trying to take me to Heaven, but no that was all sadly lacking, all I got was, well, KOKO with it's mouldy smell and topless people trying to sweat on me; it’s really pretty club, but boy does it smell sometimes! At least the noise levels weren't as loud as I've come to expect from the venue. Thankfully Alf Bamford had just taken to stage and the dance floor was already heaving with delight.
It's no secret that I think Technikal is amazing and I wasn't alone in this assumption, seeing as the entire club was dancing like nobody was watching. I must admit I love the new twisted sound coming from this very talented producer recently, all the immense "hands in the air" riffs are still there but instead of being accompanied by the usual hard dance beat you might have come to expect, these new beats came packaged with what I can only describe as an electo-psy super funk daddy beat, the kind that would make parents lock their daughters up and throw away the keys. A few good examples of these would be the remixes of his own tracks Summasault and Overdrive and his collaboration with MDA & Spherical Supersonic oh and not forgetting the delightfully dirty Starkiller Disktotek remix he did with Aftershock. Brilliant!
After having embarrassed my friends enough by dancing like a decapitated, demented duck I was quite keen to see what the Heat boys had next, all fears of queues and sweat long since forgotten about. Turns out K90 was to captain the helm on stage for the next section. This guy is a true great, although I must admit to not really knowing all that much about him, but he kept the crowd going after Technikal had left, which was just great by me, and of course everybody knows Red Snapper.
Following K90 was Nick Sentience and James Lawson doing an all live act and it was sheer brilliance. I've always been quite a big fan of Sentiences psy-sound and The Edison Factor’s (James Lawsons other "band" with Matt Williams) intelligent hard dance so I couldn't wait to see what they had in store for us! They tore the place apart like a hot knife through butter! Whoever thought of teaming them up deserves to get a bloody medal! It was a pleasure to watch James running out front from time to time strumming his guitar as Nick looked well at home pressing all kinds of buttons to bring us beauties like their collaboration track Possessed Mind, the Sentience super gem Corona and, one of my all time favourites, Lawson’s superb Incendiary Device and that's not even mentioning the Strangeworld / All Get Down / Stay / Time to Burn / Come 1 live mash up at the end. This set had to be my favourite set of the night. Nick, James, if you're reading this, kudos, keep up the brilliant work!
Taking over from the dynamic duo was Ian Betts and to tell the truth, I was quite surprised by this, a mainly trance DJ following Techinkal, K90 and the Lawson / Sentience mash up, but it went pretty well even when the music slowed considerably, but that just gave everyone a chance to stock up on booze and socialize with people they hadn't see in a while and for me to go out for a fag.
I cannot even begin to try and explain the sheer size of the queue to get to the smoking area outside, it was just slightly bigger than my head was after South Africa won the rugby world cup and that's big! (I dread to think – Ed) After another 40 minutes or so wait I got to the front, only to be informed that the fancy wrist band I'd been given on entry entitled me to skip all the queues, the finger melting machine and let me stay outside for pretty much as long as I liked! Typical. Plus side is I got to enjoy my smoke, unlike the countless others who looked like extras for the Thomas the Tank Engine movie but it did get me thinking I should really think of quitting.
Once I got back inside Betts was just coming to a close and who should I see but Andy Whitby, what was he doing following Betts, this was the only real peeve I had with this night, why follow someone like Ian Betts with his Whitbyness? It makes no sense at all, so true as Bob, as soon as Whitby came on the dance floor thinned considerably. But within about 15 minutes of the set beginning it was slowly starting to fill up again, presumably all the "harder" fans who had run away as soon as Ian Betts started to do his chilled out thing. Having always been quite sceptical about Andy Whitby, I decided to give it a try and see what all the Whitby-mania was about after being asked by certain people to at least give him a chance. Those of you that know me can just begin to guess what my reaction was and now you'll be shocked to find out that even though it was quite bouncy for my taste in the beginning it got quite enjoyable later on and from the look of the dance floor a whole heap of people were loving it! Fair play your royal Whitbyness, nice one.
Next in line to cause havoc on the dance floor was Paul Glazby's vicious classics set, loud, hard and dirty! I had quite a wicked stomp to this, but alas by this time there was also a considerable amount of blood getting back into my alcohol stream, something had to be done, so with the sounds of 1001 drills coming from behind, I made my way to 'el baro to get more alcomobooze for me and my mates, but of course, I got side tracked. Heat as usual had attracted quite a diverse, pretty crowd (minus the sweat gang) so I ended up befriending a red head and had quite a nice chat.
Such a good chat that somehow it had gotten all the way to 5:30 and BK was on stage now, oops! I'm told his set was really good and that he played Steelo's favourite track Revolution. All my friends, when I’d eventually found them again, were loving it to the max, so am actually a little gutted to have missed most of it.
As I mentioned earlier Heat has always been one of my favourite nights, but as good as this night was it had nothing on the 05/06 NYE party. It did come very close however and that's saying something. A very big "well done!" to Anton, Damo and the rest of the Heat crew, see you all soon for another big party I hope!
Photos courtesy of the HarderFaster archive. Not to be reproduced without permission
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Other Features By Jamie McCarogher:
Up close and personal with the Extreme Nicki S
The Olly Perris brain-picking sessions ’06: Innovate preview
Innovate 2nd Birthday reviewed
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.