Welcome to the monthly rave review for August 2017. Featuring Eastern Electrics, Portal, Sunfall, Creamfields, South West Four and Banjax.
Eastern Electrics ★
I entered August knowing full well that it was going to be a hectic month consisting of a significant amount of travelling and raving, but what better way to kick off proceedings by heading to the mighty Eastern Electrics festival. This was my third year attending Eastern Electrics and it’s impossible not to resist the temptation of returning to this hotspot. There was a slight amendment of site this year as it shifted from Hatfield House just north of the capital right down to Morden in South London, which made it more intriguing and exciting.
For me personally my favourite stage at Eastern Electrics during all three times of visiting the festival is and possibly always will be the Switchyard. I got a video during Liverpool based & Circus head honcho’s Yousef’s set as he took over the responsibility of keeping the vibes strong straight after one of the best female DJ’s on the circuit – Lauren Lo Sung.
It was a real pleasure helping hand out merchandise with the team who were representing both the incredibly popular and successful Defected brand too:
My good friend Habs was kind enough (and some might say brave enough) to hand over the responsibility of controlling the lighting for the main stage for a few minutes, which as you can imagine was a surreal experience in itself. It was also nice to immerse, educate and see behind the scenes for myself into another aspect of a scene that I am so passionate about!
It was the day after Eastern Electrics and it was time to make my regular return to one of my favourite places – The Rainbow Venues. My last journey to the gem that we all know as Digbeth was for MADE Festival, but this time round it was for arguably Birmingham’s biggest underground house and techno brand – Portal. I have spent many a night dancing away and getting properly stuck in at Portal, and I have fond memories of previous ventures to the likes of their Halloween shindig and numerous parties thrown in the Blackbox to name but a few.
Here I am below early doors in the secret garden being entertained musically by Loka resident and rising producer Antony Dyer, who you will no doubt be hearing more of in future with his tracks being supported by the likes of Detlef.
The Loka takeover in the secret garden really went off all day and night, and even though I hadn’t been to one of the Loka events before I was pleasantly surprised as to how strong the vibe and attendance was during my time there. Especially when you bear in mind how strong the competition was in terms of talented DJs and producers throughout Portal’s summer showcase, so credit has to go to these local DJs as they really kept me grooving and stretched my energy levels to their limits during what was an extremely tiring weekend.
I was as equally pleasantly surprised as to how many ravers and like minded individuals descended upon the Rainbow venues on a typical Sunday afternoon. Was it a bank holiday? No it wasn’t. Was there four spaces of music oozing with some of the most established names in the underground scene supplying solid house and techno music all day and night? Yes there was.
On the roof terrace we were all treated to a brand that is most commonly associated with Ibiza, known by many as the Zoo Project. The roof garden was transformed into a party that was cocooned by jungle like props. A clever production contrast was the warehouse which had an almost cosmic and intergalactic feel to it with Solid Grooves main man PAWSA setting the standards high from the get go. I didn’t manage to stay later on but I heard and saw nothing but good things as expected from the in demand Solardo and Paradise resident Patrick Topping who was closing the showcase off with a killer 3 hour set.
Nevertheless my Sunday outing to Portal at the Rainbow was as good as I expected, and I am beyond excited for their opening party in the venue called the ‘Crane’ in the coming months, this being a new venture for the Rainbow and yet another brand new venue I cannot wait to get my dancing shoes on for!
Originally on this particular day I was meant to be attending Junction 13 festival in Stafford, but unfortunately due to circumstances out of the promoter’s control the event had to be postponed until September 16th. Therefore, I needed to switch my raver brain on and begin making immediate amendments to a weekend that I didn’t wish to take a break on. So I made the decision after deliberating over numerous events dotted around the country to check out Sunfall which was taking place for the second year running at Brockwell Park in London.
It was an interesting festival and something that I would consider somewhat different to my previous experiences, as the main outdoor stage had live bands playing most of the day and had much more or a relaxed ambience to it. As you’ll all know with my high tempo, charged and generally energetic flow this wasn’t my sort of thing – so I spent the day raving in the other tents to the likes of The Black Madonna and Peggy Gou, with a main course of Scottish heavyweights Jackmaster & Denis Sulta too!
Although admittedly it took a while for the festival to start matching the high energy levels at which I normally operate at any event I go to, we got there eventually from approximately 4pm onwards and from there on in it was all systems go.
Next on the agenda was the legendary Elrow party, a brand that has branched out globally and has had a significant influence on the underground scene and attracting new customers over the past few years. The parties as you will have seen whether it has been at Amnesia in Ibiza this year, previously at the legendary Space on the white isle or even over in Barcelona – are a thing of legend. The combination of the hard hitting, pack a punch underground sounds with out of this world confetti cannons and mouth watering props flurried everywhere you look is something I have been drawn to before and couldn’t resist heading to again – so it was time to get involved in their festival style event alongside the one and only LWE. This particular party was being held over a manic two day period, so it was a no brainer to allow the metaphorical Elrow mistress to whisk me away for the weekend. Elrow was hosted at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and had something for everyone when it came to taste in underground music – whether it was prestigious and popular names like Jamie Jones, Hot Since 82 or Seth Troxler, or Idris Elba on the decks – we were are truly spoilt for choice!
The energy was as expected on another level at Elrow, and even if you haven’t experienced it first hand you will have most likely heard about it by now being exactly how it sounds – no gimmicks and no exaggerations, the best of the best for a house and techno head!
I got a video of myself and one of my favourite DJs Seth Troxler doing our own individual thing right after he finished what was as always a real masterclass of a set, which was this time with Hot Creations and Paradise boss Jamie Jones.
Last weekend was yet another major festival being crossed off the list for what has been an incredible 2017, and for the first time I was over the moon to be attending Creamfields, something I knew I had to do at some point. People are often kind enough to acknowledge my commitment in terms of distance covered to these events that I yearn to be at week in week out, and that certainly stood corrected as the trip was a 9 hour all rounder..
The festival has been going for a fair few years now, and year in year out spectators and revellers like myself are consistently spoilt with numerous stages containing incredible lighting and stage production with the world’s best DJs in underground music acting as their centrepiece. This year was no different from any other, with Music On Italian icon Marco Carola headlining alongside the likes of Richie Hawtin, Jamie Jones moving his influential Paradise brand with him from the church of house and techno known as DC-10, and there were many others on the bill over a few days as well!
I managed to squeeze in as much gyrating as I possibly could during my time there, as you can appreciate I wanted to make the most of my time and maximise my raving energies into the festival as I tried to push to the back of my mind just how long the journey home was going to take..
Overall I loved my time at Creamfields even though I have to admit the colossal journey did make it debatable, but I am incredibly happy to now have this festival down as another I can state that I have been to!
South West Four
I’ve attended South West Four for the last two years now and just like Eastern Electrics this was also my third time of returning. Last year was the year I got the video of myself dancing with the security at the very same festival, a video which much to my delight has amused many around the world. I hope it still brings a smile to your faces even now 🙂
It brought back great memories when I realised upon arrival that the organisers behind South West Four made the pragmatic decision to hire the same security (EMK Events) again this year, and they were just as happy as last year (as you can tell from the video above)!
1 year on, the festival is just as good, with some of the biggest names in electronic music championing their sounds, the list truly was endless with familiar names here there and everywhere on a star studded line up that really satisfied all of us there who were thirsty to hear the very best pieces of production!
I feel that the video below and my love for the Amnesia stage speaks for itself..
After the carnage and party madness that ensued throughout the entirety of South West Four, there was only one place to finish the bank holiday weekend and that was back in my beloved Bristol with Banjax, a collection of people that I consider to be very close friends.
Despite it being on a smaller scale compared to the previous events I had been involved in throughout August, the line up was still a real treat with producers who had released on labels like Hot Creations and Toolroom there on the night – with headliners including Max Chapman, Apollo 84 and Hauswerks, as the Twisted Fusion brand teamed up with Banjax to bring us a real top night at Blue Mountain!
It always a really nice change of scenery to drift away from the larger scale events and return to a place where I spent my early days of raving, that being none other than Blue Mountain. Banjax at Blue Mountain is a very special rave for me as I have been with them before ‘BGR’ was even established, and they have supported me all the way through and made me feel like one of their own. So, big thanks and credit as always for Banjax for the parties they throw and the positive vibes they always aim to create through these events!
Editors: Callum Hughes, Bradley Gunn