This page was created as I guessed the other pages would become too cluttered, and besides, it made sense to lump the really dodgy images into one page ;)
These images comprise as many parties as possible, starting with the August 2001 one I held in Reading; this page will hopefully detail loads more in the future as well... Sit back and enjoy!
September 20, 2003, Antiworld Party, Stratford Rex, London
One year on from my first outing in a club setting with my main crew, so what way to celebrate the anniversary than to hit the best club of the lot (well, the ones I've been to so far!) - the Rex.
It was good to be home again - can't believe it's been a whole 5 months since the last time - and of course, the first time in AGES that Loveday was with the posse!
However, Taku couldn't make it due to a rather painful leg, so it was just a threesome this time. Overall, a pretty damn fine night, but why was the psy-trance on in the smaller room that's usually devoted to chillout? Check out the crowds:
Oh yeah, and one MAJOR complaint - don't mean to be sexist, but my hunt for a woman's going to go nowhere if the male/female ratios are like THIS every time - very unrepresentative of the Rex! Maybe the ladies were all in the main arena.... which was pumping, but the tunes got a bit samey over half an hour, so the psy-trance room was defo the one to be in. I shouldn't whine about the woman thing really - after all, I go to clubs to dance for me and me alone and if someone wants to join in, that's their prerogative! Party on :)
We met some new mates as well - Fred and John were well sorted - not sure how Fred came up with the idea for the dummy mind you, but it was a cracker - his first outing both with the dummy AND his first outing to the Rex - pure class!!
just wish my hair would hurry up and grow - tying the front up was,
ahem, rather mad... All in good time I guess! Oh well, I was able to
let it down for a bit while not dancing; we got to hear more of the
tunes in the main arena later on when we went to chill...
Glastonbury Festival, 25-30 June, 2003, Pilton, Somerset
Ever since I got the NME in July 1993, and drooled over the free tape of music from the Pyramid stage, I've wanted to go to Glasters. And every year without fail, I've not been able to go! Whether it be through lack of money (surprise surprise!), exams (twice!), Glastonbury being cancelled, and just general freaky bad luck, I never got to go. This year, my mates Ian, Ed and I'd been discussing getting tickets, but assumed (quite rightly) that the scourge of Ebay would hit on booking day. As luck would have it, I managed to get my ticket just as the website came back online on the first day, even though I was going to wait until the Tuesday. Good thing I didn't...
The first gut reaction when I found out the price was "HOW MUCH!?!!?" - £116 isn't particularly cheap... I bought a ticket anyway (glad I did!) and proceeded to plan...
Within 10 minutes of getting through the main gates, after a rather bumpy double decker ride from Castle Carey, I could see what the fuss was about. We arrived at midday, and already there was a lovely vibe - once inside that fence, it was another world. Like being in a really good club night, but for 6 days! Once the tents were pitched, we went for a short wander to see what was what. The market place was already open, although the stages weren't fully finalised. It was very interesting seeing the Glade being put together though... And of course, there was that Stone Circle to visit - this was to be one of the main places for me as the time went on - there's a really strong feel inside those stones - something very strange is afoot in there, but it's like a little bubble of warmth; call me a hippy (I'm getting that way) but I could feel a whole load of positive energy there.
Thursday was another totally laid back day - we met up with some old Uni mates of mine, Jason and Liz (yep, that Jason, from the band) - and proceeded to hit the Stone Circle with a couple of cups of cider and some other refreshments.
The festival is supposed to promote
and the health of the planet, I was gutted to see that the Circle had already been strewn with litter since the Wednesday. I'm proud to report that none of us dropped one piece of litter through the whole festival - shame on those of you that did!
We decided to grab a pint from the bar by the side of the Pyramid - and good timing; they were testing the mammoth TV screens - quite bizarre seeing huge test patterns against a dark sky - the screens didn't have bezels either so the images just hung in space (anyone else who has nystagmus will know what I mean by that).
The Glade had opened by Thursday night - so a quick shiftie was in order - woah, a club in a forest - this is pretty cool! Can't remember what the tunes were , but it had a really good vibe to it - the coloured lights in the trees really made the place something to behold.
Finally - the MUSIC! These are photos of the bands I got photos of - pity about the lack of quality due to disposable camera and excessive distance...
Friday arrived, but we didn't, and thus we missed The Darkness. Damn - I hadn't heard any of their stuff then, but I missed out big time - they rule! Oh well, the Inspiral Carpets'll do; they did a great show - and even though we got a bit worried when the rain came (Ian and Ed went in '98!), it soon dried up again (while we hid like wusses in the Cabaret Tent (John Ottway is a nutter - and Atilla the Stockbroker was damn cool too). By the time the sun was in full swing, we got to see a blinding set from the Afro Celt Sound System - that blew me away...
Friday night was a real bummer though - what were they thinking? X-Press 2, Seb Fontaine, Primal Scream, James Lavelle, REM, Royksopp, Suede, Junior Senior, Lemon Jelly, Morcheeba, Electric Six, The Music, REM - ALL sorted acts I'd have liked to have seen, but they all interlinked and clashed! I finally grew some balls and headed off on my own after we'd done The Music, so I could check out the Dance Tent... Well - urm, a bit bigger than the Rex - kind of unnerving. What sucked was that I'd got an SMS from Loveday (yep, she got a ticket too!), and I knew she was in the Dance Tent for Seb Fontaine. Chances of finding her for X=Press 2 - NIL! The tent was baking and I didn't dare try to go through the throng - as it turned out, she was near the front so no go! X-Press 2 didn't disappoint - blinding set. And despite the size of the thing, there was a great atmosphere in there... Off to the Glade for James Lavelle next (and I got lost!) - oh well, after a quick chill I found the place again (confused quite madly by this point!) and had a good one. I then got lost AGAIN on the way down to the Pyramid to see REM - and what a show that was - easily as good as their 1995 Cardiff Arms set. A great end to the first full day of tunes...
As blooming typical luck would have it, we woke up well early on Saturday (why not Friday - oh why did we miss The Darkness!?), so we amused ourselves with some of the dodgy CD compilations we had created. Got another SMS from Loveday about Jimmie Cliff (thank GOD she reminded me of this set!!) - so we headed off down to the Pyramid for a look-see. He was amazing - a totally laid back vibe and it was just like Jamaica, with all the peace and sun and laid-back vibes. Easily the high point of the weekend musically for me...
However, we failed to meet Loveday here too. Finally caught up in the Glade, and christ ALONE knows who was on - it had to be (at a guess) Barry Krishna or A Guy Called Adam. Either way - from here on in my Saturday got weirder and weirder...
....Oh yes, they'd found a DECENT chai bar - MUCH better than the slightly mingin' mucky one I found in the main market place between the Other and Pyramid Stages! If you EVER go to WOMAD or Glasters, you MUST check out the Lunched Out Lizard - it's a blinding place and their chai is the best! So a couple of cups of tea (man what the HELL is that dumbass with that trumpet doing over there!?), then through this weird tunnel under the "railway track" main thoroughfare, and off to Nitin Sawhney for a bit. Our posse split up to go multiple ways; Loveday and Umar went I have no idea where (though Radiohead was part of their, along with most everyone else's, plan!), Ian went off for Los Lobos and others, and I took Ed to the Other Stage, to check out Love (third time in 9 months I've seen them - killer - and very very very of the moment nudge nudge ;)), the Coral (mad - even though I got caught short and had to use a Turdis near the main arena - minging!) and The Super Furry Animals - who RULED - amazing light show. Anyway, by this point Ian was back (which was lucky, as I was having a real hard time looking after Ed and what little sanity I had left!), and so back to the Glade...
Well, Glasters ain't complete without an all-nighter sun-up at the Stone Circle, so we decided to hang at the Lunched Out Lizard from about 1.30 to 4am, and then sloped off to the Stone Circle. Well, there were a fair few there, and they all looked colder than we did (which was hard, bearing in mind the chai tent was full so we'd sat on a damp tarp outside!). The first real sign of a decent Police presence was in evidence too - about 20 of them standing around. As we'd found already, the Stone Circle is the main drugs mecca in Glasters; the cries of "Trips, Speed, E's, Mushrooms, Weed, Trips, hash truffles, mushroom cakes etc. etc." can be heard here all the time. However, with the Police there, it was a nice welcome break to not hear the hawkers trying to sell their wares (no matter how interesting they might be!) - and that prat who kept shouting "BEER!" from Wednesday had gone too.
Truly a really amazing feeling - one hell of a loved up vibe and a real sense of oneness with the environment and people around us, which is more than can be said for the 4 dealers we saw being hauled off in the Police truck!
Sunday morning (what was left of it!) arrived WAAAY too quick; we managed to get about 3 hours' kip before the tents got too hot, and then we dragged our protesting bodies all the way through the Lost Vagueness field (vague wasn't the word - had someone spiked my tea or did these things below really exist - guess they must have done if I have photos!)....
.... all the way along to the Lost Stage for the String Cheese Incident. Now I'm ashamed to admit that although the music was great, I was on one hell of a dead battery, even with the sun's warmth, so couldn't give much in effort here. In fact, dragging across to the One World Stage for Yes, and catching Slovo first (who rocked!), nearly killed me. No joke. I nearly collapsed during Yes' set due to the heat - and yes, I had been drinking plenty of water.
It rained a little after Yes' set, while we were seeing Billy Bragg (who I really enjoyed). The water had run out so we had to move over to pints - big mistake. I'd forgotten my heat incident from earlier, and was pretty tipsy after only 3 pints - so much that when I sat down to save my legs during Richard Thompson's set, I fell asleep. Yup.
Wobbling like a Weeble on the way to see the end of The Streets wasn't much fun either - I wished I'd gone to Hallucinogen in Dub, Raja Ram, and the other blinders on in the Glade and had water and Red Bull instead of alcohol, but I didn't have the energy to dance - gutting.
All in all then, one helluva life experience I intend to repeat next year - I hope we can get a bigger posse, and this time we'll be camping in Green Fields 'cos the Glade, Stone Circle and Lunched Out Lizard are definitely my spiritual homes at Glasters... Just watch you don't take sweeties off strangers people!
Kenny and Zoe's wedding, 30 May, 2003, Fleet Church/Farnham Castle
Well, I guess this is where the circle of weddings begins! Kenton and Zoe chose Fleet Church for the service (Kenny's right - the vicar WAS a good laugh!) and they'd managed to blag Farnham Castle for the reception - think the first wedding in Four Weddings and then double it and you're getting somewhere near the quality of this place - very impressive! The food was lush as well...
Anyway, on with the images :)
10 May, 2003, Exeter
My second housewarming, this is some of the motley crew from Exeter and Exmouth... A good time was had by all (I think) - and the carpet got fed with loads of peanuts thanks to some people who shall remain nameless, but they share a lot in common with monkeys - so there's a hint....
This is the local rave scene in Reading - held in the Boxing Club, about 2 minutes' pre-party walk (5 minutes post-party stagger!) from my house there. It's been going since December 2002, and I have been to every one so far. I don't have any photos of this, and only have low-res prints of the flyers, so if you're curious to check it out, the site is www.projectozma.com - if you're in Reading and you haven't been yet, what's your excuse!?
Main raves and parties in reverse order according to time:
April 26, 2003, Solar Stage Creation Party, Stratford Rex, London
Yep, yet ANOTHER Rex night, but that place is awesome... We didn't realise that GMS had been playing a set the night before, so the Rex was about half full = loadsa room, cool temperature, and a chillout room that doesn't impersonate a boiling kettle!
This was Robbie's deal, and he got a good one - Prometheus was BANGIN'!
Only bummer was the security/chewing gum incident - pity the dimebar missed the blatant packets in my combat pockets, but found the "hidden" packet in my hat... Poetic justice?
March 29th , 2003, Astral Phoenix Spring Awakening, Stratford Rex, London
What can I say - my first rave was an Astral, and guess what, Infected Mushroom played this one too - launching "Converting vegetarians" - one blinding set - and one wicked night. Here's the motley crew who went (Robbie's taking the photo!):
As with the other Astral - packed to the rafters, VERY hot, very good music, but this time the chillout room was cooking - you know that feeling when you open an oven door and the blast of heat hits you - imagine that AND a tonne of steam coming through as you open the door to the chillout room - not fun!
December 31st, 2002, Chichime, EQ Warehouse, London
Well, the Purple Turtle in Reading is wink on New Years, so I sussed this one out instead - well, after discovering raves only 3 months earlier, it would have been rude NOT to go wouldn't it? They played Cosmosis' "Human Evolution" to ring in the New Year, and so far this year's been pretty damned good, so it must have been a great omen! Got me mad anyway - that tune ROCKS!!!
November 2nd, 2002, Tip World Party, Stratford Rex, London
It's alright for some - Loveday managed to escape our employer on the 28th October... However, with pleasure/pain theory, it was also her 30th on the 1st November, so what better way to celebrate than to have a blinder to end all blinders at the Rex - a venue rapidly becoming my second home!
The night started off sedate enough, but I knew we had a hidden agenda to totally 'take the p-ss' as they say in Human Traffic, despite some minor setbacks such as the security staff being fascists and taking everything they could including deodorant and chewing gum, and Russ losing £40 by leaving it on a chair - oops... Come 6 am, we move onto an after party at the EQ Warehouse in Hackney Wick and keep the fun rolling until 12 noon the following afternoon (luckily the film ran out before this though)... To say I overdid it would be an understatement.
Anyway, without further ado, here are those promised photos...
October 19th, 2002, Azuma, Stratford Rex, London
Well, I had to deliver a tape deck to my mate Brendon, and, well, on impulse got on the phone to my psy-trance guru Loveday and ended up raveling across London for a bangin' night of serious tunes - I'd heard so much about Cosmosis that to miss him would have been sheer lunacy!
In addition, X Dream were also pretty damn good although we missed half their set due to a bit of an extended stop in the chillout room - time has mysterious properties in the Rex... We'd got confused by the band name and mistook them for Extreme before we got there - man we were confused as to how rock would work with psy-trance - although Dark Soho seem to do very well with it :)
Incidentally, we were the last 2 non-staff to leave the Rex that night - somehow we managed to stay in there until 7 - very necessary as it was effing freezing outside...
October 5th, 2002, Astral Phoenix, Stratford Rex, London
My first rave... OK OK, so it's not your usual party, but by the middle of the night when everyone was up and loving it, it FELT like a blooming massive house party - if this is what psy-trance is like gimme more!!!
The beats were constant all night but the music just kept building and becoming more sublime with every track, and Infected Mushroom - woah - I had to rush out and get their album, which is pumping out as I type this... Hard to believe those little Rega Kytes can handle this stuff but they seem to have a cut down essence of the Stratford Rex's 50Kw rig - i.e., fast, clean and lots of fun! Even more difficult for me to believe is that this is Israeli trance - I don't know why but I'd never expect to hear these kind of tunes from Israel - although the last track has some influences - good to see that even with the troubles there the creative spirit is still alive - love and respect due methinks!
There are no photos of us lot in the club, but that was probably a very good thing! However, might be doing one in November so keep your eyes peeled.... ;)
In the words of Jeremy Factsman - "Reach for the lasers - safe as f***"
August 11, 2001, Reading
Every party has to have some dodgy pictures, and here are the ones from this one ;)
More parties to follow...
The price you pay to the party god....