At that time, there was another [house] night in town well known for its' brilliant and friendly crowd with a top atmosphere and it made sense that the two would work really well together. That night was Crunch" and since the first joint event back in March 1997, it proved to be one of the most successful partnerships in clubland, with Flashback hosting the upstairs room once a month to sell-out crowds.
Things progressed so well that following the bank holiday event in April 1998 where Mickey Finn caused a roadblock, the Flashback crew needed a bigger venue. June '98 saw the first ever Flashback at the Que Club and those who came to witness Ratpack, Grooverider and DJ Sy knew that this was only the beginning of the next stage...
One of the best venues in the country perfectly compliments Flashback's brilliant and up-for-it crowd and it has now grown into one of the biggest nights around. The addition of the upfront drum n' bass arena and the hard house/trance room means at each gig, you'll find thousands of people having it right off with headline DJs across all 3 rooms of music. If you haven't yet checked it out, you don't know what you're missing!!!
A treat for me to do a club review in my home town, no trekking for 2-3 hours down long lonely motorways, no scurrying around a t the last minute trying to sort out this, that and t’other, no space heads to wait on and best of all not far to go home when mashed up at the end. Unusually for me I had the please of meeting the organisers beforehand, or least half of the organisation known as Flashback. I’m not altogether sure whether it was ‘Flash’ I met or ‘Back’ I suppose that’s irrelevant to you, but I feel it is important and that’s what counts SO THERE. Known to theirs friends as Mo & Jimmy their early experience with Dance music promotion came with their involvement with a Dance music Society at the Guild of Students at Birmingham University. This was in August 1995, with a captive audience of a while university of bods eager to hear Dance music all now knowing where they could go as they were in a strange place away from home with feet ready to shake to beat. The initial parties were very much House orientated but both Mo and Jimmy were well into the RAVE scene and took the bold step in December 1995 to try thus musical genre out on their own crowd. This first RAVE event was named “Something for the Weekend was sponsored by Mates Condoms and involved no hair cutting whatsoever. This was obviously an Old Skool Hardcore revival, and the event was an overwhelming success.
The onslaught of request for tapes and other events soon led to the launch of Flashback in September 1996. The launch immediately pulled in over 400 members and the first Flashback event in October 96 was a complete sell out. If you are old enough to remember those original tunes then I’ll give you details in a while. Currently the Flashback crew are trying to Spread the gospel, the goal is to reach as wide an audience as possible. The method currently being used is one of clever intellect as they are taking Flashback to local established clubs throughout the Midlands area. The basic idea is to take the extra or back rooms over, completely do out the joint in their own decor with all their own DJs playing plus the added bonus of at least one famed name from the Old Skool era.
The musical policy being one of strictly Old Skool Hardcore with all your favourite anthems from the 89-93 dance music or Rave scene. The crowd that the Flashback posse hope to pull is everyone and anyone, if you remember the old days of Peace, Love, Unity and Respect or if you were still in shorts and not allowed out after 9pm now's your chance to catch up with all that atmosphere that you missed out on the first time around. Its definitely a case of wear what the hell you like, do what you like and dance if you can.
So there is a brief history of Flashback what it’s about, who it’s about and for going out, back and about. No time machine required, just an open mind and a shakin behind. So on to the night in questions, Friday 21st March at Branstons The Venue, the infamous home of Wobble located in Branston Street in the heart of Birmingham clubland Hockley. Friday night plays host to Crunch a popular weekly event usually pulling in a crowd of 800 or so eager nutters all ready to do the do, all night long.
Tonight was interesting I’ve been to the club on nuff occasions as it’s one of my personal favourites in Birmingham and the club was packed by 10.30pm which is highly unusual as it normally doesn’t fill til around Midnight, obviously Mo’s hard work for the previous weeks, flying clubs and shops, had paid off. The club was awash with new face not seen before and it looked like the crew were ready to have it, large style. Music kick off in the upstairs room which was hosting Flashback tonight at 12.30am. By now everyone was bursting and the room took no time to fill to capacity. Mistress Mo hosted for the first two and a half hours with surprise, surprise Old Skool. Classics all the way through those hot and sweaty days of arm throwing all came rushing back to me. Of course, as usual the rushing was some what aided by Recreational Pharmaceuticals but it’s all in the name of fun and good journalism so up yours.
The decor through the room was most definitely in the Old Skool flavour, Cargo netting draped across the ceiling, wild crazy twisted backdrops hung from the walls enhanced by the masses of UV light sprawling across the room. I love UV lights they’re so trippy. MMM. Sorry lost the plot again, no laser but the room doesn’t really warrant it size wise so probably a good call. Lights were there in their usual manner just a nice finish to a well decorated room. In fact once mashed up you could have actually been at a Starlight or Dance Planet or Fantazia or wherever. Yes, yes and as the man GQ would say, right next up on the wheels of steel’ (all dem ole saying come back to me now) was ‘Jason Kaye’ of yes, for all the Ole Skool folk who remember, ‘Top Buzz’ fame. A Treat indeed, a complete one and a half hours of pure anthem classics played by a true professional for those who had not seen before a special treat, but for those who have been before an even bigger treat. Boy do those memories just keep on rushin ole face like Head in the Clouds, Way in my Brain, Sweet Harmony, untold amounts of total purist Hardcore, our roots if you like. Last and by no means least a very nervous Simon M took control of the Deck and he was understandably quite nervous, wouldn’t you be following Jason Kaye? A sterling job was done on the still havin it crowd who never left the dancefloor until the last tune dropped. I half expected everyone to hang around shouting “One More, One More” just like we used to back in them Old Skool days we seem to have all forgotten.
These events are sure to take off big style. If you get the chance to go to one then do. You most definitely will have a seriously pukka night out. Beware you are most definitely prone to a series case of Flashbaks. By the time you read this another trip back into time will have been had on 25th April, back at Branstons, you cant stop success you know.
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