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Tribal Gathering

August 26, 2003

So, we all went to the tribal gathering tenth anniversary warehouse party on saturday 23rd for Cresley's 30th birthday. I've only now recovered enough to blog about it! While on the whole I had an very good night, there were a couple of things that took the shine off the night for me.

Tickets cost nearly 30 quid a pop, but you got three stages and some of my favourite acts (eg Krafty Kuts, DJ Yoda, Groove Armada) were playing. The fact that it was held the day after Cresley's birthday made it an ideal night out as far as I was concerned. The flyers told us that no food or drink could be brought in but that "we'll make sure it's priced reasonably, so stop whining you tight gits".

There was a bit of rigmarole getting to the venue, presumably an attempt to recapture the whole early-nineties-illegal-rave vibe; we had to ring a mobile number to find out where to go and make our way across Manchester on the basis of a half-remembered A to Z page. This wasn't made easier by the fact that there was the Gay Pride festival and Man City's first home match of the season on the same day. Ed and Annie ended up going the wrong way and only realised when they spotted the fact that all the people going their way were wearing Man City shirts and all the people with glowsticks and daft furry boots were going in the opposite direction.

When we turned up, it turned out that "reasonably priced" means £3.50 for a 330ml tin of warn Budweiser (probably the pissiest beer in the world), and two quid for a bottle of fricking water! Still, I expected the high prices. What I didn't expect and was much more of a pain in the arse was the token system.

You couldn't go to the bar and simply buy a pisswarm Bud. No, you had to queue up in one place to buy tokens (at £1 per token) for use at the bar. You then had to queue again for the bar where you exchanged your tokens for beverages. This made the average trip to the bar last on average 30 - 45 minutes! For the organisers it had the twin benefits of eradicating the need for the bars to have a float/change/etc and making sure we all spent plenty of money on the right to go to the bar in the first place!

Still, the bar fiasco aside, it was a wicked cool party. They had fairground rides and the atmosphere was typically relaxxed and friendly. DJ Yoda was playing when we arrived in the smallest of the three rooms. This was where the hip-hop, scratching and breaks acts were all night, and had a much lower pointy-hat and whistle count than the other two rooms. Yoda played a blinder, including a lovely MC Pitman drop. He also played an extremely beefed-up version of ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man" which I missed unfortunately since I'd nipped out to try and cool down.

Yeah, as you'd expect, you only had to walk through the rooms to end up drenched in sweat, such was the humidity and the close press of bodies. Actually dancing meant you ended up pissing out of every pore, but that's okay. I didn't go there to pose or stay dry!

From there on in, events became a bit disjointed and hazy. Key points:

  • Giles Peterson playing "Duelling Banjos" and scratching the banjo part
  • Cresley going on the "Earth Shaker" fairground ride three times in a row
  • Seeing several bouncers and a medic rushing past with some collapsed feller
  • Cresley going ape to the Deep Dish set
  • Repeated drops of the Knight Rider theme and that Punjabi MC tune

The queues for the manky portaloos were all huge, so it was a good idea to start queueing well in advance. There was one incident that annoyed and then amused me in one of the queues. I'd been waiting for about 30 minutes and I was second in line. Just as the cubicle door opened, a very mashed up girl staggered across from the queue next door and bolted in with a shout to her mate. The girl in front of me was incensed.

However, the two boos who'd nicked the cubicle were too ripped to remember to lock the door. About a minute after they got in, the bloke behind me in the queue went forward and whipped the door open! The spaced out girls looked very confused and then shut the door and locked it. Which was their big mistake. After a good five minutes in there, the door rattled and it became clear that they were too fucked-up to remember a) that they'd locked the door and b) how to unlock it! The whoops of laughter as they hammered on the door imagining that someone else has blocked it! After someone shouted instructions to them they managed to get out and stagger off. I saw one of them being carried around , feet dragging, later. Lightweights. When you're at an eighteen-hour warehouse party you have to pace yourself!

Deep Dish were followed by Groove Armada who were pretty good, but not as good as I'd expected them to be. The highlight turned out to be the Krafty Kuts set, which featured a bootleg of "You got the love" by Candi Staton, some incredible scratching and a tribute to the era in the form of SL2's "On A Ragga Tip" and the Prodigy's "Outer Space" interleaved with the original reggae track that the Prodigy sampled. A definite contender for best set I've ever danced to, for sure.

We didn't make it right to the end, though. After the Scratch Perverts, from around 4am, the music was almost all hardcore techno and I've been there and done that. Everybody was in the mood to go and get some reasonably-priced alcohol at home, and besides, the last train of the morning was the 3.43.

Besides, I'm getting too old for that shit now.

Posted by Jonah at August 26, 2003 11:09 AM