Ahead of their slot on the Avalanche Stage at this year's Download Festival, Naomi Penn talks to WSTR frontman Sammy Clifford about the band's exciting new plansWritten by Naomi Penn on 26th May 2018
Review: 02:31 – DJ Q
Music Editor Issy Campbell reports 02:31 is still hosting some of the best raves in Birmingham, despite the loss of its original venue
Well 02:31, you did not disappoint. Having been synonymous with Rainbow, the venues closure left a few people wondering what that meant for the future of the iconic event. But we had nothing to worry about – 02:31 organisers made sure the people of Birmingham would still get their bassline fix, and stop at nothing to continue providing the best parties the city has seen.
Their return in the New Year meant a new venue and new set up at Lab11; a venue now hosting many of the events Rainbow once laid claimed too. Starting as early as 8pm, partygoers flooded into the venue clearly raring with excitement and the night to come. With an impressive line-up, boasting some of the biggest names in bassline, including Holy Goof, Cause & Affect, Darkzy and of course, DJ Q’s own 90-minute set, it’s easy to see why the event was a sell out in record time. Unfortunately, the set times were a bit disappointing, with all the former names mentioned clashing between 11-12 and 12-1. This did make things a little difficult if you had wanted to see a bit of everyone; but it wasn’t impossible.
“With an impressive line-up, boasting some of the biggest names in bassline, including Holy Goof, Cause & Affect, Darkzy and of course, DJ Q’s own 90-minute set, it’s easy to see why the event was a sell out in record time
The Arch is located outside, and gets constructed for the bigger events. Despite the uneven flooring, it definitely is a great space, offering an incredibly clear sound system that shook the core of its structure. Goof played classic tracks like Skepsis’ ‘Goes Like’, ‘Everybody Free’ VIP mix, as well as the VIP track of Katy B’s ‘On A Mission’ which was a real crowd pleaser, visibly noted by the fact everyone had their arms up singing along to the more than iconic chorus. During his set, Goof played ode to the Rainbow Venues, which was received with rapturous applause and cheers. As his set drew to a close MC Kie came on to warm the crowd up for DJ Q.
“During his set, Goof played ode to the Rainbow Venues, which was received with rapturous applause and cheers.
It must be pointed out that whole production of DJ Qs set was great, from the lighting to the sound, it proved to be a real show. DJ Q himself should also be credited for his set, it can’t be easy to keep the energy as high as he did for an entire 90-minutes, it really showed his versatility. Playing well-known tracks like a remix of the 7 Nation Army’s ‘White Stripe’ as well as ‘Flowers’, it was clear DJ Q’s set was always going to go down well. Perhaps he could have played it a bit less safe, but to be frank bassline DJs know what to do to get a crowd going, and everyone there was as pleased as each other to hear the timeless tracks he was dropping.
Having said that, DJ Q did offer a perfect little comedic spin, a quirk becoming quite popular amongst DJs now, dropping in the iconic melody of the A-Team just before he’d reload all over again… Throughout DJ Q’s set was MC Kie, and whilst I am sure many enjoyed his continued efforts to hype the crowd, it didn’t always work for me. That being said, it didn’t hinder the evening and it was nice to have someone keeping the excitement of the crowd up when DJ Q took to reloading the tracks.
“DJ Q offered a perfect little comedic spin, a quirk becoming quite popular amongst DJs now, dropping in the iconic melody of the A-Team just before he’d reload all over again…
Once DJ Q’s set ended, I definitely felt in need of a little break from heavy bassline, and Rothstein was the perfect answer. Providing some lighter, funkier tracks, Rothstein complemented the rest of the line-up perfectly. However, it must be said, the highlight of the evening was the back-to-back set from DJ Chef and DJ Smallz in The Arch. Playing from the early hours of 2-3 am, the two DJs managed to get the biggest reaction from the crowd. They knew exactly what to play in order to impress. Dropping tracks like ‘Renegade Master’, ‘No Words’ and ‘Candy Shop’, the DJs provided the perfect mix of heavy drops and lighter styled mixing to entertain and please. They even played Tom Jones’ ‘It’s Not Unusual’, which went down as well as you can imagine and left a very good lasting impression on those watching. As much as bassline is a loved genre, especially here in Birmingham, a night full only of heavy tracks can begin to feel repetitive, but thanks to DJ Chef and DJ Smallz the night had that perfect in-between needed.
“As much as bassline is a loved genre, especially here in Birmingham, a night full only of heavy tracks can begin to feel repetitive, but thanks to DJ Chef and DJ Smallz the night had that perfect in-between needed.
02:31 truly proved that it wasn’t an event made good because of the venue, but in fact it is an event that’s all about the music. The organisers should definitely be proud of this one. The security should also be noted, clearly events and venues around the city are more on edge since Rainbow’s licence revoktion, and I had fears this would perhaps ruin the vibe causing security to be overzealous, but I am glad to report this was not the case. All the staff were professional and friendly, with security notably walking between crowds, but in a way that wasn’t intrusive. Kudos to you 02:31, I can’t wait for the next one.
Click here to stay up to date with all future 02:31 events.