Back in my forum posting days in around 2000 or so, long before the days of facebook, twitter and even myspace, a way of keeping in touch and making new friends with the clubbing community was via message boards. The big clubs had them including Gatecrasher and Godskitchen. The Godskitchen one is particularly close to my heart as the club was based in Birmingham and some of the closest friends I have today I met via that community.
However it was a post on the DI.FM forum that struck a chord with me back then, and for some reason, to this day I remember it, and on this particular night, it could not be truer.
‘Trance music is the classical music of the future’
Who knew, some 25 years later this forum post would to a degree come true. Other events have come before it, most notably Pete Tong’s arena speculator which has toured the country doing a number of club music classics from that boom period for clubbing where the queues at Gatecrasher in Sheffield would make national news, Ministry of Sound would have prime time TV adverts for their compiliation CDs, 3 monthly clubbing based magazines were available, there was a TV channel on Sky called Rapture, who went to the clubs and recorded nights, if you look hard enough you’ll even find the Godskitchen night archived online! Oh and vinyl was still the form of choice for DJs. It was glorious time to be alive and young.
Above & Beyond (Have I mentioned my name is in the CD sleeve credits in Anjunabeats Volume 1, seriously, it is, go check it out) have also done Orchestral performances of their tracks, which has gone on from being a small church event, to last year the Royal Albert Hall, and in just a couple of weeks time, this years event takes place at the o2 arena!
Since being a heavy rocker/grunge kid at school, to then becoming a ‘cyber/crasher kid’ in my late teens early twenties, to then going back to Indie/Rock by 2006 and then also getting into classical music itself after I dated a bassoon player for a couple of years my music taste is now quite eccentric and been on many journeys of it’s own.
However none have took me on the journey that between 1997 and 2006 did. Almost every weekend for almost 10 years I’d be at either one of Godskitchen, Gatecrasher, Passion, Slinky or even Sundissential. There were others of course but those were the key ones for us. This close knitted community I touched upon from the Godskitchen forums days would travel everywhere to follow our heroes. Or as Faithless put it, our Gods. Because back then it truly did feel like God was a DJ.
Trance was the genre throughout the majority of that period that made the journey all the more speculator. The synthy uplifting and euphoric melodies mainly inspired by Dutch artists such as Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren and Ferry Corsten were hypnotic. It had become an infection in the UK. The era of the superclubs was born out of it, and I really don’t think we’ll ever experience a time like it ever again. Especially as there was still so much innocence about the world, as already mentioned facebook did not exist, and neither did smartphones. Many of us took disposable cameras in with us and hoped for the best. Digital cameras were still a very expensive luxury, especially for someone in their teens or early twenties.
So fast forward 25 years, and here we all are again, well I say all, a small group of us, 6 to be exact, has come up to Sheffield to relive those classic melodies again, but this time with a symphony orchestra behind it. The Kaleidoscope Orchestra to be exact. I’d never heard of them until this shindig, but looking up afterwards, they do some pretty cool stuff, so check them out, I’ll post a link at the bottom of the post.
The performance itself, was magical. I’m not sure it could have been better. Every track that was picked, was a giant, and fitted in with the concept perfectly. From the opening chords of Seven Cities being strung out on the guitar from The Twang’s very own Stu Hartland (Should have give us a call for a lift up our kid)
Guest such as Jan Johnson and Jes performed live vocals for the tracks they are most famous for. It was the perfect musical journey, encapsulating 9 years of memories into a 2 hour performance.
The light and laser show was as if were back in the Republic in Sheffield (RIP) again, it was truly spectacular and no expense had been sparred. The City Hall staff who are probably used to downbeat events, must have been wondering what the hell was going on, the roars, cheers and sing a longs flowed. No one was sitting down at this gig, which also made way for people to be sneaky. Despite 6 of us going, we were all in separate seating places for the event itself. When it became clear for one set of friends that no one much was around them in the stalls, (perhaps those had also sneaked further forward) the texts were out and we were all shortly reunited back in the stalls. Of which I wasn’t complaining, I should have paid an extra £15 to be sat, sorry stood where I was now, but it meant I got the full effect of the laser and lights show.
When something is so good, it’s hard to actually write a review, thankfully. I took plenty of photos of videos, so make up your own opinion if you need too. Lets just say it was brilliant, and if something like this comes around again, don’t even think about it, just get tickets! If you want more social media from the event, check out the #GatecrasherClassical hash on Instagram
For more information about Kaleidoscope Orchestra, click here