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October 2002
Drop the Bomb vs Detonate
Detonate poster
Detonate poster
Reviews of two of Nottingham's biggest club nights - Drop the Bomb and Detonate.

Reviews by
Mike Greenwell and Howard Gray
A NTU Platform article
Platfrom 2002/03
Issue 3:

Concerned students called to arms

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Drop the Bomb vs Detonate

Late Bars in Nottingham

Top ten things to do in the city for under £10

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Drop The Bomb @ The Bomb, Saturday 28th September 2002
Review by Mike Greenwell

Tonight was a re-opening night of sorts, for Drop the Bomb, after a short, but no doubt deserved rest for the Saturday night regular.

On arriving at the charged club just as Craig Richards began to take the reins of the already bucking bronco of a main room.

The Bomb flyer
The Bomb flyer
The club was densely packed to welcome the Tyrant resident back to the grind in Nottingham. Straight from the off Richards delivered a pumping selection of some storming house cuts, the energy and drive of the return of the Saturday crowd was appropriately capitalised on at every opportunity by DJ Craig.

It was bedlam for a while; a mystery tune from the box sequenced the noise from the contestants’ buttons in Blockbusters with Bob Houlnus (it definitely was!).

Its’ relentlessness and dirty funk seemed to intensify the franticness of the underground lair. It was one of the highlights of a very raw, party hard evening, and those in attendance felt good to be back.

Thankfully the back room matched its big brother’s hardness with top class eclecticism and musicality, and so retreat for a quieter drink was just as enjoyable.

True classics from D-Train ("Keep On") and De La Soul ("Say No Go") found good reaction in a sporadic crowd that still encapsulated the building’s spirit of a hedonistic Saturday; the lively atmosphere generated was in no way proportional to the smallish number of people anyway.

It was folk getting down as usual; on the raised areas, next to the speakers, whilst propped against the bar, even couples jacking the pillars (which was another highlight).

It was time to reinvestigate the main cave, where trusty resident Kelvin Andrews began to charm the faithful with some tripped out house that was slightly lacking in Richards’ set (in my opinion anyway). Former single of the week; "I’m Satisfied" signified the descent into the cool weirdness of this futuristic DJ.

A communal feeling seemed to sweep over the now slightly depleted crowd, that they would definitely see this one out, as roars of approval increased with each intuitive choice. It went from last weeks Platform favourite Zongaminn to distorted jungle disco loops, and beyond. "I’m Losing My Edge", new on Rapture records, typified the electro insanity that simply screamed out fresh. Drop the Bomb was evidently back, and it’s no surprise.

A brief word with James Baille (promoter and owner) confirmed the direction of the cavern’s musical pursuits for the year:
"It’s gonna be very f**king underground this year" and "I love Kelvin and his electro set, it just f**king goes off!" Expect more of the same I reckon then.

Guests to come include the aggressive class of Radioactive Man and Andy Weatherall for a Rotters’ Golf Club night; I predict this time the Bomb may explode!

Detonate vs. Drum & Bass Arena @ Media - Wednesday 2nd October 2002
Review by Howard Gray

The vibes for this event had been bubbling ever since the first posters emerged four weeks ago, and even though I thought it would be pretty busy, the queue was down the road and round the corner by the time we arrived at 10:30.

Detonate logo
Detonate logo
Maybe it was the attraction of such luminaries as Adam F and Shy FX, maybe it was the lure of having d&b thunder through the sound system of Nottingham’s superclub, or maybe it was just the fact that the music in Nottingham (and in general) is going through somewhat of a renaissance.

As well as an excellent line-up that also included Tony Vegas and Prime Cuts, as well the Stanton Warriors’ Dominic B, Sheffield’s Drum & Bass Arena were also involved; broadcasting the whole event live on their website.

After spending a long time waiting to get in (due to security so tight it bordered on paranoid and a metal detector that got set off by everyone’s keys) it was straight into the hip hop room to grab a drink and become accustomed to our surroundings for the evening.

I thought £3 for a half-pint of beer was pushing it a bit, but I suppose that’s the way things are at a place which obviously costs as much to run as Media does.

Anyway, after having a 10-minute wander trying to find the toilets, I stumbled across the main room, or rather the top tier of the main auditorium. Those of you who have been to Media will know what I’m talking about, for those that haven’t it’s very much like an amphitheatre, with three tiers of bar space above the gladiatorial dance floor, which was already pulsating with Transit Mafia working his way through some real upfront material – new Moving Fusion and BC tracks setting the tone, as well a killer double-drop of Swift’s ‘Rebirth’ and the massive ‘LK’ near the end of his set.

With the slight figure of Shy FX not around to grace the decks at 12, it was the towering frame of Swift himself who replaced him at short notice.

The first track has barely started when the next one was winding up; no doubt Swift is king of the double drop, and the dance floor really started rocking by the time ‘Dogsploitation’ muscled its way through 15 minutes in.

Meanwhile, people were spoilt for choice elsewhere; The Scratch Perverts were on typically excellent form in Room 2; dropping a mixture of crowd pleasers, underground beats, and a fine selection of cuts and flares to a high-spirited crowd of revellers.

However, although the vibe in here (as well as the main arena) was good, it was the very top room where I spent a fair bit of time over the evening. Dominic B, one of the nu-skool breaks scene’s finest, was clearly having a good time behind the decks, dropping some of the phattest flavours I’ve heard in a long time to an avid bunch of groovers. As with every part of the club, the crowd here was a well-mixed bunch of people (although mainly students), which is always a good thing to see.

Back in the main room, DJ Zinc had arrived to replace Ed Rush, who has been committing a few no-shows at various UK events recently. Still, no bother as the man-mountain they call MC Det was on the mic and had no problem getting some real decibels out of the crowd. Zinc’s mixing was crisp and clinical as ever, the main pressure points being ‘Rock Baby’ from Optical, Influx Datum’s ‘Back For More’, and of course the massive ‘Fair Fight’ by Zinc himself.

The music policy throughout the night seemed pretty funky, almost bordering on eclectic, and although the d&b was still pretty rough and rugged, the emphasis was on beats that everyone could get into rather than harder technical rhythms. The sound system in Media is not to be sniffed at either, especially with speakers up in the bars as well as the main dance floor, and even the more restrained tracks still sounded titantic wherever you were standing.

It was still hard to really feel at one in the venue though, I think it’s still more suited as a house club, but it’s definitely a nice change to have d&b and hip hop in there nonetheless.
Due to having to be up fairly early the next day (and being out of cash), it was time to leave just after two, just after Dominic B had departed to a flurry of cheers and handshakes.

This event proved that the music policy Detonate have in operation is very popular, yet still retains a fairly underground edge. Although this was billed as a one-off, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Media management come back for more, and there’s no doubt the clubbers would do the same.
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