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Creamfields 2005 - 27th August 2005

Creamfields 2005 was held at its usual location of Old Liverpool Airfield, a few miles outside of Liverpool city centre. The weather was fairly kind, dry with a mix of cloud and sunshine.

Arrived at around 5pm and on entry into the event was met with the first and only drawback of the day. Security would not let me take my digital camera in, on account of it being classified as commercial camera equipment. So unfortunately there will be no photos to accompany the review. I would have applied for a press pass in advance, but at Creamfields 2004 I had been allowed to take the camera in.

With photo taking responsibilities now removed, this was advantageous in other ways in that it meant spending more time concentrating on the DJs and artists.  As usual I bought one of the 6 event programs that you hang around your neck. Yes the price is extortionate, however it is the only reliable source for listing accurate set times for the DJs and artists.

After first courting briefly with the main stage to catch the end of Audio Bullys, I checked out the whole event area, including a couple of bars along the way. I also attempted to plan which DJs and artists I was going to see during the event, not an easy task as there are always overlaps so you have to make sacrifices.

First DJ I chose to see was Hernan Cattaneo, who started at 19:00 in the Southern Fried Records tent.  Cattaneo delivered a trademark set of deep and driving progressive house, with a hint of Breaks for good measure. Mixing was seamless.

Next up on my list were Infusion. Incredibly they were only given half an hour on the main stage, which is barely enough for a talented electronic band of Infusion's stature to even warm up. But despite that they still stuck to their task in a professional manner and played with all the energy that you would normally expect from them, including the awesome 'Girls Can Be Cruel'. This also saw my first sacrifice of the day, since Infusion were on at 19:30 so I had to miss the middle 30 minutes of Hernan Cattaneo's set. I did of course return to hear most of the last half hour of Cattaneo.

I remained in the Southern Fried Records tent to catch the first 15 minutes of Jon Carter, before heading back over to the main stage at 20:45 for my next port of call. By this time the main stage area was very crowded because it was time for the legendary Faithless. This was only the second time I had ever seen Faithless, and they delivered many of their usual favourites such as Insomnia, God Is A DJ, We Come 1 and Muhammad Ali. As I had arrived just as they took the stage, it was impossible for me to find a place near the front. However I found a good vantage point off to the right hand side, and in truth, I was still in a relaxed frame of mind at that time and so wasn't looking to jump around mental in the crowd.

Faithless finished on schedule at around 22:00, and for me it was straight over to the Chibuku Shake Shake tent where I managed to catch the last hour of Layo & Bushwacka. Now much as I had enjoyed every DJ and artist that I had seen so far, this final hour of Layo & Bushwacka turned out to be my most enjoyable of the event so far. Many may believe that Layo & Bushwacka are strictly Breaks DJs, but this is not true. Whilst their set was undoubtedly Breaks-based, it included tech, deep, and progressive house, as well as electroclash (I had also seen Layo & Bushwacka at Space in Ibiza in July where they had played out a similar style of set that included a bit of everything). Tune selection, variation and technical ability were all of a high standard, and for DJs they also have a 'live' feel to them which is probably best described by experiencing them for yourself.

With Layo & Bushwacka finishing at approximately 23:00, it was time for a short period of chilling out before checking out some of the other tents at the festival. So I spent a bit of time in the Aftershock tent before moving on to the Strongbow bar. In the Strongbow bar I had the good fortune of catching the end of Ivan Smagghe's set and then the first hour or so of The Glimmers.

The time had now reached approximately 01:00 and so I headed back to the Chibuku Shake Shake tent to hear about an hour of 2 Many DJs. As someone who has a wide variation of musical tastes, I always find 2 Many DJs and their cross-genre 'micro mixing' ways very enjoyable. However on this occasion the last hour that I heard of their set seemed to remain more within the realm of house and techno.  Although they did finish their set with ACDC 'Shook Me All Night Long', which appeared to confuse many of the younger faces in the crowd.

During the 2 Many DJs set I had a real dilemma going on inside my head trying to decide who to go and see at 02:00. Should I remain in Chibuku Shake Shake for Richie Hawtin or plump for the legend that is Felix Da Housecat in the Strongbow bar?  I ended up deciding on a compromise of staying in Chibuku for the first hour of Richie Hawtin with the intention of going to see the last hour of Felix at 03:00. However, Richie Hawtin's set proved to be so good that I couldn't drag myself away from it, so I ended up missing Felix Da Housecat completely!  Hawtin himself delivered a set of deep, tech house and dark, minimal techno and electro beats.  His mixing and technical ability were flawless, but then that will come as no surprise to those who are already big Hawtin fans.

By the time Richie Hawtin had stopped spinning it was 04:00, and I must confess that the dancing and constant head-bopping of the previous few hours was beginning to take its toll. However with Dave Clarke next up in the Chibuku tent there wasn't exactly any musical respite for me to chill out, so I did my best to at least carry on with the head-bopping.  But it was a forlorn task trying to keep up with the incessant banging techno being spun by Dave Clarke, as by that stage my brain was looking for something more down tempo in nature.  So at approximately 05:00 I decided to call it quits and head back to the car for a few hours of relaxation before heading off to prepare for the next port of call, which was the Tribal Warehouse Party at Sankeys Soap in Manchester.

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Source: djpromoter - added 27 August 2005


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