Kiddstock - 2009 Live Review

Review of club night Kiddstock 09


There can be few people left who haven't heard of Alex Kidd and his burgeoning Kiddfectious party brand. This summer the whole concept was taken to a new level with separate Kiddfectious festival events in Wales, Ireland, England and Scotland. I managed to get to 3 of them.

Wales was first and the showground on the island of Anglesey was host to The Magic Kingdom and magic was a very good word for it. Check this out for a line-up: Suni Feenix, Technicians vs Shaun T, Scot Project, Mark EG, Kidd Kaos, Argy, Danny Killa, Lisa Lashes, Organ Donors, Alex Kidd, The Prophet and Evil Activities.

I think you'll agree that's a good night out right there but, in fact, was only the main arena line-up. In the other 2 arenas the quality was just as high with Paul Glazby, Ed Real, Ben Stevens, Andy Farley, Neal Thomas, Yofridz and Scott Brown all playing excellent sets and Alex Kidd and Kidd Kaos playing a blinding set together. With everything from tech-trance to banging hardcore and schranz there was something here for everyone and no-one went home disappointed.

Next up was kiddstock England (The Mystic Peaks) held for the 3rd year running at Thimbleberry Farm in Co. Durham where the first ever Kiddstock was held in 2007. Most of the DJs already mentioned above were there along with some notable additions: Dozer, Kutski, Rob Tissera, Luke Pompey and A*S*Y*S amongst them and especially The Ratpack who were the surprise of the day, an inspired booking and a definite crowd pleaser. Old Skool classics presented with panache and accompanied by glasses of champagne.. absolutely perfect on a sunny afternoon.

Apart from the Kiddfectious arena there were also arenas for Mayhem, Kissdafunk, Bitch & Mode and Clinic and between them they provided a seamless supply of excellent music. Highlights for me were DJ Tone and the Philthy Jennorators in the Mayhem area (despite some chronic problems with the generator) Argy and Kidd Kaos playing in the barn, which was absolutely bouncing! and Rob Tissera's set in the KDF tent which deserved a bigger audience than it got, but was total quality all the same. The day finished off with a blinding performance from Alex Kidd and the Organ Donors with all 3 of them on top form. This is the only time I've ever heard 'Eye of The Tiger' played at a rave, brilliant!

Special mention should be give to the sound quality at the Wales and England kiddstocks. But with Russell Pate's excellent Mobile Disko organization in charge it was hardly surprising.

Last, but certainly not least, was the EH1 Festival, Edinburgh on August 16th.
This festival had everything. Every style of dance music was catered for with arenas hosted by Hacienda, Carl Cox, Ministry of Sound, Eurodance and BTTF, Hed Kandi, Streetrave and Gio Gio and live performances from D-Ream, K-Klass, Black Box, N-Joi, the legendary Jeremy Healy and finally the one and only Candi Staton who battled the cold to run through her hits with the style and panache you'd expect from someone with her track record and experience. I'm not sure her voice is as good it was back in the day when she first recorded Young Hearts Run Free, Nights On Broadway and You've Got The Love, but it didn't matter.

Kiddstock's 'The Forgotten Temple' arena was the place to be, though.
By the time we got there at 6pm the place had been well warmed up by The Technicians, Maddog, Mark Sherry and Driller Killerz, and Kidd Kaos was just finishing what had been an excellent set if the cheering was anything to go by.
There then followed 10 hours of the best hard dance music I've ever heard in all my years of raving.

As I said, Kidd Kaos had got the crowd cheering for more and the Organ Donors just proceeded to rip the place apart.
Mark Eg followed them with his usual blend of theatricals and Grade A tunes and by this time the crowd were not only stomping themselves to death and cheering their heads off but were also laughing at his onstage antics. Excellent Dj, excellent showman and excellent value.
And so is Yoji who kept things ticking along nicely with a combination of belting tunes (some of them fairly obscure, but no worse for that) and flamboyance.
It's the first time I've stayed for a whole Yoji set and I was not disappointed, though I was astonished that he doesn't appear to sweat!

Next up was Lisa Lashes who was making her 2nd Kiddstock appearance of the summer. Lisa has a special place in the history of dance music in this country having being at the forefront of the hard house scene from its beginning in the 1990s and was the first female DJ I ever saw.
Through collaborations with Anne Savage (The Tidy Girls Annual is still a firm favourite) and just about anyone who is, or has been, anyone in the world of hard dance right through to the present day running her own record label (Lashed) she has kept herself at the top of the tree by keeping herself at the forefront of musical style and taste.

She has a way of building a set that is unmatched by almost anyone else in the business in that she takes you on a musical and emotional journey that often leads to a destination you didn't realize you were heading for and is one of those rare DJs that you just can't take your eyes off when she is playing.
Obviously she is technically superb and could pit her skills against anyone yet she has a way of making it look so simple and effortless that you sometimes wonder if she's doing it telepathically. Lisa once told me that the first time she played for money she was paid o30 in 50p pieces and while she undoubtedly earns a lot more than that these days she is worth every single penny. Long may she continue!

So, it's midnight now and Kiddfectious has the busiest tent on the whole site.
Lisa Lashes has spent the last 90 minutes getting the place wild and wired and you can't help wondering who can possibly follow her without losing either the crowd or the atmosphere?
Ladies and gentlemen please make some noise for... ALEX KIDD!
In For The Kill? It was a massacre. This set had everything.. It was relentless, pounding, driving and breathtaking. It made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck and was astonishing in its scope and breadth. From the dirtiest techno to the hardest of Italian hardstyle it was a masterpiece in terms of tune selection, commitment, entertainment and sheer skill. I've never seen a mixer given such a good work out, or an audience for that matter. Alex Kidd is a force of nature and this performance was amongst the best I've ever seen him give.

Cally and Juice and Force 9 closed proceedings and were excellent.
2009 has definitely been Alex Kidd's year and with these festivals alone his dominance of the hard dance scene is assured and Goodgreef's lead in this field is no longer guaranteed.

Ian Russell

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