Sven Vath at fabric, May 2011

Last November, Sven Vath was to play fabric – my favourite DJ at my favourite club, the first time for about 6 years I think.  I left having had a fantastic night but Sven hadn’t been the star of the show – which is what I am used to, so perhaps I was a tiny little bit dissatisfied.

A couple of months ago I heard Sven was due to play again at fabric on 21st May, and I have seen him countless times over the years, and I always think he is at his peak in the months before Ibiza as he has the most energy and excitement at that time, so I just had to go.

But it didn’t look like anyone would come with me, and I’m not a huge fan of clubbing on my own as I much prefer to share such experiences.  Delightfully, my adorably good friend, Ashley, came to my rescue, and the night was on.

Though we still had to get there – travelling to London from Reading for a night out is always part of the adventure, for better or for worse.

This time was the more traumatic version – I had got a little over-excited during the afternoon and was feeling somewhat wobbly and delicate come 10pm, only to get on a train full of ridiculously inebriated rugby fans – being a northerner I wouldn’t have been so bothered if it were rugby league but no, it was bloody rugby union.  I’m sure they were having a great time, but it was one of those keep my head down moments in case I offend any of the marauding drunken idiots just by looking at them (I know most were very respectable but there were a fair share of idiots).

Rugby league and rugby union fans do not mix.  Kind of like Palestinians and Israelis.  Though not as serious.

Anyway, finally make it onto the tube, because of course there are engineering works, so it isn’t as easy as it should be.  And sit down, relax.  Listen, take in what is around us.

And listen I had to.  Well I tried to listen, but it was more of a case of hearing.  Five young women, all with London accents, talking English words.  But I couldn’t decipher any meaning to their sentences that they were shouting at each other.  It was a little painful.  I couldn’t help questioning what kind of English they had been taught.  Help!

By this point I just really wanted to get there, so we got the bus (yes I don’t live in London but I have just about managed to figure out one bus route I can use, check me out!) and thanks to being a member of fabric, which is the best idea in the world, myself and Ashley walked straight past the queue and into the club, very efficiently, nicely done.  Love it.  If you are not a member of fabric, why not?

Sometimes when I first enter fabric, or any club, I want to get a feel of things, sample other rooms, wander around and see who or what I can see, but tonight, Sven was playing the main room from the beginning to end, with a break for a Christian Burkhardt live set, so the conclusion was to just get involved straight away.

And Sven wasn’t messing around either – quite often, he toys with the crowd early on, warming them up gently.  I admire him for his unpredictability.  To me it feels like he has a different plan in mind each time, he doesn’t repeat the same plan each time he plays, which is why he is so highly regarded in my world.  I can never be sure what to expect with him as he is constantly evolving but always staying true to himself, and I like it that way.

This time there was seemingly no messing about.  Within 30 minutes of me being there he had already totally devastated the dancefloor with the Visionquest remix of Dinky’s Acid In My Fridge.

There was only one way this night was going to go.  He fully utilised fabric’s exceptional sound-system like a true sound magician should, previously I had only heard Ricardo really get the best out of it for my ears, but Sven seemed intent on topping anything gone before.

The atmosphere was quite electric with a typical Cocoon crowd mixed with music-loving fabric members, and the obligatory tourists – a perfect mix, well perhaps apart from the leeches – note to any leeches reading – it is a nightclub, not a lap-dancing club.

I wish I could recall more of the tunes off the top of my head, and I am sure that they will fall into place during the week as memories are triggered, but the warm-up, if that is what you can call it, was, well, Cocoon music.  The excitement generated was feverish, and yes, melodies, those things from my trance days – and the urge to raise my arms in the air as if I haven’t been able to do it for the past 6 or 7 years since minimal came around and made me ‘cool’ – I felt as if I had to raise my arms in the air several times, more than is usually ‘cool’ to do so in the underground music world that I like to live in.

So it was an excellent journey to a live set from Christian Burkhardt, someone I had known of but not paid much interest to until I heard Stopover Goa.  You could see the smile on his face as he performed this, in a kind of “you were waiting for this, weren’t you, kind of way”.  The most perfect tune to represent everything about Cocoon that I have heard in a while.  Very impressive.

I do remember last year posting on Sven’s Facebook page that I would love to hear a little more techno next year, because he does techno very well, and others in my opinion do house better than he does, and I had kind of got bored of it from other techno DJs and fallen back into loving my house music as a priority.  If that makes sense in my twisted logic!

And come 4am (ish) we went down and dirty into techno territory, some really serious crunching techno beats, intertwined with some melodic, hands in the air moments – no more time for house music.

I lasted as long as my feet could, sadly not until the end, as I know it would have got even more special, but I had got what I wanted, and much, much more.

So now only for the lovely journey home, at about 10mph on a so-called fast train, but, the journey is always part of the adventure, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

I have now seen Sven at his very best, I feel fulfilled.  My goal has been achieved.  It was a 10 out of 10 night, and I don’t give these ratings lightly.  Absolutely superb.  Anyone who missed out, really did miss a special treat.

I don’t envisage being able to afford a trip to Ibiza this year, though it is not beyond the realms of possibility but it needs a little luck financially, however I do have my ticket to Cocoon In The Park, in Leeds, and I bloody well cannot wait.  Oh and he is doing SW4.

That is my summer sorted…Ibiza would be the icing on the cake, but if I have to live without it – I will, as fabric will keep me entertained whenever I feel the urge to go for a dance.

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