Author: Simon Baird
Monday, 20 August 2001After working my arse off at Da Vinci's Restaurant in South Yarra, I headed off for another installment of Hardware's highly successful parties, Belfast, which was held at QBH nightclub. When I first heard that it was going to be held at QBH, I was highly skeptical mainly due to its reputation for hosting low quality commercial nights that I had once previously had the displeasure of attending. Well, it was packed but that was to be expected after moving from the spacious docklands facility to a smaller club venue. QBH however cannot be deemed small. It is, after all, the largest clubbing complex in the Southern Hemisphere.
Mark James was up when I arrived and played many an old classic including "Total Confusion". The club was jumpin' from the word 'go' and the vibe around the place can only be described as 'electric'. I have come to expect this from the Belfast parties over the years. Hearing tunes that made you dance around your bedroom when you were 12 years old, tunes that are timeless and will always cause your booty to shake. Will e was up next. It was almost comical seeing him spin tunes with girlie vocals and do that familiar little dance that he does. He even spun Kylie Minogue. He however could not help but drop the 1998 bomb Luke Slater Remix of "Forklift" by Joey Beltram. I was just waiting for Class Action which disappointingly I did not hear. It was textbook stuff from Will E. Nothing flash just tight mixing of old skool beats. Rich e Rich was up next. Ready for his five hours. Taking us on a long journey through hip house to rave to trance and techno. Sounds from KLF, C&C Music Factory and the all conquering Snap with "The Power", a personal favourite of mine. Early Oliver Lieb and Thomas Heckmann works to FSOL's Papua New Guinea which was incidentally voted number 1 old skool track on the Tranzfusion website. Crowd favourites from Orlando Voorn, Darren Emerson, Orbital and Be Liquid also helped set the vibe. His set tended to drag at points but got up and going when it seemed it never would. Jayse Knipe got up after Richie and set the morning rockin. I was leaving at this stage. It was 8:30am and I'm getting old. My friend stayed and by all accounts it was a brilliant morning with jazzy Jeff Tyler finishing up at 10:30am.
The decor was outstanding and provided a warm, happy atmosphere with the big smiley faces hanging around the dance floor. Although one disillusioned raver thought that they were laughing at him. I told him to get a better dealer. The laser show was second to none except however the lasers at GateCrasher last year which, I swear, were plotting against me trying to make me sick. The lasers were magnificent and the strobes didn't leave you wondering if you were going to have epilepsy in the morning.
The people of the party had a blast. Everyone that I talked to was thoroughly enjoying themselves. The atmosphere was great, the venue was great, the decor was great and most of all the music sent tingles up and down your spine. Compliments to Hardware for another exceptional production. I'll be there next year.
South of the Border.