review ), but having read Ruben's review of Sasha' NYE set , I was hoping for great things.
As often seems to happen, the crew line-up kept on fluctuating right up to the last minute, the final roll-call at door-time being me, my ... significant other, regular partner-in-crime Jamil, longtime college friend Ric (who - unknown to me at the time, had been well into the EDM scene in, to use our current old-git phrase du jour, "back in the day"), and another friend Prev (club virgin).
The group was a little split, Ric & Prev generally preferring to hang out in the chill-out / bar area at the bottom of the Room 3 staircase and slam tequila shots (argh), my other half also preferring the chill-out to chat / hug etc. and Jamil wanting to hit up the dance floor right from the off. I was initially up for some dance-floor madness too, but eventually ended up spending close on 3/4 of the night in the our "base camp" in the chill-out with intermittent bursts on the dance floor.
Because of the fragmented nature of the group, and feeling i had to look after the non-club regulars - gf (who quite likes clubbing but more for the company, the vibe, and the chat (what our Irish friends like to call - 'the craic'), RIc and Prev, I didn't really get a chance to get into the music into until very late on in the night.
Sasha kicked off his 5 hour set at 2am. Predictably, the room was jammed, but fortunately Jamil had found some more friends of ours, Helen, Fraser and Piff, who had cornered a small spot behind and to the left of the DJ booth where there was just about room to breathe, and (when dancing) we hardly ventured away from there the whole night as it was just too rammed in the main part of the room.
The set started off with classic Sasha prog, very dark at first and then lightening after the first hour or so into a slightly more uplifting flavour with a little more of a breaks element. Honestly, I felt this prog part of the set was too slow, "where's the choons?" as one guy dancing next to me put it, although he seemed to be spinning a nigglingly insistent, persistent, slightly off-the beat kick-drum bass line which he kept on returning to through out the night. Classic prog, I guess.
After the earlier part of the set, I didn't really get any dance floor time between 4am and a little before 6am. When we finally got back onto the floor, Sasha had *finally* broken out of the prog and into an almost classic trance set, and ramping up the energy levels big-time into the bargain. The crowd went nuts (possibly because the build-up had been so prolonged!), Sasha spun an anthemic, marathon version of what i thought was Seventh Nation Army (Adam Freeland mix), but according to Piff it wasn't. On reflection he's probably right, as the walking bass line ... dum, dum dum, der-der duh ... was much stronger than the Freeland mix I have - just a sick sick bass. Sasha's own re-edit, maybe? I'm gonna have to track that one down.
Finally we headed for the coat line at about 5 to 7, collected our coats and Jamil's too, met Jamil outside (as he had stayed for Sasha's final encore) and happily jumped straight into a London black cab and were home in 10 minutes, a quick shower (mmm!) and straight to bed.
In summary I'd say - a confirmation of Ruben's NYC NYE review - Sasha is back, and - for at least parts of the night - he can still set the crowd on fire with the best of them. I'll be booking a ticket for Vandit night in April to see the Sasha / PvD double bill for sure.
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