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Back from the Vocal Booth Weekender

WOW!
Once again the Vocal Booth weekender surpassed all expectations.
This year was an extended affair that lasted a full week. So many highlights its hard to focus and put it all into words especially as Im still tired as hell.
Firstly thanks to Andy and all those involved in the planning and running of the event.
Secondly to all the people that attend without you and your family spirit the event would not be what it is!
I met lots of new people and of course hooked up with great friends from previous weekenders. Each and everyone one of you are amazing.

We arrived on Friday morning dumped our bags and instantly got involved poolside. Big ups to the Birmingham/Croatia crew my apologies for not spending longer with you.
The 1st thing that struck me was the immense quality of sound that had been installed poolside.
Big shout to Gillman Audio for shipping, installing and running the sound alongside Lil Joey. This has to be one of the best systems I have heard at such an event. Really warm, clear and a bass that was perfect for the sunshine. Well done.
A few drinks with friends and good tunes meant we did not leave the pool all day
Superb sounds from Jon Coomer and Bob Povey followed by A great set from the Scottish boys A Deeper Groove.
(Need a playlist for that set lads) Jeremy Sylvester, Deep City Soul and Gavin Peters all delivered also.

Now you will often here a phrase that many people go from 0 to 100 miles an hour in seconds at VBW, sadly this was the case for me at 9:30 I headed to bed for a supposed 2 hour power nap. Sadly I forgot to set an alarm and was woken up by my wife at 4:30am with the words have a vodka we are off to the club!
we arrived shortly after to find neither Richard Earnshaw or Glenn Thorton where going to be able to do sets that evening. Now usually one might be slightly miffed by this but in true VBW spirit it really did not matter. Just one of the joys of the event plenty of top notch DJ’s ready and more than capable of filling in. We partied till the end and then some.

Saturday
Up bright and early due to the long sleep the previous day.
Ian Willis kicked off nicely followed by the Soul Twins and good friends Brother C and Miloe, Great set lots of Nu Jazz and Broken beats with a lush dash of house. Always enjoy these guys sets and always lots of stuff I have not heard including some of there new productions, Big up. Graeme Park followed on. Now this is not a criticism but I was hoping to hear something a little different from Graeme but it was for me a straight up house set suited for the club not the pool. It was obvious a lot enjoyed it but personally I prefer DJ’s by the pool to dig deep and stretch out a little more.
Never fear Soul Renegades did exactly that, Dropped the tempo and played an amazing story telling set that kept me gripped.
Saturday night is always a blinder and this was no exception, Craig Bartlet, Phil Asher, Neil Pierce and Atjazz all blew me away. At 7am the club was still packed a true testament to all those that played.

Sunday
Poolside again, more drinking chatting and good music. 11 year old Mikey Ward played with Schooly and once again captured the hearts of the crowd. The clash of the titans was amusing with some selections that had me smiling and laughing like Pass the Duchie from Musical youth. Although this was a lot of fun I did feel it was a little long and interrupted the flow of the day somewhat. Time for some live music brought to you by Selina Campbell and Ricky Reid. Marcus Enochson unfortunately didn’t make it but ATFC certainly made up for this. He has played the event before so new what it was about and proceeded to smash the place. For me one of the highlights of the weekend.
Sunday night back to the club tired and not sure if we would cope. Victor Simonelli smashed it and Mandy danced the entire time, She now cited this as her favourite set of the weekend.
We didn’t last much longer so we retired the the pool for more drinks and friends.

Now I am becoming aware that this supposed short blog could easily turn into a massive monster so forgive me if I skip though parts.

Monday Poolside the Birmingham takeover. I cant say much more than all the dj’s are truly VBW family and each set shined. Jimmy Ellis with his unique beats and never afriad to drop the unexpected from D&B to dubstep to Hip Hop and more, Richie Barthez surprised me as he played an immense house set that was very different from his classics of previous years I really enjoyed that! Paul Griff, Dan Kelly and Adam Turner followed by Gary Ward and Soul Free boss Pete Oakden. Big up’s each and every one of you, Perfect.

Monday night was a change of venue as we moved to the basement for a night of Bruk madness.
Due to illness Bruce Q could not fly so the mighty Soul Twins filled in. Big tings coming for the twins thats all I’m saying! Afronaught and Wookie also hit hard. Tired drunk and broken was an ace night.

Now pretty much everyone was smashed by this point so things get hazy
Tuesday by the pool was a little subdued but actually needed. The soundtrack provided was great but everyone looked like they had done 2 weekenders back to back.
A certain Mr Ward was also feeling it and had to crash and recover so the 4 hour basement session did not happen as per the schedule, not to worry again family picked up the torch and the show went on.

Wednesday
People actually looked fresh again and the poolside was busy! Yeah we are back on track.
I started the proceedings with my set, A mixture of Soul, Jazz, Reggae, Afrobeat, Funk and more. Nothing heavy just trying to set the tone. DJ bones followed suit and the Mr Miggs, Now although people had more energy the order of the day was certainly mellow, Miggs smashed the poolside with a great Reggae set, PERFECT! This was fast becoming my favourite poolside day. The energy built throughout and all the DJ’s got it just right, I was in heaven.

Thursday
One more day….. Fun frolics banter but broken. DJ Semi, Si Sutton kicked off lovely. VBW awards ceremony had me cracking up, Pugwash played a great set of classics and Frank Ainsworth played a beautiful soulful house set. Things moved down to the basement for the final mash up with Wookie and Ricky Reid, Crazy combination!

OK This went on much longer than I expected and my eyes are still saying sleep!

Vocal Booth was immense! I am very happy to attend let alone play this event. See you all in Spain in 1 year and counting

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