REVIEW: Cream Reunion @ Nation 05/02/11

On its day Cream was the best club in the world packing in 3,000 excited punters every week for a number of years and bringing the biggest names in the industry to play and perform. This weekend those fortunate enough to experience the phenomena returned once more as the first official Cream reunion took place in Nation’s Annexe. Rich Denton dusted down his dancing shoes to check out the event…

There is as they say no place like home and that sentiment was never more true than at Liverpool’s Nation over the weekend as the first official Cream reunion took place in the spiritual home of the superclub brand. 

The night was put together by Sam Bunbury a regular at the club during it’s heyday of the late 90s. Sam set up a Cream Appreciation Group on Facebook a few years ago and was inundated with messages asking him to put on a reunion for those that attended Cream at its peak in 1997 up to the point it stopped being a weekly event in 2002. The event sold out weeks in advance and anticipation was high with the social networks filled with posts from those lucky enough to have a ticket.

It was clear from the moment I walked through into the packed annexe that tonight’s crowd, many of whom had not stepped foot inside Nation for ten years, were well up for making this night a piece of history. By 10:30 there was very little room to move as everyone jostled for their favourite position for the night ahead.

There was a door policy of over 25s which kept out the ‘scally element’ and ensured the dance floor of the annexe had the friendly atmosphere of old. Chatting to a few people around me, there was a genuine feeling of ‘glad to be back’.

Local elder statesman of house music John Kelly was busy bringing the room up to fever pitch with a set that could only be described as anthemic. The track list was littered with classic tunes from the five year spell when Cream was the biggest Saturday night in the world. Energy 52 – ‘Cafe Del Mar’, Josh Wink – ‘Higher State of Consciousness’, Green Velvet – ‘Flash’ just a few of the records that brought screams of delight from the floor. John has always had a party element to his DJ style and he couldn’t resist throwing in a few acapellas over top of his mix. There was also an ill judged playing of a ‘Ferry ‘cross the Mersey’ remix which left everyone in the place somewhat bemused but didn’t cause too much damage to the high spirits. 

Described as ‘the voice of an angel’ by the overly excited MC, songstress Maria Naylor followed with a live PA of her biggest hits. The singer looked to be really enjoying herself as she performed three songs: ‘Angry Skies’, Be as One’ and her most famous track originally with Robert Miles ‘One & One’ which hit the #3 spot in the UK chart back in 1996. She was enjoying herself so much in fact that she had to be cut off to allow the night’s headliner to begin his set.

{modal url=images/stories/gallery/Cream-Reunion-1.jpg}CLICK HERE to view images from the night{/modal}{modal url=images/stories/gallery/Cream-Reunion-2.jpg}{/modal}{modal url=images/stories/gallery/Cream-Reunion-3.jpg}{/modal}{modal url=images/stories/gallery/Cream-Reunion-4.jpg}{/modal}{modal url=images/stories/gallery/Cream-Reunion-5.jpg}{/modal}{modal url=images/stories/gallery/Cream-Reunion-6.jpg}{/modal} by kind permission of DAVE HUMPHRIES

Mick Park was the big name DJ of the night, Park was an instrumental piece of the musical jigsaw of Cream during the nineties, producing a host of tracks which graced the turntables and pulsed through the soundsystem each and every week. His tracks produced under such names as Parks & Wilson, Tilt and Killahurtz were played on heavy rotation by Paul Oakenfold during his residency at the club and it was the voice of the Cream legend which introduced the set, much to the appreciation of the crowd. Park’s set went down a storm with the highlights including the sing-a-long moments of Freefall ‘Skydive’, Mansun’s ‘Wide Open Space’ and Park’s own remix of Robert Miles ‘Children’ which threatened to tear the roof of the venue, just as it did every week for Oakenfold in the Courtyard.

That left the stage for promoter of the event Samuel Lamont (Bunbury) to close the night with a selection of classic Cream tunes from his collection.  I spoke to a nervous Sam before he took to the decks and he was thrilled with the support the project has received from the former Cream faithful. He explained that there is already another event pencilled in later this year and following this sell out success and judging on the reaction of tonight’s crowd, ticket sales will once again not be a problem.  WATCH THIS SPACE… 10/10

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