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Young Star

The taste of Cream

BEAT GENERATION - Moumen Daker -

The word “cream” doesn’t just mean some gooey liquid you mix into your dessert or slather on your face. For Manila’s nightlife denizens, the word means a lot more than that. It means sexy, relentless beats. Hard and heavy bass. Crazy laser lights. Sweaty bodies in motion. And the best part? Halloween costumes.

The annual Cream Halloween Ball is one major event the clubbing elite look forward to because it affords them an opportunity to not only groove to great Trance music, but also go wild with spooky, naughty and downright outrageous outfits.

Elsewhere in the world, Cream is known for being one of the most important global club brands, with international festivals, compilation albums, and an unmistakable logo that bears the infinite coolness the brand has attained. But before all the fame and fortune, Cream started like many prominent UK club brands did: in a humble little nightclub.

Founders Darren Hughes, Andy Carroll, and James Barton established Cream in 1992, building the brand by first holding regular club events. They took up residence in a nightclub called Nation in Liverpool, holding fort every Saturday night from 1992 until 2002. Under Cream, the Nation was totally pimped, with three different rooms to house all the rabid partygoers: the Main Room, which could house 1,000; the Annexe, where 700 folks could party; and the Courtyard, big enough for 1,300.

DJ and producer Paul Bleasdale was Cream’s main man from the start of the Cream venture until 2002. Some of electronic music’s heavyweights have also had the pleasure of gracing Cream’s decks at the Nation, among them Paul van Dyk, Sasha, The Chemical Brothers, and the mighty Paul Oakenfold, who was a resident DJ from 1997 until 1999.

Although Cream halted their regular Saturday shows at the Nation in 2002, Cream’s dance philosophy lives on in a lot of other places. In 2004, the guys behind Cream opened the aptly named Babycream, a bar in Albert Dock in Liverpool. And whenever clubbing season comes round in famed party capital Ibiza, Cream hosts regular nights at Amnesia, one of the hottest spots in the White Isle.

Live the Cream

Of all Team Cream’s ventures, perhaps their biggest claim to fame is Creamfields, a mammoth annual outdoor electronic music festival held every August Bank Holiday weekend that features both DJs and live acts. Since its successful debut in Winchester in 1998, Creamfields has gone on to take root not only in different UK locales, but also in countries abroad such as Ireland, Spain, Russia, Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Uruguay and Malta.

Creamfields’ first outing in 1998 was an instant hit. Boasting of topnotch DJs and live acts including Run DMC and Primal Scream, Creamfields proved to the world that dance music could amass nearly fifty thousand revelers in a single venue. In 2000, the Cream guys decided to add a Live Outdoor Stage to the already existing 8-10 DJ stages, expanding the event’s repertoire even further. Since then, Creamfields has grown rapidly to include a terrific number of world-class acts. Artists that have shaken Creamfields crowds include The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, Paul Oakenfold, Paul van Dyk, Underworld, Carl Cox, Sasha, John Digweed, Ferry Corsten, Basement Jaxx, Faithless, Pete Tong, Groove Armada, Deep Dish, Seb Fontaine, LCD Soundsystem, Massive Attack, Nick Warren, Way Out West, Kosheen, Bob Sinclar, Hernán Cattaneo, Erick Morillo, Tiga, Sander Kleinenberg, Timo Maas, Mauro Picotto, Roni Size, Dave Clarke, X-Press 2, Layo & Bushwacka!, Nic Fanciulli, David Guetta, Danny Tenaglia, Steve Lawler, Josh Wink, Satoshi Tomiie, David Morales, Soulwax, Audio Bullies, Caged Baby, Placebo, and even sweet-mouthed pop stars Sugababes. Quick question: How many of those DJs live sets have you heard before?

At this year’s Creamfields, which incidentally marks the festival’s 10th anniversary, the guys behind Cream went all-out and even partnered with music pros BBC Radio 1 to celebrate the festival’s milestone. Creamfields lasted for over two days, with party folks gamely camping out on the event grounds. The artists who performed at Creamfields 2008 were certainly no middleweights; headliners Fatboy Slim, Paul van Dyk, Pendulum, Kasabian and Tiësto were enough to make any serious music lover jump with joy.

No wonder Creamfields has consistently attracted hordes of loyalists in the tens of thousands, who all treat the event like a religious pilgrimage. Such a pity we don’t have our very own Creamfields here in the Philippines.

For more details on the Cream acts coming, just stick around for Young Star’s “Beat Generation.” Your music education starts here.

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For comments and suggestions, feel free to e-mail me at om” [email protected]

ALBERT DOCK

ALTHOUGH CREAM

ANDY CARROLL

AUDIO BULLIES

AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY

CHEMICAL BROTHERS

CREAM

CREAMFIELDS

DYK

PAUL OAKENFOLD

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