Cream's 14th Birthday Party

November 18th 2006

Nation, Liverpool

Party time!!

It hardly seems possible that Cream has been going now for 14 years.

James Barton and Darren Hughes started it in 1992 when the first ever Cream event was held in Wolstenholme Square in Liverpool; at the time this was one of the most run down areas of the centre of the city. You'd never guess that if you saw the proliferation of bars and restaurants that inhabit that area now; and there is more development going on as we speak. It's turning into something of a nightlife Mecca and Nation/Cream is at the heart of it.

Just over 400 people witnessed the first Cream night. Who would have thought that 14 years later Cream can and does regularly attract audiences counted in the many thousands.

With Creamfields, Babycream their 20+ album releases and their brilliant Thursday nights at Amnesia in Ibiza every summer the British clubbing public are spoiled with quality music all year round.

What many people might not know though, is that Cream is a global brand now and can be found in countries as diverse as Argentina. Chile, Brazil, The Czech Republic, Russia, Turkey, Ireland and Spain with new territories due to be added next year and, no doubt many more in the years to come.

After 14 years of hard work and a particularly successful Ibiza season and Creamfields this year it seems a party was well deserved and Nation, in Liverpool, was sold out well in advance for this birthday celebration.

I had a fabulous summer of Cream events myself, having been to Creamfields and the closing party at Amnesia in Ibiza, so I thought I would see what they are like at throwing a party on their home turf.

I knew I was going about 2 months before the event and had organised a lift and some people to go with... well you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men often going astray. when it came to the day itself I found myself having to go alone on the train.

So, off I went to the station in Leeds and, having seen the weather forecast and not being stupid, I made sure I was well wrapped up in full winter coat/gloves and hat outfit. It was a very cold night! This turned out to be an extremely wise decision, as you will find out later!

When I arrived the Swedish House Mafia were doing their thing in the Courtyard with Leila Neve and Eric Prydz dropping some excellent tunes and in the Annexe Yousef and Andy Mac were doing the honours whilst, in the main room, Lee Ellis & Anthony Probyn and Gareth Wyn had the place bouncing. Gareth in particular did a brilliant hour, which I have since downloaded from his website and enjoyed even more

This was all a warm up though for the main event of the night..a 3 hour set by DJ Tiesto.

And what a set it was! Starting with Paul Kalkbrenner's original mix of Gebrunn and moving on through old and modern classics by acts as diverse As Dave Spoon, Martin Landsky, Royksopp, Snow Patrol, Allure, Utah Saints, Joop, Cloud 69 and many others, this a truly memorable set presented by a true master at the top of his game. With his infectious smile and his obvious love of the music it was a pleasure, once again, to see Tiesto doing what he does best; blowing a crowd away with a masterly selection of tracks put together in a unique and unforgettable set that I, for one, will not forget in a long time. Mind you I won't forget the crush in that room either. I could hardly move my poor old dancing feet for over 2 hours!! And thanks are due to the lovely girl in the pink spangled top who was having such a good time she kept kissing me! That's not something you see everyday.

Gareth Wyn took over for the 2 hours following Tiesto and, once again, proved why he is such a favourite with Cream regulars. I could only stay for the first hour, but it was just sublime. There was no let up in either quality or commitment.

Sadly I missed most of the action in the courtyard and Annexe from 1am to 5am because I didn't want to miss anything in the main room, but I've been told that Axwell, the Cuban Brothers and Sebastian Ingrosso were on top form and I look forward to catching them over the coming winter months.

I think this was the first night out i've had since June when I didn't have to put my hands up for Detroit.... what a relief!!

National Rail Enquiries had told me there was a train form Liverpool to Leeds at 5.30am so, reluctantly; I got my coat from the cloakroom and headed off to the station to catch it.

And I wasn't the only one to find myself stood outside a completely locked up train station at 5.15 on a freezing cold Sunday morning looking forlornly at the sign saying the station does not open til 7am!! And then reading with disbelief the information that there were no trains to Leeds until 9am!

Luckily I found an all night café and a sausage and egg sandwich and several cups of coffee helped to keep me going until the train station opened, the trains started running again and I could finally leave Liverpool after what had been a fantastic night.

This was my first visit to Nation for Cream, but it certainly won't be my last. Next time, though, I think I'll definitely go by car.

Happy Birthday Cream.. Roll on your 21st!

Ian Russell

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