Who will ever be able to forget Cream? The northern institute was one of the first superclubs to emerge while the UK dance scene was in relative infancy, they masterminded the first dance festival in the shape of Creamfields and superseded compilation originators Renaissance by releasing more CDs than you could comprehend.
But time hasn’t been that kind on the Scouse house purveyors in their native country. Successive raids gave the attendees something to worry about, as police seized hordes of Class As. And after the joy of ‘The White Album’ and the original ‘Cream Live’ series, it seemed a little cynical that by the turn of the millennium its compilation output had gone the way of so many unimaginative cash-ins.
The discerning rave public were less than impressed. Finally, as the once sold out superclubs struggled to break even, Liverpool’s finest gave up the ghost, and shut their UK Saturday night down after 10 long years of service in October 2002.
If you ask anyone who spent a night under the deep-blue glow of the Courtyard lights they’ll tell you about ‘the times’. Whether its trancing out to Paul Oakenfold- when Paul Oakenfold was Paul Oakenfold- or putting your head in a bass bin to get the most out of Sasha, Nation, as a venue, is deservedly a legendary destination for the UK’s nocturnal community. Of course it was full of northerners wearing checked shirts, and yes, at times it could get both weird and slightly unnerving. It’s just a shame few people realise that’s what clubs are about.
One best-selling dance magazine declared in the late 1990s that you were either a Crasher Kid, a Cream Baby or a Renaissance Man. Now old enough to vote this title no longer fits a club with a history spanning nearly two-decades. From its inception as a backstreet party, to 50,000 people at a festival on the banks of the Mersey, in the words of Fatboy Slim, “You’ve come a long way, baby.”
Growing up is something of a trait in clubs and dance music today. Once there was a generation in these darkened rooms, now we find ourselves dancing next to that guy we used to know from Blackburn’s 17 year old son. This thing we built has matured, it’s more business like and intent on learning from the mistakes of the past. Clubland is turning into an adult, and growing up so fast. But with age comes responsibility, stress and often boredom.
So it’s a relief to see that the old timers aren’t celebrating their 18th hedonistic year with a corporate champagne lunch. Saturday, October 9th will see Nation’s doors opened up again, and more than a few old friends reunited to catch some beats and bleeps. Tempted? Then get on The Train Line, and be prepared for plenty of mess.
Paul van Dyk (3 Hour set)
And for those who can’t wait to get a dose of nostalgia, you’re in luck- we’ve managed to source these, somehow. So, courtesy of BPM, here’s Cream, circa 1993. Happy reminiscing….