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  Nick Warren 10.28.99
by Shannon Petrick

Venue: Club 21 - Birmingham, AL
Presented by: NON Productions

Shannon PetrickSometimes I wonder what I wouldn't do for music. I am so terrible at taking road trips (I'm snobby and I prefer plane rides) but if that road leads me to good music played by a good DJ, I'm all for it. When I heard Nick Warren was coming to Birmingham a few months ago, I was estatic. He's one of my favorites because he always manages to play mind-boggling tracks and the intelligent trance that I have come to know and love. And this week was going to be the week...Dave Seaman (although that didn't come through), Nick, and Sasha all within a few days. What more could I ask for?

My friends and I left Atlanta with smiles on our faces as we headed towards Birmingham. Because we knew what was waiting for us, the ride there seemed to take only a few moments (although we had to endure the stench of rural Alabama...paper mills? roadkill? who knows what it was). Finally we arrived at Club 21. Suprisingly, it looked really nice from the outside and it reminded me and my friends of the Vault.

Nick WarrenWe walk up the stairs and the first person I meet was Paul, who was throwing the party. I cannot say enough nice things about this guy. He was courteous and he threw a really good party. I'll definitely try to go to any events he throws in the future.

We started to get impatient because Nick Warren was an hour late. It seemed his plane had gotten off to a rocky start (but you can read more about that in the interview)! But you couldn't have missed it when he entered the club...there was cheering and clapping and chanting of his name. What a rock star!

My mouth dropped open when he dropped his records and started signing autographs for all the dreamy-eyed girls (and guys) that surrounded him. And he did it with a genuine smile on his face! I immediately felt that he was a really good person when I stood next to him. He also eagerly accepted when I asked him for a short interview after his performance. I'm not sure why I thought he was going to be arrogant before I met him but he shattered those preconceptions quickly! That's what I get for stereotyping.

Finally, it was time for this perfect British gentleman to start his set. And oh my god, what a set! I realize that it's hard to get a small crowd moving (there must have been only 75 people there) but he managed to get everyone off their seats and onto the dance floor (including me). It must be strange for him to go from playing for 4,000 people to less than 100. But he didn't seem to care. He entered his own little dreamworld when he put the first record on and didn't emerge until the last beat was dropped. I could see it in his eyes how much he loved the music.

Nick Warren The thing that I think most people admire Nick Warren for is his ability to pick the best music out there. Amidst all the tracks that I didn't know, he played some familiar songs. One of those was my favorite (and it made my heart melt when I heard it) and that would be Cass and Slide's "Perception" (found on Sasha's Global Underground Ibiza CD). One that I know no one had heard is the new Way Out West track which won't be out for a long time (as Paul pointed out to me).

Even though the sound system wasn't the best in the world, Club 21 seemed like the perfect place to hear Nick Warren. It was so personal that it almost seemed like he was playing a house party. Nick could see everyone very clearly and was very receptive to how the crowd was reacting. He was enjoying it just as much as we were. Let me put it to you this way, I was totally sober (no drinks or anything) and I danced for four hours straight. You almost couldn't stop...you'd think he was going to let you come down but he would throw on another track that would bring you higher than before. And as Nick downed some more mixed drinks, his taste got a little more funky and a little more fun.

Anyone that didn't go to this was crazy. Nick Warren never comes to the Southeast and I wasn't about to let this chance slip past me. I don't know if I'll ever see him in such a small club ever again which was an amazing experience (big venues with more people just aren't as fun). Next time I just might drive even further to see this master at work.

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