DJ Luck & MC Neat
The Cellar Door
2 October 2015
As someone new to Exeter’s hardcore garage scene, the news that the location of the event had changed from the familiar, tame and gloriously close Lemon Grove, to a place I’d never been before – the Cellar Door, with an entrance carved into the Quayside wall, hinted that the strength of the music was a little more than the average Saturday night could cope with.
The night got off to a strange start as wades of people strolled around Exeter in search of this surprisingly mysterious event. With tickets having sold out in advance in March for the tour, I was expecting the noise of the DJ to help me find the new venue. Unfortunately, the infamous Cellar door is an underground wonder with no signs or advertisement pointing to the secret underground vaulted club. With a strong mixture of graffiti, neon lights and beats that left you with a with a palpitating heart, it was easy to see why it was more suited to the music, audience and whole ethos of the event than the Lemmy would have been.
The beats were strong, the smell of hard alcohol was wafting around and we were all just pleased to have found the place
The music was extreme and electric, with everyone dancing (or mostly jumping, raving and ramming into each other) until 3am to the mix-up of traditional and less traditional garage beats. No matter how close I got to the stage, I could never see where the steady deep voice was coming from. A slight glance at the tip of his head or a microphone-laden hand waving in the air was as close as the drunk bouncing crowd ever got to the famous DJ.
As a strange replacement, the whole audience did receive an amazing view of the two scary and bored bodyguards established brutally between the increasingly packed and mosh-pit like crowd and the flat stage. However, no one cared that most people didn’t know the words (and couldn’t hear the words over the bass). The beats were strong, the smell of hard alcohol was wafting around and we were all just pleased to have found the place.
The entry stamps we all received on our arms resembled a hardcore underground garage-cult, which represented the whole feel of the night perfectly. There were no heels in sight, and no students destined for Unit 1 hanging around. This night was a night for the diehard garage rockers to pull on their low capped hats and jump around as electrically as they could to the sometimes monotonous beats, before returning home to get ready for the rugby the next day. So, if garage and thumping music in tightly packed spaces is your thing then this was definitely the night for you, and I doubt I will have such a strangely electric experience from an invisible DJ ever again.