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Looking for a venue in

DJ & club promoter Mark Leish
Fierce Vs Riot at ISIS

My second visit to ISIS in less than a month, (see Hotdog review). Funny how you can go to two nights at the same venue playing similar styles of music and have different experiences. One of the things about clubbing is that the nature of the experience depends in part not only on your surroundings but also on what you bring to the party too, i.e. yourself. When I went to Hotdog, I thought the Nottingham crowd were peculiarly unresponsive - not very friendly, not smiley, rather reserved and somewhat suspicious looking. At Fierce, the crowd was generally friendlier, and up for it. May be the crowds weren't that different between the two events. Maybe it was just me. The again, maybe not.

Fierce Vs Riot was billed as a battle between the Hard House mavens of the North Vs the South with Ian M and Ilogik representing the former and BK and Ed Real from Riot representing the latter. We were asked to come suitably dressed in army gear, though perhaps reflecting the current questions being asked in the House of Commons regarding the veracity of Tony Blair's justification for the war in Iraq, most people didn't. Someone told me that people couldn't be bothered to make an effort, but I'm sure that couldn't be right.

The event was held on the last Saturday in the month, usually a good time as many people get paid at the end of the month, but there had been a string of bank holiday events, the Ibiza holiday season was about to start up, (and therefore people were saving their money to spend on hol.), and God's Kitchen Global Gathering, a not inexpensive event, was looming on the horizon. As a result the numbers were well down on what I would have expected for an event with such BIG names. Three hundred and fifty in a venue which holds many hundreds more. The ticket door price of £15 may have put some people off, and perhaps more would have come if it was less. Pricing these events is always a tricky problem for most promoters, especially when you go for a big name line-up and an expensive club.
Fierce provided two rooms of music, as while the the main event was on the main dancefloor, there was some pretty impressive funky scratch-mastering going on in the upstairs bar.

The actual "battle" between the two clubs was a bit disjointed as both BK and Ed Real played early, and had left the club, well before Ian M and Ilogik came on. I got there late, and had missed both the Riot DJs, though people at the club said that Ed Real's set was excellent. Mark Leish came on when I got there, and had the crowd well energised, and he was followed by Ilogik. I've commented on his (for me) disjointed style elsewhere on the site, which is not my personal cup of chinese green leaf tea. Speaking of which, during some of the breakdowns in his set you could have nipped off and made yourself a pot, drunk it, had a quick fag and come back in time for the music to kick in again. Moving along...

Next up was Ian M. I have said elsewhere that many DJs play differently in different clubs for different crowds, and frankly I have heard Ian play some stuff that was for me less than energising sometimes. On this occasion though he was spot on the money with tough, energising, uplifting hard dance tunes which got them crowding onto the dancefloor. My only complaint, if you can call it that, was that he wasn't on for long enough, only an hour, and the final half hour was played out by DJ AA, who immediately hardened things up even more, (hard to imagine but true nonetheless), for a storming finale. Interestingly his set was played on CDs, something done as matter of routine in the States, (DJs there say they get the latest tunes earlier on CD than on vinyl).

Though some people had filtered out by the end of the night at 4am, most were still there and seemed very satisfied with their experience.

Mark Leish, who runs Fierce, is on the lookout for a new venue in Nottingham, for his Friday night event, the club having been at The Lost Weekend and occasionally at NG1 in the past. I can only say that I hope he finds one soon, as his residents and his approach are well worth supporting. Fierce is a night you should look out for and put on your calendar when you have the opportunity.
Main dancefloor
Ian M's hands - not doing dishes!
Brilliant scratching in the upstairs bar
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