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In 2002 Gatecrasher held 2 hugely successful sell-out events at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. The NEC is a huge venue - more used to hosting the Ideal Homes Show or Crufts, but Crasher returned at the peak of their popularity to allow 15,000 cyberkids, ravers, trance fans and house heads to experience some of the biggest indoor dance events in the UK.

Both gigs were broadcast live on Galaxy FM as they happened, and you can find a couple of rare recordings from the radio shows scattered across the internet, but very little of either event survives online.


Until now….

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When Galaxy, Radio 1 or Kiss used to broadcast these kinds of events and festivals, a huge outside broadcast truck would park outside with cables and microphones running through to the various stages. They recorded the entire night on DAT, broadcast some live, and some in delay depending on which artists had signed their waivers or agreed to appear. Unfortunately most of the raw tapes would get destroyed, recorded over or lost after the event, but in this case our Chief Librarian and head-hoarder Andi Durrant found a big box of tapes headed for a skip in Leeds during a Galaxy office clear out. He saved them, stuck them in a cupboard and promptly forgot about them for nearly 20 years. They’ve survived in the bottom of boxes being dragged between various Riley & Durrant studio and office moves over the years, sat in cold damp basements, hot attics and left in boxes untouched until a few months ago. 

Although some were damaged or corrupted, amazingly, the majority were still perfectly playable in glorious digital quality. No interruptions, no adverts - just incredible recordings direct from the stage with all the crowd noise and atmosphere.

Steve Helstrip (aka the Thrillseekers - another trance legend) kindly lent us a working DAT machine to check over the first few, and then our wonderful helpers got busy. Thanks to Gaz Jones for taking the time to convert and record in all the tapes, and to Paul Bayley for identifying most of the sets and matching them up with the correct DJs. As always - the help of the community is essential for the Dance Music Archive.


From around 30 original tapes we managed to get 15 separate sets - from the likes of Tiesto and Armin to X-Press 2, Josh Wink, and a full live set from the incredible Underworld. This is a fantastic little time capsule from the “Super Club” era and a rare chance to hear uninterrupted sets from such big events.


Click on the DJ images to go straight through and listen. We really hope you enjoy… Gatecrasher : The Lost Tapes.

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