Review

Nic Fanciulli’s Birthday, The Source

13 hours of b2b madness rocked Maidstone

Last Sunday the Grammy award nominated Nic Fanciulli celebrated his birthday shenanigans in his hometown of Maidstone, Kent. To mark the occasion, Nic turned to his wealth of industry friends, bringing together some of the scene’s finest selectors to help him celebrate with a 13 hour b2b special. Joining Nic for the ride saw the likes of local legend Rob Cockerton spinning a vinyl only set, &ME, The Mambo Brothers, Pan Pot and Eats Everything.

Returning to his old stomping ground seemed the ideal spot for the celebrations, as Nic ventured back to Kent’s leading underground venue; The Source. With expectations high, along with a lineup bursting with both international and local talent, this birthday bash looked set to be one to remember.

DJ Sets

The Mambo Brothers
Born and raised on the White Isle of Ibiza, The Mambo Brothers; Christian and Alan Anadon have spent their lives surrounded by music. Being heavily involved with the house scene has led to an extensive knowledge of the industry, which has since played a key part in crafting their unique DJ sets. Following on from Nic’s mentor Rob Cockerton, the brothers joined Nic behind the booth for two hours of dance mania.

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Between the creative trio set a feel-good groovy vibe in The Street, keeping a steady pace as night began to fall. Further into the second hour saw the brothers up their game with some fiercer tracks, including the Toolroom Records banger “Only 1” by Seige. The classic vocal sample left the crowd singing along in high spirits. During only the 2nd of three more b2b performances to come, saw the birthday boy spin some of his own production. One of his older pieces of work; a remix of Hot Natured’s firm favourite “Benediction” and his most recent remix of Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa’s “One Kiss” were the perfect tools to keep the energy flowing.


Alex Niechoj
The RMRS event owner & Source resident filled the prime time midnight slot within the venue’s intimate courtyard. Kicking things off with “H 2 Da Izzo” (Guti & Enzo Siragusa Remix) served as a strong opener, with it’s springy undertones drawing the crowd in from the outset. No stranger to the Kent crowd, Alex orchestrated a well thought-out concoction of recognisable and deeper sounds to keep his crowd locked to the outdoor space. Dropping an East End Dubs edit of “Milkshake” by Kelis being a key example, with it’s infectious vocals and bouncy bassline introducing new vigour into the courtyard.

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Keeping the crowd on their toes towards the dying moments of the set, Alex opted for a shift in mood, with Ben Rau’s deep tech remix of Philip Lichtblaue’s  “We Are”, before firing an injection of pace from Junior Jack’s “Thrill me”. The change in tempo was an instant hit with the crowd and closed the performance on a high.


Pan-Pot b2b Nic Fanciulli
Catching the last hour of the 4th b2b, we were instantly drawn in by Jamie Jones’s “Sound of Music”. The playful tech house beat was seamlessly mixed into a techno stomper from ARTBAR’s Rave Mix of “Guede”, filling the venue with the intensity which German duo Pan-Pot are famously known for.

Deeper into the set and further into the techno abyss which had consumed the busy Maidstone street, saw DJ T’s 2013 edit of  “Sucker DJ”. The hypnotic synths and heavy bassline reverberated through the crowd with a huge reaction. Getting prepared for the entrance of Eats Everything, Pan Pot & Fanciulli laid down “Fundamentals” by Anthony Atella, as the tech house vocals quote – ‘it’s all about the rhythm’ and the Maidstone ravers couldn’t agree more.


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Little did we know that the final planned b2b would see something very special to round off Nic’s birthday. The entrance of Eats Everything and what was originally planned as a b2b solely with Nic Fanciulli, resulted in a rare b2b2b with Pan-Pot. The two hours that followed were simply mind-blowing, with the artists delving deep into their record collections, and expertly merging a multitude of tracks and styles. Starting with Solardo’s latest catchy release “Be Somebody” was the perfect way to draw the crowd’s attention. Following this saw some faster paced beats, with Billy Hendrix’s dance classic “Body Shine” fuelling the street with that second wind they needed to push on through the night.

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Anthems both old and new across the dance spectrum became a theme of the set, with the iconic strings of  “Domino” by Oxia sending shivers down our spines. Bringing things forward to 2018 saw Fisher’s newest release “Losing It” tear through the Funktion-One sound system, before Jamiroquai’s disco phenomenon “Space Cowboy” left the crowd belting out the vocals in unison. What a performance.


Overall

A 13 hour set on your birthday isn’t at the top of the wish list for most, but for Nic Fanciulli, playing his favourite tracks alongside friends and family couldn’t be a better way to celebrate. The addition of further speakers in the street provided an immersive experience, alongside the mesmerising production which transforms a mere alleyway into Kent’s leading underground venue space. All this matched with top drawer performances and an incredible surprise b2b will mean this is one birthday none of us will be forgetting soon. 9/10