TDK Cross Central bowed out of its Kings Cross venue with a packed-to-the-rafters finale. Famed for its trend-setting mentality, the Sunday was predominently for the techno, electro and house fans looking for their fill of beats, bleeps and uplifting melodies. It made for a highly-charged atmosphere of anticipation that became strained under the mass of bodies everywhere despite being spread across three clubs and 11 stages. Even so, it was a fitting send off that will ensure the event remains one to watch when it returns to a new venue in 2008.
I arrived at 10pm and the party was already in full swing. Revellers at the Outdoor Stage and in The Cross were over spilling into the cobbled road where I stood as I got my bearings just beyond the entrance. A wander — or rather a squeeze — through the arches of The Cross indicated everyone wanted to make this a TDK to remember. Normally this time would signal more of a warm up feel, but tonight there was no such pause for composure. I headed straight to Canvas to find Alex Under’s live set drawing the crowds. The Spanish techno wizard was setting the standard for those who followed at the Type stage with a pulsating set.
Following this, I headed for what would be the strangest sight of the night: new rave band Shitdisco attempting to entertain an oddly half-filled Canvas 3. It seems few can understand the humour behind their dance-punk sound and despite giving it their all on stage, only a minority took much notice even when the room became full ahead of Loco Dice’s appearance. With the crowd brought a surge of heat and another increasingly squashed Mike so I headed outside to the Ibiza-like terrace soundtracked by Club Azuli for a cool down.
TDK Cross Central will never be the same away from the 150-year-old Victorian yard.
With such an immense crowd, it was inevitably going to be frustrating getting around and hampered ease of movement between stages and there were many disapproving faces. Still, there was plenty of music to enjoy so everyone tended to head to their favoured stage and stayed there or bravely sought out the popular acts. The latter was certainly the case for the increasingly superstar-like DJ Kissy Sell Out. His two-hour set of electro, breaks and house in The Key brought with it his trademark track “Get Ready for the K-Hole”, customary air horn and plenty of adoring fans. It was a typically energised set and must have been one of the highlights of all the stages.
Like any festival I missed out on plenty, including the sounds of the Ninja Tunes stage which rocked to the sounds of DJ Food, Hexstatic and Coldcut’s Jon More and the Halo warehouse featuring The Loose Cannons. Still, everyone was more than happy to stay for the majority of the night as it was not until the sun started to rise that the partygoers began to noticeably disperse. With minimal techno maestro Ricardo Villalobos unable to attend due to his wife expecting a baby, it was up to James Holden to close proceedings in Canvas 3. His style of melding tracks ranging from Aphex Twin and fellow Border Community artist Nathan Fake together with dreamy house and pumping techno was a fitting climax.
The last ever TDK Cross Central at the Kings Cross Freight Depot was always going to leave a pang of sadness as I departed in the early hours of Sunday morning: it will never be the same away from the 150-year-old Victorian yard and a challenge to come close recreating a similar atmosphere. A stricter control over the numbers would help make it less of an endurance test, though, so lets hope the new venue provides a bit of room to breath every once in a while.