Creamfields - Daresbury/Halton 26.06.06

The disgruntled murmurings passing the time on way in express disappointment at the withdrawal of Gnarls Barkley, due to illness. Those patronizing the Strongbow Ciderhouse are soon buoyed up by a high-spirited and wide ranging Coldcut show. Johnathan Moore and Matt Black are enjoying their return to prominence, regularly interacting with the crowd during their hip/hop, rap, funk, soul and electro fusing set. The big, fat beat led ‘Everything’s Under Control’, featuring some Beastie Boy’s swagger and vocal tirades ends proceedings boldly, emphasizing the outfit’s belief in their newer material. No-one complained that they didn’t return to their acid house roots or throw in an old classic to close.  A sparse, but into it gathering at the Galaxy Stage, indulges in some swift swaying to soul pop mixes and downbeat electro grooves, orchestrated by Express-2. This would have made an ideal chill-out/comedown/go back set at 4am, for whoever needs it.

Mylo DJs release a steady flow of ambient, folktronica and electro flexing, chucking the odd popular mix in. This represents a viable alternative to Goldfrapp’s often forced and insipid show. A down point of Mylo’s well orchestrated show is that fuel is given to the rumour that they turn the sound down in the tents. The high points do not possess the same thrust this spin master and crew are known for. A sporadic set is being produced by The Prodigy, who fails to maintain a tempo. They have been known to craft a deeper groove than the one made by Homer Simpson on his favourite couch.  ‘Firestarter’ captures the blaring nature and macho strut of old and shakes the Main Stage area up, but the vibe slowly slides until ‘Smack Your Bitch up’ picks it up again. Several make the decision that they’d rather catch the beginning of Tiesto and turn their backs on The Prodigy.

Justice is doling out streets beats and sliding in a whippy vibe to keep the dance floor at the Ciderhouse in rhythm. The stage area for Belgium’s 2Many DJs looks as casual as enrolment day at the local college. An ambient build up helps you find your way into the set that sparks off some crushing techno and catchy pop swirls. Paul Van Dyk’s 1;30am slot is perfect for lifting the lagging revellers up with sweeping beats that don’t drop a tempo all set. This frenetic parade is what was expected of The Prodigy. A largely relaxed atmosphere continues till the death and makes for a successful debut for the new home of the event, but one question lingers; why wasn’t Tiesto moved up to the Main Stage to replace Gnarls Barkley?

David Adair

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