For those of you who don't understand the title of this article, Cream Crackered is Cockney rhyming slang for knackered. For those that still don't understand, Cockney is the language of the street kids of London, and knackered means tired. It's clever; let's just leave it at that.
So, with that all explained then, on with the review. 15 parties down and I really do feel shattered, I’d say I've been to at least half of them and there is no doubting 2012 has been the biggest season for the Cream crew yet. Seeing that 'sold out' sign above the main entrance on so many occasions, and so early on in the night too, points to just how popular Cream as a brand still is. I mean it's not even that its 'still' popular, certainly on the island things are getting bigger and better each year, and last night was definitely the positive end all involved will have wanted.
But before I get ahead of myself, this year the closing party kicked off at 5pm in the San Antonio harbour as Paul Van Dyk donned his Captain's outfit for the 'Such A Feeling' Sunset Cruise - all in aid of the Red Cross charity - but essentially just a good excuse to start the party a few hours early I think.
With the cork safely removed from the bottle of Moet in the expertly cordoned off VIP area (just a taped off section filled with booze), PvD launched into an entirely different set than I would hear later on at Amnesia. From Stardust's 'Music Sounds Better With You', his own 'For An Angel' (although a live breaks edit), Proculture's 'Sun Gone Down' and the ultimate Underworld 'Born Slippy', we heard it all and over an extended 3 hour long set too, and it was a cool Ibiza moment seeing Paul shoot out from the booth to join people in a proper rave!
With sufficient time to refresh (recover) between the boat and main party, I arrived at the 1am mark feeling surprisingly in the game. Seeing Liverpool lass Billie Clement warming up the Terrace, for what I think is her first appearance at the club, was a cool start to the night - perhaps we could have witnessed a new resident for next year, Cream is always one for supporting rising talent after all. Indie looking kid Burns took over next from 1:30am, almost instantly blowing the roof off the terrace with that 'You've Got The Love' track. Queue every single girl and boy screaming their head off!
But things kicked off proper in the Main Room with Gareth Emery, playing one of the more stereotypically euphoric trance sets I've heard from him this season. Darude's old 1999 classic 'Sandstorm' set the tone for the next hour or so, with things peaking with one of the trance tunes of the season (having been heard at Cream and ASOT in equal amounts) 'Concrete Angel', a creation of Gareth himself. This was the sort of trance I fell in love with when I was like 18 years old - some nice vocals and beautiful synths culminating in one of those unavoidable 5 minute long grins. Followed shortly by the need to just burst in to tears of pure joy. Or was that just me? Man... it's been a long season...
Gareth had brought along his own LED foam batons, adorned with the Cream logo alongside his name, with several hundred thrown out for the crowd to enjoy. It added quite nicely to the already excitable atmosphere, and they stuck around for the rest of the night in both rooms.
Headliner Paul Van Dyk took the main room after Gareth to launch into the mostly live set he now performs at each Cream gig. With keyboards, laptops, mixers, samplers and effects units lined up in front of him, Paul took command for a second time that night. With his relationship with the legendary main room lighting technician so solid, both fed off each other, creating a musical and visual show that was worthy of the closing. Again, it was pretty much music to cry to as the true Cream classic Three Drives 'Greece 2000' poured out of the impressive V-Prof soundsystem.
Of course the whole combination of people knowing this was the last party of the year, the lasers, the famous ice cannon, confetti, dancers (less that flexing guy... save it for Matinee) and tracks like Paul Van Dyk's very own remix of Hurts 'Sunday', which has so many similar elements to 'For An Angel' and was therefore always going to be a hit, ensured this was one of the best main room trance sessions I've heard.
Taking things down a few notches BPM wise, Calvin Harris had pretty much every set of arms raised in the terrace - even the glass collectors, although in fairness they were carrying crates of empty glasses and bottles. In true Calvin style though it was hit after hit of both his own tracks and those that are so adored amongst the Calvin/Guetta/SHM circle. There's no denying you rarely see a crowd go quite so crazy as when tracks like Calvin's 'I'm Not Alone', 'Bounce', and SHM's 'Save The World' get dropped. It surprises me that the crowd cheer so late on in these tracks, knowing exactly what it is 2 seconds in, but they absolutely roared! Crazy atmosphere, and even though we all know it isn't my thing, I must admit I found it quite infectious... Fair play to them.
Benny Benassi now had the relatively daunting honour of following Calvin, but true to his style and experience, handled it easily. The Italian has been doing his thing for a while now, but still looked proper chuffed to be there, which was cool. Enthusiastically dancing about the booth and egging on the crowd on the mic, Benny tore through some great tracks, with Eric Prydz remix of Depeche's Mode's 'Personal Jesus' standing out above all. That vocal grabs me every time, and Prydz remix is one of his best creations in my opinion. All well then as Eric Prydz was in fact in attendance for much of the evening, lending me to think we could once again see his return to the Cream in a more regular capacity next year, particularly after so willingly standing in on a couple of occasions this season. Great news if so!
Closing out the rooms we had residents James Dutton and Josh Demello in the terrace, and Adam Sheridan in the main room. I left the club as Digitalism's beautiful 'Zdarlight' played out in terrace... I remember thinking 'ah, Zdarlight to the starlight!', or something. What a horribly cheesy line that would have been to put in the review.
Anyway, everything now rolls nicely back to their spiritual home in Liverpool's Nation as the winter clubbing season kicks off with two monstrous events. Celebrating 20 years of anything is no mean feat, I remember being particularly chuffed and surprised about making it to my 20th birthday, the only people I've know for 20 years are my family, and even then I haven't got a clue what happened during the first 20+ years of a near 27 year existence. So kudos to you lot Cream, I wonder what the party will be like in another 20 years?
Book online with Spotlight
Everything you need to know for 2016's biggest party.
Choosing your month!
Showcase opening event
Brunch, hippy market and Guy Gerber's RUMORS, all wrapped up in a bow.
A new dimension for Thursday nights at Space.
A lightsaber-led opening in the dark depths of Sankeys' basement.
A big-hitting start to the week with EDX.
It's a race to get messy at the world's biggest nightclub.