Bradley Gunn Raver is that guy in the goggles at the front of every rave dancing his ass off, he's Ministry of Sound's Rave Reviewer In Chief. He goes to an insane amount of raves, which he reviews every month for you in his column Bradley Gunn Raver's Rave Review.

Following on from 2017 - a year that consisted of non stop life-changing experiences, incredible events and journeys all around the world, 2018 was something I was welcoming with an open mind and I truly could not wait to see what was on the horizon this year. Although January was understandably not quite as exhilarating as the conclusion of 2017 - with many event owners winding briefly winding down before kicking off again later in the year, I was eagerly anticipating my encounter with Awakenings, a night that comfortably eased itself into winning the top event of the month award.

Awakenings is without a shadow of a doubt one of the top table events that offers a different level of excitement for me. Aside from a considerable amount of energetic dancing at their events, I have also been fortunate enough to have befriended the main man leading the Awakenings orchestra: Rocco. It is not often with these events that you see any further into the foundations than the top layer of headliners and support acts, but I was fortunate to be integrated into the Awakenings circle, which has a real family feel and makes the journey to the events all the more special. It was coincidentally Rocco's 50th Birthday on the day of the event, and it was a surreal experience to be invited to his birthday dinner before the main event.

Although the dinner was, as you can imagine, of a high standard with such a landmark birthday being celebrated, the main reason why I was there, was of course the music. On entering the venue I was immediately taken aback by the stripped back, unique interior of this space. Like many of the larger scale techno events I had attended throughout 2017, this was another gem that was being utilised and credit has to go to the owners and everyone involved. It was perfectly executed with a gritty, intimidating feel and advanced lighting placed throughout to add to the intensity of the night's proceedings.

Although Awakenings is often hosted in the mighty Gashouder in Amsterdam, a venue that is hard to compete with due its incredible dome shape and superior production, this was a strong competitor, and if you know me well enough by now, you'll know that I'm always keen to explore a new venue and tick another one off the list! In regards to the timetable - we were being treated to a star studded line up, with Patrick Topping making an impressive Awakenings debut. He further underpinned his quality and diversity as someone who has become just as respected for his DJing as he is for his skills in the studio. Elsewhere on the night you had Nina Kraviz smashing a peak time set, which had me reminiscing on the time I spent with her a few months ago during her 'all night long' set in Spain. Other icons situated across each of the three areas of music included Adam Beyer and Joseph Capriati on closing duties in Area X, and other easily recognisable names such as Romanian techno specialist Raresh and last but not least the undisputed king of minimal Ricardo Villalobos! This was one of those spectacular nights where time seems to fly by and before you know it the party is soon concluding, further proof that Awakenings raises the bar each and every time.



Before the antics over in Eindhoven, we must rewind to an extravaganza on New Year's Day at one of London's finest, Tobacco Dock. LWE, assembled a blinder of a line up on what was set to be a firm start to 2018. If you have been reading this over the past few months, you'll probably know I'm a bit of a regular here! It was a no-brainer to kick start 2018 in the same fashion that I had seen off 2017, so off I went stomping throughout the huge complex for this day and night event. The line up really was something to behold, with American electronic music legend Maceo Plex headlining with a strong band of selectors and creators supporting. New Year's day was of course following on from two gargantuan parties I had been in attendance for in Holland and Germany: Awakenings and HYTE, so as I'm sure you can appreciate despite my healthy lifestyle - the travelling, long nights and high intensity cardio from start to finish had sapped some of my energy for this one. However, by now you'll know that this doesn't stop me, so I powered through, dug deep and ensured I started 2018 in true BGR style. It was great to be at one of my favourite venues again.



24 Hours Of House Music was an event set up to raise money in aid of MIND, a charity that specialises and focuses specifically on the issue of mental health problems. This particular event was being run by a local team in Bristol and my good friend Craig, who DJ'd for 24 hours, which is a huge achievement in itself so well done to Craig! The event was ran from 4:30AM on Saturday until 04:30AM on Sunday morning, and although the timescale seemed somewhat daunting, I was going to put my experiences of committed to long stints of raving into practise. But this was different, I was not sleeping, and was only resting in short bursts before returning to my duties and helping to raise as much money as possible by bringing everyone together through the power of house music.

I was extremely humbled to be surrounded by so many kind, supportive individuals who came together in the name of such a great cause whilst also partying the day, evening, night and early morning away. Credit once again has to go to Craig, because although he is not an internationally recognised DJ his track selection was impeccable and was of great help in keeping my flow intact and the energy levels high. In total, after the event had drawn to a closure, we had completed what we set out to achieve and all the donations meant we raised a phenomenal grand total of £7,592.57 - a significant amount more than our initial target of £2,000. I cannot thank everyone involved enough - my fellow organisers, ravers or anyone that contributed to raising this colossal amount - you should all give yourselves a pat on the back!



Coming towards the end of January, I was back at Great Suffolk Street Warehouse for House Of Silk, which boasts a tunnel system for each of its rooms. It had been almost a year since I last attended a House Of Silk event and it sure felt good to be back at an event that I enjoyed so much last time. I was really impressed with the amalgamation of genres of music. They had put Hot Creations signees Leftwing & Kody, drafted in French hard hitting duo Chicks Luv Us and several others in one room, but then contrastingly in the other there was Rinse FM's Marcus Nasty playing an exclusive funky house classics set. With him was a host of garage DJs included Garage Nation's regular DJ Cartier, numerous talented MC's and other solid selectors of the re-emerging garage sound. Some might say this was an interesting decision to make but it certainly worked. It was a pleasure as always to inject some energy into the event early doors with my long time raving companion Birdman: