11.35am After a quick scuffle with a tramp shouting about 'soggy doughnuts', we reach the huge queue outside Bar Rumba
12.10am Finally inside, and we run into a sweaty mix of b-boys, media types, Japanese and cyber punks. Not to mention a bald biker who tells us that "Ecstasy is the way of the future".
"This is going to be difficult," mutters the photographer, dodging a flailing elbow. This from a man whose last assignment was in Afghanistan
1.43am Beneath a banner screaming "Mashed", DJs Tayo and Rennie Pilgrem kick off their set with immense speed electro all fat wobbly basslines and quivering breakbeats. We spot a couple wearing ear-plugs. "There's no point ruining your hearing, is there?" says Matt, one of the lugged-up. "And they're cheap they're just made of old fag ends"
"I shat myself"
Abby (22), at Friction: "E always makes me want to shit. One time I was on one in the Soundshaft and hadn't bothered going for a shit because it was so good. Unfortunately, while I was dancing, I felt something wet in my knickers and realised that I'd shat myself. I had to ditch my knickers and dance without any all night. It didn't make me feel any hornier, just a bit cleaner."
Carl Cox on Friction
"It's excellent down there. First, there are lots of girls! And girls and the music are the defining factor for if your night is good, or bad. It's not just a lager fest, because as well as the beefed-up basslines and the acid, there are also loads of uplifting strings that tug at your heart-strings. It's completely different from big beat because it's a much more underground, deeper sound. In fact, I'm back there on November 20th, so come along!"