Post-rave, post-post-rave, post-superclub, Chase & Status may be watered down corporate cool – but the kids love it. Getintothis’ John Maher just about joins in.
Suddenly a huge empty circle appears in the crowd of people as, Neanderthal-like, they look on at what’s happening around them. What’s happening around them is an embryonic mosh pit and the crowd are baying and screeching for blood (well, a bit). Drinks of water getting thrown, soaking those down the front. Before the gig’s even started! Welcome to Chase & Status live: rock and bass.
Mainly youthful fresh-faced ravers slot untidily in the greasy shadows of the stage – there’s limb waving mayhem when the duo dive straight into Smash TV, a stomach-dizzying volley of deep bass and jump ups. The first ten minutes or so consist of MC Rage barking out pretty textbook ‘urban’ dancefloor orders (sample: ‘Where’s the mosh pit? There’s the mosh pit‘ etc) and C and S doing stuff behind various computer equipment, one left, one on the right, although it’s unclear which is which.
The clearest thing is that there’s a division in the pair’s brand of tunes; all this garish belchy dubstep slash Pendulum-tinged clangers versus a more soulful liquid drum and bass.
Gladly their excellent Take Me Away, bringing memories of gospel house and Black Box, streams quickly into this giant room and it’s a record gradually satisfying compared with the opening visceral efforts. Yet after another similar twinkly slab, Hurt You, the boys – Will Kennard and Saul Milton – revert back to the other stuff.
Including: a guttural Heavy (Dizzee Rascal‘s vocals on tape) and Let You Go, which frankly is a bit poor if you factor in their earlier toils.
Even Eastern Jam minus Snoop Dogg‘s bootleg millionaire vocals lacks edge. The shame here is that some moments reek of being a little Prodigy-lite and bathed in corporate cool in these post-rave, post-post-rave, post-superclub, endless mixtape days.
And it’s these tracks that elicit a greater energetic reaction (despite a foxy and unstoppable Pieces, which is nontheless good lairiness). The weary on site hang further back, a quick study of faces suggests progressively older souls linger and wobble nearer the doors.
But the kids provide the life for gigs such as this, the ammo for fledgling dance careers and they’re always unfathomably positive, so we’ll go with that.
Photography courtesy of Anthony Mooney.