London W1 Hanover Grand

Respect their right to be the Organic [a]M-People[/a] and let them trundle on...

Just when you’re swaying off into a state of fuzzy anaesthesia, with the ‘Cheeba’s new funker ‘Love Is Rare’ simmering dependably, their hitherto restrained singer Skye lets rip with a soul diva screech of astonishing power. “Just take caaaaaAAAAAARRRE!”.

Morning already? Time to snap to it? Not really. Seconds later, with the feverish crowd blinking in shock, the Morcheeba groove machine reasserts its duvet of funk presence and everyone relaxes. It’s got to be the easiest job in the world, being the drummer with Morcheeba. The fanfare for their third album ‘Fragments Of Freedom’, claims they’ve gone pop, but you wouldn’t know it by the relentlessly mid-paced, jetlagged Happy Mondays bpms propelling their armchair dance fusion.

Playing to a dense knot of the converted (last Brit gig was the Albert Hall) they edge towards indie with ‘Be Yourself’, perk up Motown-style during ‘Good Girl Down’ and allude wishfully to their roots by slipping Sly Stone into the middle of big hit ‘Trigger Hippie’. For all the decks and violins’n’sax’n’flutes expanding their multi-vocalled line-up, however, they only really boil over late on, gospel antheming off for ‘Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day’.

So, whaddya do with Morcheeba? Worthy as an Amnesty International disco, loved by zillions and, er, great musicians. Maybe take a leaf from their book of benign funk, respect their right to be the Organic M People if they really must, and let them trundle on.