Basement Jaxx: : Bristol Academy : Wednesday 3 December

With bootleg White Stripes covers and renegade BellRays, Basement Jaxx end their year noisily...

Remember 2003? The year in which tight nylon shirts and ‘proper’ guitar music sounded positively cutting edge next to those hackneyed old sampled beats of ‘yesterday’s’ electronic music? Well thank Christ that 2004 is nigh – giving us the necessary perspective to look back and say “actually the real musical innovation of 2003 was happening right under our noses in London’s Brixton where dance music’s scruffy everymen, [a]Basement Jaxx[/a], were creating an album which not only took notice of the zeitgeist but also taught it how to laugh again. Which was good”.

[a]Basement Jaxx[/a]’s path to success is simple. First they make sure that everyone in the entire room is having the night of their life. Then they turn up the rock to fever pitch. Which is why they start this evening with pending handbag-house classic ‘Good Luck’, bringing on Lisa Kekaula (big-lunged frontwoman with LA’s garage-punk shock troops [a]Bellrays[/a] to sing it.

On their album, the Jaxx managed to rope in high-priestess of punk, [a]Siouxsie & The Banshees[/a], to lend her vocals to the title track ‘Kish Kash’. [a]Siouxsie & The Banshees[/a] can’t be here tonight, but her dominatrix-clad double is and she wastes no time in adding a wonderful [a]Peaches[/a]-esque amateurishness to proceedings. Likewise, The feathered Brazilian dancers from the video for the camp electro-garage hi-jinx of ‘Lucky Star’ might have been dispensed with, but the futurist disco vibe sure hasn’t. In fact [a]Basement Jaxx[/a] are so on the money tonight that we can almost forgive them for their rave remix of ‘Seven Nation Army’. Especially when it’s spun against such room-exploding meltdowns as ‘Red Alert’ and ‘Where’s Your Head At?’

This year NME has crisscrossed the globe to watch shows by [a]White Stripes[/a], [a]Strokes[/a] and [a]The Darkness[/a], but we can confidently say that there’s still no-one who throws a party quite like the [a]Basement Jaxx[/a]. But, y’know, if that ‘Get Born’ gatefold vinyl is still what you really want this Christmas… see you in 2004, suckers.

Krissi Murison