November 22, 2002
Underworld : London Brixton Academy
...the dastardly duo show just how far you can get with functional electronics and a maverick spirit...
Karl Hyde and Rick Smith haven't noticed that the fortunes of many established dance acts are in decline. For the first of two absolutely rammed shows in Brixton, the dastardly duo show just how far you can get with functional electronics and a maverick spirit.
Underworld just instinctively understand the relationship between tension and release, and construct their tracks accordingly. There might be some aimless drifting, and the odd purple keyboard passages discredited ancient rock lags like Emerson, Lake and Palmer would be proud of, but the chaps stay mainly on point.
And what a spectacle! Underworld are aware that the sight of two blokes behind mixing desks onstage is never enough in itself, and so synchronise their beats with a huge wall of backlights. Predictably, the crowd - as far removed from a regular rock crowd as you can get - go buck wild. Especially when the familiar ad-hoc lager anthem 'Born Slippy' is wheeled out, seemingly ages after the exquisite 'Two Months Off'.
You couldn't find two more different peaks in a two-hour plus experience, but the way that the evening has been orchestrated, for maximum trancey value, means it doesn't really make a difference. Just go with the flow.
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