BOYS KEEP SWINGING

The dance stars shine at the tenth anniversary party of their label JBO...

Underworld, Regular Fries and Gramme, plus DJs DARREN PRICE and FUTURESHOCK, played the LONDON ASTORIA last night (Tuesday) to celebrate the tenth birthday of influential dance label JBO.

The sold-out night to mark the passing of a decade since the label’s first release – Bocca Juniors‘Raise’ – was also the first time Underworld have played live since the departure of Darren Emerson.

The Essex dance stars, now slimmed down to founder members Karl Hyde and Rick Smith, delivered a wide-ranging, peak-form two-hour set, including the classics ‘Cowgirl’, ‘Push Upstairs’, ‘King Of Snake’, two versions of ‘Born Slippy’, ‘Rez’, ‘Moaner’ and ‘Dirty Epic’, with Hyde making his debut as a live bassist.

Despite a few calls from the crowd of “Where’s Darren?”, the set was rapturously-received.

Hyde declared it a “weight off our shoulders” playing the first gig in years as a duo, commenting from the stage: “You think we have got it down up here, but we are shitting ourselves right royally!”

A spokesperson for JBO declared that despite reduced personnel, the band had “pulled it off big-style”.

After an indie-funk warm-up from recent JBO signing Gramme, fronted by female vocalist Sam Lynham, Regular Fries devoted most of their set to material from their forthcoming second album, including ‘Hell’s Angle’, ‘Africa Take Me Back’ and ‘The Drowned World’.

The label nurtured the early careers of the Chemical Brothers – who were signed as the Dust Brothers – and provided an early home for seminal DJ and producer Andy Weatherall.