DJ Shadow : Birmingham Academy

...deserves to be selling out Wembley on a nightly basis...

NME is worried. Within touching distance, there’s a pissed up Brummie, arms and legs flailing, going all out in an attempt to pull-off some convincingly old skool B-Boy moves. It’s part Keith Flint, part Bez and the rest seems to be made up of some kind of as-yet-undiscovered martial art.

Such is the extreme effect that DJ Shadow (aka Josh Davis) can have. As a super-speed breakbeat technician, Davis is in a masterclass of his own and whilst recent ‘Private Press’ album is rightly regarded as a beacon of progressive hip-hop, his live show manages to take it even further. Sure, you can’t expect much showmanship from one bloke shuttling from deck to deck all night and the projected visuals provide a scarcely satisfactory backdrop, but the music is like listening to the car boot sale inside Davis’ head. So standard album cuts like ‘Walkie Talkie’ and the hypnotic ‘Fixed Income’ are embellished with, for instance, a sample of U2‘s ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’.

If Zoe Ball’s husband can attract 35,000 to Brighton Beach purely on the strength of playing some records, then by rights DJ Shadow deserves to be selling out Wembley on a nightly basis.

Hardeep Phull