Playing the notoriously atmosphere deadening MEN Arena on Thursday night, Basement Jaxx did a great job in keeping the Manchester crowd not just alive but kicking. Having recently come off their supporting slot on Robbie Williams sellout UK Tour, this is a band that has obviously grown used to entertaining crowds on a large scale.
Initially its hard to see how Felix Buxton & Simon Ratcliffes dance act could possibly work in a live concert style format, especially one on a large scale, but surrounded by a seemingly endless parade of guest singers & with a full backing band including a kilt wearing brass section, for those people in the crowd who hadnt come to dance, there was plenty to keep them entertained.
While many members of the large audience seemed to respond better to past hits such as Oh my Gosh & Romeo, tracks off the new album including the catchy Run 4 Cover & Take me Back to your House are by no means inferior to the groups older material & fit perfectly into the set.
With more costume changes than Madonna & Kylie Minogue combined, the bands (mostly female) vocalists are not only extremely talented & charismatic, but in this era of indie guitar bands, make a refreshing change to watch jumping, strutting & dancing around the large stage as they perform. The singers have attitude, but seem playful & flirtatious, with one rubbing the heads of the front of stage security guards as she sang & another giving the finger to photographers before bursting into a cheeky grin.
The large touring band gives the impression that theyre taking part in one giant party, but the main duo seem happy for the most part to stay in the background. Simon seemed content to prowl about in the back ground with his guitar, occasionally stepping forward to flirt with the female vocalists & Felix stayed primarily behind the decks, though he did come forward to perform on several songs including a great rendition of Hey U & of course to scream the words to Wheres Your Head At during a finale which even saw one of their roadies taking to the stage to dance. With the finale also including stand out tracks Good Luck & the hyperactive Latin inspired Bingo Bango, the crowd was definitely left on a high.