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Basement Jaxx at the Apollo review

Lynda Moyo enjoys, a gig, a rave and a theatrical production all in one night

Written by . Published on May 1st 2009.


Basement Jaxx at the Apollo review

It's easy for dance duo to mix up a catchy floor filler, stand behind the decks, lap up the temporary glory, then never be seen again. Basement Jaxx are anything but one hit wonders, or opportunist DJs. Playing at the Manchester Apollo last night, this was much more than just a club night.

The show opened to Chemical Brothers type visuals of hypnotic graphics before the Basement Jaxx girls appeared in elaborate silver lamme wedding gowns. The group has had many guest singers over the years, but these two larger than life, vocal power houses are the ones best and most associated with the boys. The crowd mix of hyper teens, ageing ravers and metropolitan Mancunians joined in with gusto for the opening track, Good Luck. And this collective appreciation continued throughout the night as the celebration of a decade of Basement Jaxx became an on and off stage jamboree.

The Basement Jaxx DJs made sure to play at least one of their hits in between more adventurous tracks which at times seemed to fall on deaf ears for much of the crowd. Nevertheless, you have to expect this from such a creative lot. It's more than just the money-making music. It's a full scale theatre production for their own enjoyment as much as ours.

A performance of Oh My Gosh ticked every Basement Jaxx performance box; colourful, witty and elaborately staged. The girls not only pushed the bar vocally, they teamed it with a slick and hilarious dance routine, reminiscent of old school hip-hop tag team, Salt’n’Pepper.

An acoustic take on Romeo, was dedicated to one half of Basement Jaxx, “Simon's 95-year-old granddad”, seated in the higher tier 'circle'. As “possibly the coolest granddad in the world” the girls blew kisses from the stage before delivering high notes that could shatter glass and any mid range vocalist's dreams. These girls have a raw vocal talent that these songs would be lost without.

Classics, Red Alert, Jump and Shout and Where's Your Head at both followed interspersed with some DJ-only sets and random remixes which showed where this duo have stemmed from and what they are capable of. It was perhaps less pleasing for much of the crowd who felt like they had time-warped into an acid house rave when they had just come for the club classics. New track Raindrops was also debuted by the boys with the over-use of a vocoder machine. It will be interesting to see how this track fairs against their old stuff but it was still entertaining all the same, with the lads making as much of their on-stage showmanship as the girls did.

Finishing with Rendevous and Bingo Bango, the only thing it was short of was fireworks to complete a celebratory, carnival inspired evening. It's been three years since their last album and ten years since their first, but this night proved we're not done with them yet. It's easy to forget how far these lads from Brixton have come and they've still got a long way to go.

Gezzabelle says..“ I'm jealous!

Didsbury Girl says..“ This review makes me want to go home, put on their greatest hits CD and Dance about like a loon in my living room. I am green with envy!

emma grace says..“ Me too...Bingo Bango makes me want to go to a Carnival!

Caz says..“ Went to their gig at The Roundhouse, Camden, London on Tuesday - what a show although the acoustic version of Romeo was spectularly performed, the crowd were definitely disappointed when the baseline kicked in. Yay to Rendez-vous and mixes of Kings of Leon

Caz says..“ that should read...'when the baseline DIDN'T kick in'. DOH.

east lancs says..“ Surely it should be "bassline"? ;o)

Ian says..“ I went to the gig at the Apollo - and having just flown back into the country from the Caribbean and feeling rather tired to say the least, Basement Jaxx put on a performance who could have kept a narcoleptic awake!The above review decribes the event perfectly, the carnivale-mardi gras feel in the venue was electric, beer flowed, people danced and booties were shook! Whilst it was slightly disappointing to have had the acoustic rendition of Romeo, it was a welcome few minutes are respite, to allow heartbeats to return to a sustainable level and to take a few moments of appreciation for just how adaptable BJ really are.The best £20 I have spent in a long time, and an evening not to be forgotton - roll on the new album!

Jennifer says..“ Unable to make this gig I am going to Big Chill on the strength that Basement Jaxx are headlining and thsi review has just made me all the more excited about watching them!

Anonymous says..“ I saw them at the MEN did not them justice. Went to the Apollo and was not disappointed. Great show and well worth the wait.Whoop whoop!!

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