More than just any old dance act!
Basement Jaxx are far more than just a dance act, and their live shows prove this in one hour and a half slab of unrelenting energy. The duo are currently touring the UK, backed by a multi-musician collective which brought disco, electronica, soul, jazz, hip-hop, rock and chill-out to Wembley Arena on Saturday December 2.
Felix and Simon were joined on stage by extremely impressive female vocalists, who incidentally worked their way through numerous outfit changes during the show. The Basement Jaxx backing band consisted of a bongo player, trumpeter and saxophonist as well as the usual keyboards drums and guitars.
Flanked by big screens which mixed graphics and animations with video relays of the on stage action for those at the back of the arena, Basement Jaxx played a set which show-cased a handful of tracks from recent LP 'Crazy Itch Radio', but it seemed we were never more than one song away from another anthem. The gig opened with 'Jump n' Shout', with 'Oh My Gosh' also appearing early in the night.
This band have a reputation for being a must see live act, and this is due partly to their creativeness on stage. 'Red Alert' was split in two, first slower and more rock driven, teasing the crowd before it exploded into the familiar club classic the fans love so much.
'Romeo' is one that regularly takes on a whole new personality when played live. There have been times when slower, stripped down versions of classics played live have disappointed me, the way Foo Fighters play 'Everlong' these days being one example, but turning 'Romeo' into a soul edged ballad certainly worked well and was a huge favourite for many inside Wembley Arena on this occasion. It also gave the more enthusiastic fan a bit of a breather.
The tracks from the new album go down especially well included the funky 'Take Me Back To Your House' and another chilled offering 'Lights Go Down'. The latter is one of the stand out songs from 'Crazy Itch Radio' and makes a similar impact live: this will be a legendary live moment for many years.
The hits just kept coming with 'Do Your Thing' and the last track before the encore, the massive 'Where's Your Head At'. Basement Jaxx returned to the stage to round off the night with 'Good Luck' and 'Bingo Bango'.
This was a triumphant night in London for one of the UK's finest dance acts, with a show packed with so many different styles there is something for all lovers of the electronic stuff. Judging by the atmosphere on the tube back into Central London this was a job very well done. The tour continues with shows in Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester and Glasgow this week.