The fact that Basement Jaxx are headlining multiple festivals around the country doesn’t really seem possible, given that they’ve failed to sell out Newcastle’s Academy tonight. Nonetheless, the early evening brings an impressive clan of quite the dressed-up smarties. Unlike most Academy gigs, the majority are more eager to get to the bar than the barrier, which stays untouched for a good 15-minutes after doors open.
Tonight’s (pretty low-key) support comes in the form of one Master Shortie. His looks mimic a cross between MC Hammer and the hat-wearing-dude from N-Dubz, and his music is not much different. While he manages to get the front few rows moving (at least for a while), his songs lack any real party attitude that you’d expect from a Basement Jaxx support, and his audience reaction falters after the first minute or so of each track.
His and his backing bands performance cannot be faulted however, even going so far as to break out a couple of Dizzee Rascal-esque hype men for new single Dance Like A White Boy.
After this tour, he’s supporting The King Blues on their upcoming UK tour, and in much smaller venues, where at least for now, he probably belongs.
So, Basement Jaxx are up circa 9pm to probably the longest introduction ever witnessed, showing an incredible video screen stage set-up combo, and the crowd could not be more up for it. The room feels like a life version of Bend It Like Beckham, it just has that vibe.
The group launch into crowd favourite Good Luck, to a monumental reaction. Everyone’s obviously came here tonight to groove, to shake, to dance, and its setting an electric atmosphere. Everywhere, absolutely every single body is pumping, bumping, grinding, and even crowd-surfing.
Musically, Basement Jaxx sound pristine. The core Brixton-duo providing the synth and live drums tonight, the latter so precise, and so perfectly in sync, the music certainly benefits from it. The bass is heart-rumblingly heavy, and the Academy is being shaken to it’s roots tonight for sure.
Unfortunately, anthem Romeo is surprisingly left out of the set tonight, instead opting for an acoustic version (which in fairness, is sung beautifully). This is made up however, by the addition of brilliant hits like Jump ‘N’ Shout, Red Alert, and the brilliantly lustful Oh My Gosh.
Bodies are sweating by the near end of the monumental 23-song set, but the atmosphere most definitely stays alive until the very end, if not further, as the energy stays electric, finishing on the immense Bingo Bango. If the crowd could stay all night and dance and party, you’ve got the hundred proof feeling they would never leave. A brilliant, energising night!