Live Review - Basement Jaxx
Nobody can ever accuse Basement Jaxx of being normal.
In fact, tonight they prove once and for all that they are the apotheosis of 'weird'. You know, in case you hadn't already guessed that from their huge back catalogue. First emerging when Big Beat was all the rage in the UK, the Jaxx have survived by continuously adapting their sound and keeping their love for a good hook firmly planted in the ground. They also know how to secure top talent; three amazing female vocalists, a drummer, percussionist, tuba/trumpet player and a couple of grime boys to rap for the hell of it.
Watching this show is like Carnivale on acid; there's so much colour and sound that you're in danger of having sensory overload. The girls change costume, role play, and flirt with security, while belting out dance epics 'Good Luck', 'Red Alert' and about twenty more.
Some dude who looks suspiciously like Sam Sparro gets up to slink his way through 'Plug It In' while the centrepiece of the set goes to the big Momma (I'm sorry, I will find out your name!) who croons a cool jazz version of 'Romeo' with the technique and control of Ella Fitzgerald. That's not just superlatives, she really is that good and she can dance too!
The brains behind the operation indulge themselves by throwing in a number of random tracks from new EPs that very few people have heard, including that collaboration with Lightspeed Champion that sounds dangerously like Phil Collins. Luckily, they save themselves in the eleventh hour when Felix pre-programs 'Where's Your Head At?', leaves the DJ console and proceeds to go absolutely spastic on stage, completely disregarding convention that thy mix master shall not sing, dance or fall on the floor like he is having a fit.
Coming back to kick some arse with the latin-flavoured (they're well good at that) 'Bingo Bango', they finish the night by busting out 'Do Your Thing' in a sort of conga-line/mass orgy on stage that has the whole place on their feet not hard seeing as they never actually sat down. It's a spectacle well worth the accolades; here's one outfit that hasn't forgotten how to have fun.