Louder Than War
25th August, 2013
Intro by John Robb
Bring the fucking noise! This is the future and it’s been here for years!
All those arguments over Blur v Oasis in the nineties missed one very obvious thing, all that guff about how music stopped going forwards in 1982 missed one really obvious thing, all that stuff about how the creative edge had left music, how there is no danger anymore, how no one brings the noise, how music somehow stopped…it all misses one thing.
Live The Prodigy breaks all the rules, live The Prodigy is one of the best live shows on the planet- a mental, molten fusion of all the best bits of metal and techno and hip hop, all the boisterous, limb extorting, madness allied to molten slinky grooves and sheer rock action and it comes armed with two front man determined to prove that all that guff about so called dance music not rocking is, well, pretty silly.
There are few rock bands that can match The Prodigy for power, and yeah, I know they have a drummer and guitar player up there but even without them they still sound like the heaviest rock band in the world, they are like a million Marshall amps stomping across the horizon yet with the added funk of the hip hop beats, it’s like the Sex Pistols on acid, it’s like acid on the Sex Pistols.
The Prodigy are punks. They understand that there are no rules but your own and they make a rock music that is beyond.
They have been taking this show round the world festival circuit for years, everywhere they play there are 50 000 people and the same mental, enormous show that reaches every corner of the arena and very cell in your body. The Prodigy don’t do many new songs. They don’t have to. They reinvent themselves constantly and in that very modern way of making sense from the wreckage.
My band Goldblade once supported them at a mental gig in Macedonia; they had driven their bus through a war zone in Serbia and were not phased. They were also diamond geezers. Totally down to earth surrounded by the chaos of an East European concert and all that loose electricity that entails.
They are one of the best live bands in the world and a thoroughly modern experience and a true punk band in that they cut and paste culture to their own ends – recreating their own art from the scraps of sound and vision that fill the world. The fact that they sound ferocious and have two wonderful freaks fronting the whole live shebang and a genuine Prodigy at the controls kinda makes them even more punk as our man reports from Creamfields where they headlined the festival this year.
Review by Gonzoid Dave
This has always been a crazy one.
Creamfields is not the festival for being that don’t like music like some; it’s more like the festival for the madheads who live like they are at a festival all the year round. A celebration of what is called dance culture and a gonzoid weekend of good times, legendary DJs and block stopping beats. And it really can’t get any better than having the Prodigy headline- after all this is arguably the band that brought the noise out of the wreckage of acid house and into the new arenas turning DJ culture into bands that could do the live thing.
As they hit the stage with big volume, mind blowing lights and the anthemic Voodoo People you literally can feel the earth move. Not in a metaphorical way but in a real way. This is like some kind of sonic earth tremor as thousands of people dance to the song that captures a lifestyle. The chemical rush of the streets and freak beat of every local droog- no wonder you can feel that rush.
The Prodigy got big with no ones permission and then just got bigger and when you watch them live you can understand why, this is one of the great live shows, Maxim and Keith Flint own the stage and if all they do is shout and cajole then that’s all the better – like larger than life cartoon characters on a caper, like some kind of bizarro computer game tone mad they own it.
Musically the Prodge mash together the two last great youth cultures – punk and acid house into one ‘technicolour’ whole which was a smart and instinctive move as this massive juggernaut of beats appeals to every madhead in every fucked up town and every madhead is here in Cheshire tonight and seem to be crammed up against me in a sea of sweat and adrenaline.
With a bulk of the songs coming from their most recent album 2009′s Invaders Must Die the band are still in the moving forward business and there are a couple of new songs in here like New Beats and Filler Discontent which keeps the family of noise going. But, to be honest they could play the same set forever as the their hi tech alchemy never dates.
Firestarter, Breath and Smack My Bitch Up are all in there and they never date, they sound different every time as the beats are mangled and manipulated and the balance between chaos and order is maintained, Liam Howlett knows how to put the human in the machine and surely that is a big part of the band genius.
Tonight is their only UK summer show, they return in the autumn for a run of gigs at Manchester’s Warehouse Project. It’s one of the hot tickets of the Christmas run in and if they maintain this form, which surely after decades of rocking the very big houses and arenas of The world then they will be the best blowout to 2013.