Spacetastic, electrifying fun
When supporting act Ella Eyre proclaimed “Thank the f**king lord for Basement Jaxx,” at the electronic duo’s concert last night at the O2, it felt a bit over the top. Fast-forward 30 minutes later, and the whole crowd at the O2 Arena were fist pumping and jumping in agreement to the band’s timeless party classics .
The iconic band made up of Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton threw what was so epic, it could only be described as the party of the year and even that doesn’t do it justice. If there’s anyone who can pull of an eclectic carnival mix of electronica with rap, belly dancing, pop, and even ballet, it’s these two. Having been in the industry for over 2 decades, one could be easily tempted to underestimate the DJ’s who’ve collaborated with everyone from Yoko Ono to Kylie Minogue, but the Brixton pair didn’t- in fact couldn’t, let a sold out O2 arena down, constantly throwing up surprises that wowed and excited their 20, 000 or so crowd and left them asking for more- which they gave.
Typically at concerts, you’d expect the tempo to start out a bit mellow and then build up until you reach a climax at the end of the show, but Basement Jaxx don’t do mellow. From the moment Malinga Mvula and Sharlene Evette Hector, both of whom provided backing vocals for most of the tracks opened the show, it was clear that this was going to be one hell of a party.
The constant stream of surprises ranged from a guitar playing gorilla to Rhonda Humphries’ energetic dance moves and London rapper Shakka’s beat-boxing skills. Add to that a life-sized robot doing the robot and the amazing talent that is ETML, who gave an astounding rendition of ‘Never Say Never’, named by Billboard as 2014’s ‘Dance Club Song of the Year’, this was definitely a party to remember.
Perhaps what was most endearing was that underneath the elaborate performance was a strong message in unity and the importance of celebrating diversity. If there’s one thing we learnt from this gig, it’s that no matter how many new DJ’s crop up on the scene, Basement Jaxx will never be outshined, they remain as effervescent as ever.