Chase & Status, Koko, London
Monday 31 January 2011
Chase & Status need to do very little to stir up a crowd.
Positioned behind two flickering DJ booths, accompanied by a psychedelic backdrop of visuals, a drummer and an MC who goes by the name of Rage, the drum'n'bass DJs have reached the privileged position whereby their mania-inducing music does all the work for them. They're not even a minute into the tribal album cut "No Problem" when T-shirts are tossed into the air and girls whip their heads in glee, while various topless men recklessly lead the moshing like their lives depend on it. "Take Me Away", 2008's classic d'n'b banger, is followed by the monstrous "Hypest Hype", led by MC Tempa T, dancing hard enough to pop a hamstring.
It's a great look for DJs Saul Milton (Chase) and Will Kennard (Status), who, after five years making their name on the underground scene, have crossed over to the mainstream as go-to producers for all things dark, hype and dubstep. Tonight's gig, part of MTV's Brand New for 2011 series, makes a point of this, by prioritising cuts from the pair's forthcoming second album, No More Idols.
So it's a nearly effortless gig – especially with the inclusion of the twisted "Let You Go" featuring Mali and a remix of Nneka's "Heartbeat", sung wonderfully by newcomer Delilah. The show's flow, though, is irritatingly disjointed. There are a few too many pauses between songs – quite possibly because the event is being filmed – and while you can't blame C&S for plugging their new album, unfamiliar songs such as "Fire in Your Eyes", featuring singer Maverick Sabre, are a bit of a downer while Clare Maguire's "Midnight Crawler" was too slow and dramatic.
Still, the roll-call of lesser-known guests takes a delightful turn when Tinie Tempah pops up for an audacious rendition of "Hitz". And Liam Bailey's cracking vocal on the heart-pumping single "Blind Faith" rounds off a grand night for the fans who've come for a guaranteed high.
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