Chemical Brothers, Roundhouse, London
Reviewed by Toby Green
Wednesday 26 May 2010
On one of the first genuinely warm evenings of the year, there is a feeling of excited anticipation among those choosing to pack into a sweltering Roundhouse. They are here for a nights of firsts – the start of the Chemical Brothers' first tour in 18 months, the first of four nights at the Camden venue, and – most importantly – the first airing of Further, the duo's seventh album.
Debuting new tracks live is always a challenge, but Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons are clearly not tempted to make it easy for themselves, starting off the night with album opener, "Snow", before playing the whole record in order. Given that most of the crowd are hearing them for the first time, the songs initially don't receive the most raucous response, although jets blowing smoke into the audience from above go some way to raising excitement levels.
The visuals behind the duo are another more sustained device used to hold the crowd's attention during the new material. Set to be released with the album as part of a multimedia package, they are a step-up from your normal video and light show – during "Horse Power", for example, a huge galloping computer-generated beast rears up over the stage. It's certainly diverting and works well with the music, although it would have little appeal outside of a live setting.
The Chemical Brothers have lost little of their crowd-pleasing ability. Playing at an ear-splitting volume, they know how to push the buttons in a large, heaving venue, even if little sticks in the mind afterwards, save "Swoon", a woozy summer track.
After a brief break off stage, they return for a second set based on more recognisable ground, and what follows is a mix through some of their greatest hits, starting with "Hey Boy Hey Girl". Unfortunately, they reach "Chemical Beats" and the finale all too quickly, leaving a crowd that – after patiently listening to the new material – could have gone on well into the night, despite the heat.
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 2 'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 YouTube social experiment shows just how easy it is to kidnap a child
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils