Chase & Status @ Brixton O2 Academy, 14/10/2011

October 18, 2011 by  

As fans streamed into the venue, Brixton’s O2 Academy was overrun with Fred Perry polo-wearing, pre-gig whooping revellers ready to take on the challenge of not passing out while Chase and Status played. The sold out room already tingled with energy before opening act Labrinth had even completed his fairly mediocre set of Guetta-inspired dance pop with a hip hop sheen.

Lucky for us, DJ duo Saul Milton (the Chase half) and Will Kennard (the Status half) were ready to blow him and our own eardrums totally out the water with their explosive two-hour set. Smatterings of weak moments cropped up here and there but most likely for the health and safety of the audience, they chose to tone things down at times.

Proceedings started strong, with ‘No Problem’ revving the crowd up as a spectacular LED screen played filmed footage of Mali singing the track. Weirdly, this device really made up for the fact that they couldn’t (of course) pull all their record’s guests along at each tour venue. For fans of their earlier work, ‘Eastern Jam’ came on to a roaring cheer, and they kept the momentum up with Fire In Your Eyes and Hypest Hype. By this point mosh pits had broken out in most parts of the standing stalls and I’d raise a glass now at anyone who managed to avoid the constant sprays/showers of full cups of beer, cider and what was rumoured to be urine.

Before gaining worldwide acclaim as a huge crossover act, Chase and Status pumped out the sort of acid house and jungle tunes that the middle of their set basked in. At this point they dimmed the lights, brought out the orange lasers and transported us into what felt more like that comfortingly sweaty pit also known as the last tent open at any festival past 2am. With the bass ripping through most people’s bodies, older hits like ‘Streetlife’ and ‘Take Me Away’ shook the room. The only real snag came from ‘Midnight Caller’ featuring Clare Maguire: a reminder of the debris left over once the blogosphere’s grown bored of a hype act and you wonder what ever gave them their 15 minutes in the first place.

Before going in we’d spoken to a member of the filming team, who filled us in on the secret of Tinie Tempah coming out as the guest for the encore, so we stuck around. He pounded through ‘Hitz’ like the seasoned performer he’s quickly becoming and the duo ended on a massive high. With help from MC Rage throughout, they kept the crowd interested and never once fell victim to the ‘just watching guys spin records is so boring’ trap.