Review – The Chemical Brothers at the Hammersmith Apollo (11/12/2016)

Words by Jack Williams

The electronic dance duo of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons (The Chemical Brothers) concluded their brief UK tour in the Hammersmith Apollo on Sunday night in what was a nostalgic night for many who attended.

The Chemical Brothers are renowned for endless collection of chart-topping hits from the newly created Go, to the classic of Galavinze and not forgetting their two number-one singles Setting Sun and Block Rockin’ Beats. But they are also renowned for their dramatic lights and effects display, so would it all live up to the high expectation? Stupid question because it obviously did!

Rowlands and Simons greeted the crowd when they stepped out on stage at preciously 9 o’clock, and as they took their positions for 120 minutes of 90’s nostalgia. Green lasers circled the two Mancunian’s and began to spin around, gradually picking up the pace when the inevitable drop was due, it was of course, Hey Boy Hey Girl.

The crowd was busting all their shapes with not a care in the world what the others around them thought, was this a gig, no it was most certainly not, it was 90’s rave. The endless recognisable hits continued to come at their fast pace; Go, Do It Again, Star Guitar, whatever they played the crowd warmed to it.

Approaching midway through the set, a very familiar sound was heard which wasn’t Chemical Brothers material. In fact you’d have to travel back a further decade from when the Manchester duo started out to the 1980’s and New Order with Temptation.

The cover was so well mixed and received, a brilliant and sneaky add to the set. The visuals and lights could have been a show in itself, tracksuit roller-skaters, underwater swimmers, crazy clowns, a man aggressively and annoyingly shouting down a phone, comedy police, stained glass windows and elephants and butterflies, not to forget the two gigantic robots.

No less than 21 songs played before the first of two encores were played; the first was one to remember, building up with Escape Velocity, Don’t Think and Under The Influence before the drop that everyone had been waiting for, Galvanize. The whole of the Hammersmith Apollo exploded into life, not one of them was motionless, all were loving it and letting themselves loose.

Galvanize was followed up by another fan favourite of Block Rockin’ Beats which closed the first of the two encores. The second of the two encores was a more toned down affair but closed out two hours worth of full on 90’s nostalgia.

Written by Jack Williams, you can follow Jack on twitter here

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