Gig Review: The Prodigy @ Wolverhampton Civic

By Oliver Butler (@notoliverbutler)

Let’s face it; it’s now officially the Christmas wind-down, and this week you’re going to do bugger all, or put all your energy into replying to two emails and one “maybe” to a meeting request. Always keep it maybe, keep ’em guessing. Unless you work in retail, then, in that case, I stand in absolute solidarity with you.

So of course, when you’re slowing down & getting yourself ready for the festive break, the only thing you should be doing with your evenings is making merry at a Prodigy gig, yeah?

Embarking on a wee little yuletide tour of some of the UK’s smaller venues, The Prodigy rocked up at the Wolverhampton Civic, ready to drop some festive beats on these Voodoo People. The last two times I’ve seen The Prodigy, one was in the open air at Sonisphere, and the other was in the airy comfort of the Birmingham Arena. Wolverhampton Civic is a sweaty little box in comparison and as much as I love it, sharing it with a few thousand other people is not a tantalising thought.

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Photos courtesy of Chris Bowley | Twitter

But either way, as the lights went out, smoke filled the hall and Liam Howlett himself took to the stage, shit was about to kick off, and when Maxim Attack and Keith Flint arrived, shit got incredibly real. Opening with the ominous Omen, it was pretty clear that Wolverhampton was more than up for it, with the crowd shimmying through a frenzy of lights, lasers, and beats. But Omen is getting on in years now, so why not something new?

Resonate (citation needed) just goes to show that despite nearing their 30th anniversary, The Prodigy knows how to keep it fresh & interesting. It’s not a frantic tune and feels more like a bombastic dance track – something you can confidently strut down the street to. Does this, coupled with a micro-tour mean that a follow-up to The Day is My Enemy due? Sure hope so, and judging by the sleeves-up and stuck in reaction of the crowd, they sure do, too. My city, my people!

Need Someone (citation needed) will catch you off guard as it starts off with a slow synth line, with resident scary person Keith Flint saying he needs someone, then all hell will break loose. It’s still got the same stomping feel as Resonate, but instead of strutting down the road, you now realise you’ve been poncing about too much and you’re running for the bus. It sounds like the Alton Towers theme tune snorted… some unmentionable powder… Two big new tunes with a LOT of promise here.

But it’s not just about the new tracks, we want to hear some classics! And our boys duly obliged as they got the crowd working through Nasty and Wild Frontier. Good pit consistency, a lot of half-naked sweaty bald guys but needs must. Everybody in the Place also made an appearance, still feeling modern despite being part of the 90s rave scene.

 

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Photos courtesy of Chris Bowley | Twitter

 

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Prodigy gig without Firestarter and good lord, when this track started I saw Keith Flint look down the middle of the hall, and I swear to you now, we locked eyes and I’ve never felt more scared. Despite my numerous mental health issues, which we won’t discuss, I feel I’m pretty resilient, nothing wobbles me, but Keith Flint, my friends, frightens the everliving piss out of me. It’s one of the biggest tunes in the world, and commanded a prize effort from the Wolverhampton crowd.

The Day is My Enemy didn’t get the love it deserved, I feel. It was a solid album, didn’t top Invaders Must Die, but few albums could. Which is why it was such a treat to get the title track from that album, plus a thousand heartbeats a minute filthy drum ‘n’ bass remix, straight into Roadblox, with Get Your Fight On also elbowing its way into the set. Seriously, go have a listen to it and tell me what you think, I think it’s great and needs a bit more loving. Of course, I wasn’t reviewing albums back then, but rest assured, I’d have marked it highly.

But nothing could come close to Voodoo People. The eclectic mix of people, from the retired ravers to the long-haired moshers, straight through to yer da was actually brilliant. To see such a strange but interesting mix of people all giving the same reaction to the same songs was fantastic. Only truly great acts can transcend genres and generations alike, and The Prodigy are one of them. We also enjoyed a hot-to-trot mix at the end of this too; good for the ears, terrible for unfit music writers such as myself.


Jesus Christ, I’m tired just writing this. The shirt I wore is likely contorted out of use because of sweat, and I’ve got blood all up my nose right now. So you’ll believe me when I say it was the most fun I’ve ever had on a Tuesday evening.


Oh yeah, where were we? Despite needing to Breathe, all I could get in return was Breathe, and it was around this point in the set that the crowd started to die out a bit; mosh pits became staggered dance pits, which became synchronised stumbles, which slowly decayed into outright nudity. You ever had some bald guy rub his head against your shirt? I’m not a violent man in any way shape or form, but it took a lot for me not to crack his head open like a boiled egg.

 

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Photos courtesy of Chris Bowley | Twitter

 

Not one for slowing it down for an acoustic number, we got dealt Run With the Wolves, Poison, Invaders Must Die before reaching the crescendo of Smack My Bitch Up, and when Maxim tells you to get down, you dutifully oblige. Are you really gonna refuse that man’s wishes? I thought not.

The encore comprised of classic tracks No Good (Start the Dance) and Their Law, two massive originals for the jilted generation, no matter which generation you come from. Take Me to the Hospital closed off the set, by this point all people wanted was a glass of water and yes, to be taken to the hospital.

All in all, an absolutely top-notch set from the kings of electronic music; classics played with outright precision, modern tracks landing like bombs and new tracks giving so much promise. Last gig of 2017, but you’ll see a lot of me next year, live and kickin’ from the pit.

BCAYMI: November 2015

When I attempted, and failed, to make my series Blink (Clyro) And You’ll Miss It into a monthly thing, I kinda fucked it up. Despite being one of my most popular posts, there was something about it that just didn’t sit with me right, like the potential it had just wasn’t being used. Now after a few months of procrastination  careful thinking, I’ve brought it back! *insert one person clapping*

Not only will BCAYMI (see, it just rolls off the tongue) cover music but it’ll also feature film, TV and gaming content that means you’ll constantly be in the loop. Think of it as a smaller, less indie NME except my head isn’t lodged up Arctic Monkey’s arse and people don’t write bitchy tweets about me. Well, as far as I know.

Music

Featured Artist Of The Month

Codist

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To quote the world renown author Me, Glasgow trio Codist’s sound is like “if you put Biffy Clyro’s gritty, stripped back tone from Blackened Sky in a blender with Weezer during their blue album era”, not a small compliment for someone with half of one of those band’s name in their website name. With Chris Curry now joining the band to raise the number of members to 4, it’s exciting to see how the band will shape their sound of their upcoming album in addition to their upcoming gig at Glasgow’s The Hug And Pint this December. Codist 2.0, here we go.

Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

Top 5 New Tracks

1.Modern Baseball – The Waterboy Returns

If their Sophomore album You’re Gonna Miss It All was about being in denial about your problems then Philadelphia based band Modern Baseball’s new track is about admitting these issues and trying to move on from them. Full of sombre, personal lyrics, Brendan Lukens’ trademark nasally vocal style has never sounded so good.

2. Weezer – Do You Wanna Get High

Returning from the critical acclaim of their 2014 release Everything Will Be Alright In The End with a sound more reminiscent of their Pinkerton days, Weezer bring the crunchy guitars and ridiculously good lyrics the band built their name on.

3. Aphex Twin – avril altdelay

With Avril 14th being one of British electronic musician Richard D James’ most famous tracks, it was only a matter of time until he revamped his iconic song which has only made it even more pleasant. It won’t be long until Kanye begs for the chance to sample this again.

4. Chance The Rapper – Angels

Since the release of his second mixtape Acid Rap, Chicago born rapper Chance The Rapper has collaborated with the likes of James Blake and Donald Glover. Now he’s got fans in a frenzy as he teases his third mixtape and Angels hasn’t dampened their spirits, full of references to Kanye West and gospel hooks, this track is not only a homage to Chicago but a testament to the potential Chance has.

5. Guy Garvey – Angela’s Eyes

Owning one of the finest voices music has ever witnessed, Elbow frontman Guy Garvey has released his first solo album to showcase his remarkable vocals and new found sound. While not unfamiliar, there’s enough changes to justify a release and Angela’s Eyes is an excellent example of this.

Album of the Month

Grimes – Art Angels

November is a huge month for female artists with the great return of pop powerhouse Adele returning with her third album 25 and the likes of Drake collaborator Tinashe and *shudder* Ellie Goulding, girl power is very much in the air. November is also huge in terms of the return of an electronic wizard: Grimes.

Her unusual yet pleasing style of vocals and synths are ones that just shouldn’t work yet every time they just seem to get better and better. Thankfully the same can be said about tracks off her upcoming follow up to 2012’s Visions as EDM influenced Realiti and the catchy Flesh without Blood are comforting proof that even with the lack of substance abuse on this release, the canadian artist can still deliver.

(P.S bonus points for that amazing japanese inspired artwork, which perfectly captures the atypical nature of Grimes.)

Upcoming Gigs 

  • U2 @ Hydro – 6th & 7th November | Tickets
  • Bloc Party @ O2 ABC – 9th November | Sold Out
  • The Prodigy @ Hydro – 23rd November | Tickets
  • Slaves @ O2 ABC – Thursday 19th November | Sold Out
  • FIDLAR @ Garage – 12th November | Tickets
  • Bring Me The Horizon @ Edinburgh Corn Exchange – 25th November | Sold Out
  • Frank Turner @ Barrowlands – Friday 13th November | Sold Out

Kent punk duo Slaves visit Glasgow’s O2 ABC this month
 Upcoming Albums

  • Justin Bieber – Purpose (13th November)
  • Adele – 25 (20th November)
  • Rustie – EVENIFUDONTBELIEVE (OUT NOW)
  • Bob Dylan – The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Volume 12 (November 6th)
November marks Adele’s triumphant return with new album 25

Film + TV

Film of the Month

The Good Dinosaur
Released: 27th November

Yes, I’ll look like a big waine for choosing this over Spectre but bare with me. Since Spectre was released last month and has been praised to no end (which it totally deserves) , I thought I’d go for a film that’s actually released this month and what better than Pixar’s next film. The Good Dinosaur is about an alternate timeline where the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs narrowly missed, meaning that the giant creatures still exist. What follows is the tale of Arlo as he suffers a major loss (not hard to guess what happens, it’s Pixar after all) and tries to find his way back home.

This film has a chance to fail as it seems like it’ll be cliched and it’s directed by someone who’s only ever been behind the camera one times: for a Pixar short. However, it also has the opportunity to surprise everyone and become what the incredibles was to superhero films. In addition to this, the film has already been praised for its photorealistic visuals, meaning regardless if the film’s a flop, it’ll be a beautiful one. Who knows what will happen but regardless if it’s bad or fantastic, I’ll be there to see it.

TV Show of The Month

Peep Show
Starts: 11th November

What else was it going to be? Ranking alongside The Inbetweeners for being one of the most quotable British comedies of all time, Peep Show has kept us waiting in anticipation for 3 years for what is now the show’s last season. To avoid giving anything away to those who have avoided all previews and interviews, the ninth season will consist of “Mark trying to sell a loan to a gullible idiot while Jeremy is living in a bath”. The premise alone sounds hilarious and it’ll be worth it alone to see Mark, Jeremy and Super Hans for the last time before they fade away into Channel 4 fame. With this and Catastrophe, Channel 4 can rightfully call itself the home of Comedy.

Will it be worth the wait? No idea. Will it be quoted relentlessly by hundreds of users on Twitter? You bet yer arse.

Gaming

Game of the Month

Fallout 4
Released: 10th November

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In a month full of blockbuster game releases, Bethesda have their work cut out for them. Not only are they up against two juggernaut FPS going by the names Star Wars Battlefront & Call of Duty but there’s also the return of both Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Are they worried? Of course not.

Regardless if this game flops like a fish out of water, millions of gamers will still pick up Fallout 4 because, well, it’s Fallout. It’s an immersive post apocalyptic wasteland, full of radiation inflicted monsters and other humans just as desperate as yourself for supplies, safety and, most importantly, power. Its predecessor, unsurprisingly called Fallout 3, is one of my favourite games of all time and the sound of returning to the franchise with better graphics, more customisation and even greater gameplay, is too good to pass up. If you pick up one game this month, make it this.

BLINKCLYRO

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Cheers for sticking all the way to the end and I hope you enjoyed what I hope to be a regular thing! Any feedback is more than welcome and if you have any suggestions, whether it be a new track you think deserves more attention or you’re part of an up and coming band who want an opportunity to get their name out there then email me @ liammenzies96@gmail.com.

Over the past two months BLINKCLYRO has accumulated over 2,000 views and I couldn’t be more thankful for that! Here’s hoping I can keep you lot entertained for the rest of 2015 and beyond, perhaps even venture into different outlets *nudge* *nudge* *wink* *wink* . You can follow me on Twitter @blinkclyro and over on my facebook page here. What follows is a wee schedule of what you can expect from the site this month!

Schedule

  • Life Is Strange review – Sunday 8th November
  • Bloc Party gig review – Tuesday 10th November
  • Frank Turner – Saturday 14th November 
  • First week with Fallout 4 (sort of review) – Tuesday 17th November
  • Slaves gig review – Friday 20th November
  • Bring Me The Horizon gig review – Thursday 26th November
    + even more tbc!!!!

After releasing the best album of their career, Bring Me The Horizon come to Edinburgh with their fresh new sound.
After releasing the best album of their career, Bring Me The Horizon come to Edinburgh with their fresh new sound.
Big Love, Liam x

Top 10 Controversial Music Videos

Ever since Video Killed The Radio Star debuted on MTV over 30 years ago, music videos have became a huge canvas for artists to express their creativity but just in the same way that violent movies rile up the media and parents, so to can certain music videos. Some are odd yet creative while others are just plain weird and this list serves up mainly the latter.

Nirvana – Heart Shaped Box

It wouldn’t be a music controversy list without Nirvana now, would it? The first single off the band’s record In Utero came along with a music video that would be sure to creep out some of their mass following that they had accumulated thanks to their previous album Nevermind. Twisted Wizard of Oz imagery, crucifixion and a girl donning Klu-Klux Klan attire were all present in this video that received some surprising positive feedback from critics and helped the band to win two MTV Music Video Awards that year.

Pearl Jam – Jeremy

It’s hard to believe that the ever popular and influential Pearl Jam were relatively unknown at one point but in 1992 that was exactly the case. Their debut Ten was a slow mover but their third single Jeremy managed to gain a lot of attention due to the accompanying music video. Filmed by Mark Pellington, the powerful video is notoriously known for its re-enactment of an incident where a schoolboy shot himself in front of his class which led to the swift removal of the scene though blood can still be seen on the classmates clothes. The public attention that the video gained helped Pearl Jam to become mainstream rock stars overnight and the band haven’t looked back on it.

Eminem – Stan

Eminem isn’t one to shy away from controversy. Be it his sometimes violent, sexist and homophobic lyrics or being blamed for the suicide of a teenager, the rapper never seems to be out of the public eye. This wasn’t any different with the music video Stan which tells the tale of a deranged fan who commits suicide and was plagued with heavy censorship due to the violent language and scenes though this didn’t stop it becoming one of the best known music videos or one of Slim Shady’s best selling tracks.

Marilyn Manson – (s)AINT

Often called the most violent and controversial music video of them all, it should be no surprise that the artist in question is none other than heavy metal musician Marilyn Manson who’s been blamed by the media for inspiring the events of the Columbian High School Massacre due to his violent lyrics. Although the media clearly tried to use him as a scapegoat in this incident, the music video for his song (s)AINT was so violent and controversial that it was never broadcasted, most likely due to its dark, bloody and sex filled scenes that make up the video. These scenes include Manson self harming, masturbating and taking heroin.

MIA – Born Free

Possibly the most odd video on this list, the accompanying short film for the British rapper’s single Born Free depicts a genocide against Red Haired people and barely lasted a day on Youtube. Although it’s still available on some sites, it’s still pretty harrowing to see scenes reminiscent of the holocaust in a music video.

The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up

You could probably guess that this would be on the list from the title alone. Featuring scenes of drug taking, sex with hookers and female violence, it’s no surprise that this received backlash from feminists and was initially banned from TV though demand by fans saw MTV start to air the video late at night.

Korn – A.D.I.D.A.S

Seeing as the title stands for All Day I Dream About Sex, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this one features some eyebrow raising scenes. This video full of vulgar lyrics contains post mortem pictures of the lead singer in woman’s clothes and body-bag dancing with no sports advertisement.

Tool – Prison Sex

Although it might be a relief to hear there’s no soap dropping scenes, this video for the band’s debut single is still incredibly creepy. The plot revolves around a white humanoid, almost robot like doll who goes catatonic when confronted by a larger black humanoid who proceeds to fondle him with a paintbrush. MTV quickly removed the video after a few viewings due to the symbolism of child abuse though the art direction was still applauded by critics.

Aphex Twin – Come To Daddy

Seeing as it’s appeared on various “100 Scariest Moments of TV” lists, it should be no surprise that this one is a bit creepy. Filmed in the same estate that Stanley Kubrick’s classic A Clockwork Orange was, the video includes a gang of small children with Richard D James’ face wreaking havoc while an evil spirit emerges who’s face is very much nightmare worthy.

Smashing Pumpkins – Try, Try, Try

The band had a very different approach to this video which only featured lead singer Corgan sitting in a chair while the video showed a sad tale about two homeless drug addicts who are soon to be parents. The video juxtaposes the upbeat music with graphic footage of a drug overdose, prostitution, and larceny and although there is a brief happy perfect family segment, this soon takes an extreme turn for the worst. No matter what ending you see, the video is still chilling and extremely moving.