Live Music + Gig Reviews

Pendulum @ Electric Ballroom, London

28 November 2007


And MC Verse completes another pirouette before hopping back to Kodish’s bass drum. It’s not quite Pretty Vacant, but pretty much sums up the mindset of those destroying themselves in front of me.

Another pint is lobbed worryingly close by, another sweat soaked body staggers past. That poor soul looks like he is going to rip off his own jaw to stop himself gurning. Two more pints fly by. She has her clothes ripped. He is picking himself up off the floor. Some chavs barge forward.

There are worse situations one could be in (some of town’s darker drum n bass establishments perhaps). Watching a thousand kids smashed like its Saturday afternoon at the Carling Weekend was surprising, but this is the sort of crowd Pendulum are drawing in for their first major live tour on these shores ahead of their second album.

Few have it in their stocks to launch a show with an assault as heavy as Blood Sugar, new single Granite, or Fasten Your Seatbelt. By that point musicOMH has been hit by three drinks and reeks of Stella. A few sidesteps and there is decent refuge to watch the band tear through their set with the kind of ferocity seen at Mastodon shows.

In the live arena Pendulum are a band through and through, which gives them infinitely more depth than a bloke in a hoodie behind a set of decks. Much of their demeanour does feel like a metal band (lots of jamming, posturing and beat downs) and it’s partly the reason dnb purists often scoff at them, though one suspects even they wouldn’t be able to resist the gorging rework of Voodoo People or their signature tune Slam.

In the decade that has passed since the Fat of the Land, not many have come this close to discharging the same colossal dose of energy The Prodigy once did. The landscape may have been left to run fallow, but in Pendulum there are hungry landowners just waiting to rip it up once more.

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Pendulum @ Electric Ballroom, London