Writer: Nicholas Mai.   Nicholas is a Man­ches­ter-based bar/club/restaurant/event DJ, He is a close neigh­bour of Jodrell Bank and he played sev­er­al sets at this year’s Blue­dot fes­ti­val. Send him a tweet – @DJNicholasMai

Who needs a glit­ter­ball when nature’s own splen­dour makes an appear­ance for Crazy P on the main (Lovell) Stage; the sun (final­ly) burns through the hazy cloud cov­er ear­ly on Sun­day evening. Son­i­cal­ly, they prove to be the ide­al pre­cur­sor to The Chem­i­cal Broth­ers who head­line lat­er, eas­ing us into 4/4 beats with a sophis­ti­cat­ed blend of their NuDisco/Funk pro­duc­tions. Front woman Danielle – today chan­nel­ing 70’s fash­ion icon Mar­go from The Good Life – is cut from sim­i­lar cloth to Flo­rence Welch or Roisin Mur­phy; her cool­ly ethe­re­al voice exudes an ease of pow­er; with a retro edge that lends authen­tic­i­ty to the tight dis­co-licks and key­board stabs from the rest of the band.

crazy p

It’s essen­tial­ly a fes­ti­val favourites set, includ­ing tracks such as Stop Space Return from their album of the same name, plus crowd pleasers Heart­break­er and Erup­tion which unite the large­ly fam­i­ly audi­ence for a mass sing and dance along. By the end, it’s a sea of sun­glass­es and smiles, lend­ing the field a real Balearic vibe in the now blaz­ing late heat. 



After pre­vi­ous Blue­dot appear­ances from acts hailed (right­ly so) as God­fa­thers of the electronic/dance scene such as Orbital and Left­field, along­side The Orb who are still to come lat­er on an out­ly­ing stage; Sun­day nights final head­lin­er was arguably the Dad­dy of the bunch. Cer­tain­ly if the hordes pack­ing out the Lovell Stage were any­thing to go by.

Sim­i­lar to these peers, The Chem­i­cal Broth­ers share in their DNA the genet­ic make up of two blokes on stage twid­dling knobs, but my word that over­sim­pli­fies their per­for­mance, or their show – for that’s what it is. Pro­jec­tions, holo­grams, sky­scrap­ing ani­ma­tron­ic robots book­end­ing either side of the stage, lasers so far-reach­ing you would think they were com­pet­ing with the Jodrell Bank tele­scope itself to make con­tact with a far away con­stel­la­tion, and dry ice – in fact, all the dry ice. After the spec­ta­cle of Fri­day head­lin­ers The Flam­ing Lips, syn­ony­mous with the riot of colour and kitsch used in their live appear­ances, The Chem­i­cal Broth­ers aes­thet­ic was dark­er in tone, more bina­ry, yet still as immer­sive – it felt like being zapped through an Eth­er­net con­nec­tion direct­ly into a Tron sequel. And amongst the visu­als, stand Tom and Ed; bob­bing and weav­ing to their self-monikered ‘chem­i­cal’ beats – think post-acid house break­beats and pound­ing, squelch­ing bass lines.

Clear­ly tonight they’ve both locat­ed the dial marked ‘11’ as well; the sound is colos­sal – thun­der­ous enough to force the crowd to move and, pos­si­bly, the very ground itself. They fly through the hits, Block Rockin’ Beats, Hey Boy Hey Girl, Do It Again, Leave Home, a live remix/mashup of Star Gui­tar with New Order’s Temp­ta­tion giv­ing a nod to a local influ­ence on the band – they both stud­ied at Man­ches­ter Uni­ver­si­ty – all played with an on-the-fly live remix­ing ele­ment that shows their skills as pro­duc­ers as well as performers.

By the clos­ing Moroc­can-influ­enced Gal­va­nize, the audi­ence are in com­plete sen­so­ry sub­mis­sion and fit­ting­ly, almost 30 years to the day since the so-called Sec­ond Sum­mer Of Love, this field in the heart of rur­al Cheshire assumes the euphor­ic, care­free air of col­lec­tive aban­don­ment of those ear­ly, illic­it and mag­nif­i­cent out­door raves. The only trick missed was not sell­ing glow sticks in the pros­ec­co tent.


Pho­tos: Chem­i­cal Broth­ers: Scott Salt. Crazy P: Olivia Rosen

Blue­dot festival

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