The Prodigy - Brixton Academy

Another outing for The Gig List, this time to see (and hear) The Prodigy at Brixton Academy.

Prodigy 1

I’d been looking forward to this event for a long time and had high expectations for The Prodigy. They’re one of my favourite dance acts and I hadn’t seen them perform live before. Surprising, really, as they date right back to the very early nineteen-nineties.

And, wow, did they meet my expectations …

Highlights of the set list for the night, courtesy of James who entered it all into his phone and texted me:

  • Break And Enter
  • Their Law
  • Breathe
  • Up , up and away - which I’m sure has an official name
  • Firestarter
  • No Good, Start the Dance
  • Jericho
  • Voodoo People
  • A brand new song for next year
  • Poison
  • Smack my bitch up
  • Charly - who says “Always tell your Mummy before you go off somewhere.”
  • Out of Space

I thought The Prod got off to a bit of a slow start. The first half of the gig seemed to have a few too many stops and starts to it. Not actual stops, but large changes of pace. It wasn’t until the second half, from about “No Good”, onwards, that they really seemed to hit their stride and give us something we could dance to for more than a few seconds at a time.

By the end, though the whole Brixton ground floor was leaping up and down to Prodigy classics, like “Charly”. That is how it is spelt on the album cover, btw. I often like to take a moment at gigs to survey the crowd. It is a good way to take in some of the atmosphere. It is also nice to see people enjoying themselves in a (mostly) responsible and safe manner.

One of the other noteworthy aspects of the gig, besides the music was the sheer volume. The Prodigy’s music is very bass-heavy and this was turned up to seismic levels for the evening. Probably the loudest gig I’ve ever been to. It was sufficiently loud that the Academy had posted warning notices offering free ear plugs available at the box office.

Prodigy Volume

Excessive music volume at public events has been a bee in my bonnet for a long time. I’m sure I must have written about it on here before. If not, I will do soon. The summary version - Loud music is a serious danger to your hearing. Effective protection is a very sensible precaution for rock gigs and loud club environments and need not affect your enjoyment of the music. In fact I actually find that this product improves the quality of the live sound by filtering out some of the harsh distortion normally present in the high frequency ranges, whilst also protecting my ears.

Aside from missing the last train home and having to get the night bus from Oxford Circus, I’d say I had a perfect night out. Definitely one of my all time top five gigs, somewhere near Rammstein, The Distillers and The Chemical Brothers.

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