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Blog Club Review

Metropolis Presents Chase and Status and Pendulum – The Albert Hall, Manchester

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The Albert Hall, a grade II listed chapel which settled still and empty for 40 years, could be no better venue for an event of this kind. Two highly renowned acts that have been larger than life for some years managed to summon a large congregation to hear their sermon.  The gospel, according to Will and Saul (aka Chase and Status) followed by a hypnotic set from Pendulum, left the disciples in awe of what was to come.

It all commenced with queues outside the grand front entrance, tailing around the street corner and off into the darkness. As the rain fell and washed away any pre-empted sins of the night, it left a refreshed sense of being on the highly-excited devotees to this religion of Musicology.

The ground floor was packed full and there was little space to move.  Flocks of people gathered in groups as the security pushed people on. With different ages and races, sizes big and small, there was a collection of mature as well as young who had all come to worship their soul-stimulating idols. Judging by the performance it was clear there was pure excitement and love which surged across the musical landscape. This night’s religious leaders consisted of electronic producing duo, Chase and Status, D&B Lords; Pendulum, Tonn, North Bass, Rap God’s; Meridian Dan and Kyntro as well as individual sounds from My Nu Leng, Chimpo, Mak and Pasteman and Kove.

To warm up the main room, North Base followed by Kyntro launched the night using some light commercial sounds, leading on to heavier Jungle vibe. Kyntro prepared the Chase and Status crowd, by dropping ‘Pressure’ featuring Major Lazer – from the their latest album ‘Brand New Machine’. The room’s depth was elevated and filled with a welcoming buzz whilst the congregation shared uplifted spirits, as a testimony of homage. 

Downstairs in Room 2, Mark XTC and My Nu Leng entered the night with more of a trippy sound. With Trap, D&B and a flavour of House, forming the network of sound, it created a theme which determined the journey.  The space was much smaller in comparison to the main room, yet it managed to project its own individual character.  The luminous dance floor in front of the DJ booth brightened the room with its multi-coloured lights reflecting with the bass.  This area was largely filled with a younger crowd, who evidently seemed in another place, flying high in the sky and simply enjoying the vibrant rhythm-quest of the night.

The venue was entirely packed out from start to finish. Despite maximum capacity, it continued feeling fuller and fuller as the night went on and the boisterous roars elevated.

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The two headlining acts seemed to pull together a crowd of which had diverse music preferences – almost comparable to the kind you’d find at a festival.  Heavy Jungle, D&B, , Grime, Electronic-Rock, Garage and Trap were just a taste of the description to what was on offer that night.  With the smaller acts (or less commercially focused) there was a decent variation to the night, between the two floors.  Despite the not-so-widely-recognised names to the scene; North Base, Kyntro, Mark XTC, Chimpo, Mak and Paste and Kove, it can be assumed that these artists-to-the-game don’t do it solely for the money or commercial aspect – instead for their pure devotion to this religion.  On the contrary, Meridian Dan whose latest single, ‘German Whip’ has been a ridiculous but successful hit, and My Nu Leng – who are up-and-coming to the scene (-part of the Black Butter Records family, along with Clean Bandit, Gorgon City and Rudimental, to name just a few) are sure to have future success as their name becomes extensively acknowledged.  They received an enthusiastic appraisal from the mob.

With the depths and layers of the tracks that were mixed in to the Metropolis landscape, diverging from DJ Luck and MC Neat’s ‘A Little Bit of Luck’, Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’, to Tempz ‘Next Hype’, it demonstrated a soundscape of complexity, originality and imaginativeness. 

With an overall heavy and aggressive keynote, a strongly-approving communion was present.  The service presented innovation to the religion.   Chase and Status captured a reception of fullness and equity after an immense presentation to their set.  They produced sequences which projected intensity and emotion, managing to tear the room to pieces.  The colourful laser show coincided with the beats and bass surrounding the distinctive venue. When they performed ‘Alive’, it prominently cued a room full of animated ravers to head-banging and floor-bouncing.  As fireworks went off and confetti floated down from the heavens, the sharpness of the lights emulated to multiple angles, falling on the heads of the congregation below, as they basked in a harmonious elated state of play.

Wrapping up the night in Room 2 was Mak and Pasteman, an underground duo from Leeds (whose influences consist largely of House, Jungle and Techno) who championed the sounds of the late Whitney Houston’s service to the scene by remixing ‘It’s Not Right’ – a well selected track to wind down the night. In contrast, Pendulum picked up the heights to a fierce level and destroyed the room by dropping ‘Propane Nightmares’. Knife Party’s ‘Lrad’ was mixed into the set – ironically an Electro-House duo, formed by 2/3’s of the headlining act, themselves. The storm spread across the room with flashes of lightening. The humidity escalated as the temperature continued to soar.  Nevertheless, the senses of the masses were entirely mesmerised by the Pendulum in full swing.

Despite the hustle and bustle of Manchester’s music Metropolis on that night, it all seemed to fall into place. The staff and security did their bit, the atmosphere felt safe and there appeared to be no trouble across the event.  Apart from the hideous glow sticks and numerous startled expressions witnessed, the collective tone left a lasting impression to the remarkable turnout and spectacular performance. The reigning Lords of the night, Chase and Status and Pendulum, along with their accompanying musical entourage, successfully invented a unique fusion to what was a tremendous pilgrimage through sound.

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