Leeds 2002: A Turnaround?

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Richard Worrall

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Aug 28, 2002, 7:38:26 AM8/28/02
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For those interested in hearing about how the Prodigy fared at Leeds, I
thought I'd give a synopsis of the proceedings. Bear in mind Pete's review
pre-empts much of this.

This was my first Prodigy gig since Glastonbury '97, and despite the
critical backlash that they have suffered recently from even the staunchest
of fans, anticipation was high both from myself and the rest of the crowd.
Being determined to miss the entirety of Offspring's set, I managed to fight
my way through what must have been the biggest crowd for a Prodigy gig that
I've experienced, to finally land a place in the second row ready for their
(expected) late arrival.

Ambient drones suddenly pulsed from Liam's keyboards, and I began to pray
for a return to form after a break of nearly half a decade from UK gigs.
Quiet mutters were heard from all corners; these people were mostly new to
the Prodigy as a live act, but had heard the rumours of past glories.

Liam walks on stage. Maxim and Keith follow. And the crowd erupts.

They begin with a new opener ("Dust Yo'Self"?) that sends the sprawling
throng crazy, with fast clean breaks and Maxim on vocals at last...was this
to be the shape of things to come? As Maxim strutted across the stage
professing his desire to "take you back to school", I was cautiously
optimistic that Liam had finally seen sense.

Without warning, "Nuclear" shunts Maxim aside to make way for Keith.
Predictably, the crowd carry momentum from the previous track for a short
while before casually nodding their heads to what is still little more than
a Sex Pistols tribute, driven by weak riffs with only a slight nod to Liam's
hitherto focus on drums.

This is when I began to notice the severe sound problems (later backed up by
a friend who watched them from afar) that dogged the entire gig. In what my
paranoid mind deemed a dig at Liam's recent Kerrang interview [1], the bass
virtually drowned out everything but the vocals. From here the gig went
downhill quickly, and after a weak rendition of "Breathe" (mainly, to be
fair, as a result of the sound problems), the crowd had lost the initial
buzz.

What followed was polite moshing to the songs everybody knew, with perplexed
shuffles to the new material that really couldn't have been done any worse.
"Trigger" was absolutely ruined by Liam's oversight in checking his synth
settings; the main hook was detuned to the point of being almost atonal, and
Liam's best efforts to correct the mismatched oscillator frequencies towards
the middle of the track could do nothing to save the performance.

"Baby's Got A Temper" was greeted warmly, but possibly because what preceded
it was so abysmal. However, this too was ruined when Keith actually forgot
the words.

Im not joking.

In those few seconds I saw a man completely out of his depth. As he got back
on track half way through the first verse, you could sense the fear in his
voice as he seemed to realise what we all know - Keith Flint does not live
up to his role.

The only other moment worth mentioning was the new cover of Madness' "Night
Boat To Cairo", which was only entertaining by virtue of the original
track's quality. It did more to confuse than impress, as its connection to
the Prodigy vibe (or what is left of it) is tenuous at best. As has already
been noted, this was a lazy attempt to pad out the sparse catalogue of new
material, with barely any changes being made to make it the Prodigy's own.

Was the gig a complete let down? Not entirely. It was never going to live up
to the period before and slightly after FOTL, and much of the gig's
impotence stemmed from the poor sound. Maybe this should be a lesson to
spend less time worrying about fancy lights and stage rigs; this was the
Prodigy's biggest exposure to the UK public in a long time, and they can do
without the stupid mistakes that cursed this show. I will still see them
again when they eventually tour, and hopefully more attention will be paid
to the sound, and performance alike.

I still can't believe he forgot the fucking words.

[1] Liam spoke of punching out a soundman for deliberately keeping the bass
low in the mix.

--
richard_worrall AT ntlworld DOT com
--


Chris Howe

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Aug 28, 2002, 1:30:26 PM8/28/02
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Richard Worrall said:
>
> I still can't believe he forgot the fucking words.

He got hypnotised - just forgot it all

--
Chris


Peter Thomas

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Aug 28, 2002, 3:04:12 PM8/28/02
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On Wed, 28 Aug 2002 12:38:26 +0100, "Richard Worrall"
<richard_wo...@ntlworld.com> wrote:

>For those interested in hearing about how the Prodigy fared at Leeds, I
>thought I'd give a synopsis of the proceedings. Bear in mind Pete's review
>pre-empts much of this.
>This was my first Prodigy gig since Glastonbury '97, and despite the
>critical backlash that they have suffered recently from even the staunchest
>of fans, anticipation was high both from myself and the rest of the crowd.
>Being determined to miss the entirety of Offspring's set,

Lucky you. I was with some people who wanted to watch them. I could
have returned to my tent I guess, but I found out there was a
bomb-scare in the campsite during this time, and it'd have taken me 45
mins to get back to the arena.

>I managed to fight
>my way through what must have been the biggest crowd for a Prodigy gig that
>I've experienced,

Ah, 60-70,000 for Leeds, they said. Also definitely a larger crowd at
Reading compared to 96 and 98.

>They begin with a new opener ("Dust Yo'Self"?) that sends the sprawling
>throng crazy, with fast clean breaks and Maxim on vocals at last...was this
>to be the shape of things to come? As Maxim strutted across the stage
>professing his desire to "take you back to school", I was cautiously
>optimistic that Liam had finally seen sense.

That track is still FOTL stuff though. Better than Nuclear and
Trigger, but about equal with BGAT.

>This is when I began to notice the severe sound problems (later backed up by
>a friend who watched them from afar) that dogged the entire gig.

I noticed that Keith's microphone was quite low in the mix for BGAT at
Reading. Ah, the soundman has taste.

>"Baby's Got A Temper" was greeted warmly, but possibly because what preceded
>it was so abysmal. However, this too was ruined when Keith actually forgot
>the words.
>Im not joking.

You lucky lucky lucky lucky bastard. We had to endure all the words.

>In those few seconds I saw a man completely out of his depth.

Hadn't that been going on all the way through the set anyway? :-\

>As he got back
>on track half way through the first verse, you could sense the fear in his
>voice as he seemed to realise what we all know - Keith Flint does not live
>up to his role.

Never has done this century.

>The only other moment worth mentioning was the new cover of Madness' "Night
>Boat To Cairo", which was only entertaining by virtue of the original
>track's quality.

Very well said.

>It did more to confuse than impress, as its connection to
>the Prodigy vibe (or what is left of it) is tenuous at best.

I've written a post about the Prodigy connections that this song has,
not sent it yet.

>As has already
>been noted, this was a lazy attempt to pad out the sparse catalogue of new
>material, with barely any changes being made to make it the Prodigy's own.

Spot on.

>Was the gig a complete let down? Not entirely. It was never going to live up
>to the period before and slightly after FOTL, and much of the gig's
>impotence stemmed from the poor sound. Maybe this should be a lesson to
>spend less time worrying about fancy lights and stage rigs;

Ah, if only they did do that - the 1994 tours had some amazing light
shows.

>this was the
>Prodigy's biggest exposure to the UK public in a long time, and they can do
>without the stupid mistakes that cursed this show.

Yes, they should demote that mistake back to being a dancer.

> I will still see them
>again when they eventually tour, and hopefully more attention will be paid
>to the sound, and performance alike.
>I still can't believe he forgot the fucking words.

I've heard him screw up the Firestarter chorus before, so it doesn't
surprise me.

>[1] Liam spoke of punching out a soundman for deliberately keeping the bass
>low in the mix.

Did he beat up the NME journo at Reading as he promised, I wonder? :-\

(No sign of any Prodigy reviews from Leeds or Reading in the print
version of NME I notice)

--
pete {at} prodigy-nexus {dot} com

"I aint buying into BGAT or Nuclear.... I wouldnt follow that sh*te
round my f**king back-garden , never mind the f**king globe. Liam is
so far up his own hole - its f**king astounding. Theres f**k all
people that like that style of music they persist in playing. Giving
Flint more of a leadership role has killed off a once-great band. Now
they are more of a f**king parody of the once awesome force they were.
WAKE UP LIAM YOU IGNORANT COCK! FLINT IS SH*T! THE REAL FANS WANT
BEATS. If the band play Dublin with this sh*t theyll get booed. Thats
a f**king promise." - DaveyC, 12 Apr 2002.

DaveyC

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Aug 28, 2002, 6:30:21 PM8/28/02
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"Richard Worrall" <richard_wo...@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
news:RC2b9.1994$db.4...@newsfep1-win.server.ntli.net...

<snip>

>As has already
>been noted, this was a lazy attempt to pad out the sparse catalogue of new
>material, with barely any changes being made to make it the Prodigy's own.

Havent heard it yet - but this point is well made i'd imagine.

Cheers for the review anyway Rich - same old story though isnt it? What a
waste, eh?

I guess now UK fans can see that Irish fans like me and Des weren't putting
our own egos first with regard to our Witnness festival opinions....the band
are genuinely cack in 2002.

DC

Peter Thomas

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Aug 28, 2002, 6:58:57 PM8/28/02
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On Wed, 28 Aug 2002 23:30:21 +0100, "DaveyC"
<li...@keefs-hairy-ballbag.com> wrote:

>Cheers for the review anyway Rich - same old story though isnt it? What a
>waste, eh?

Ah, gotta give 'em credit for SMBU tho, that worked at Reading.

>I guess now UK fans can see that Irish fans like me and Des weren't putting
>our own egos first with regard to our Witnness festival opinions....the band
>are genuinely cack in 2002.

And 2001.

--
pete {at} prodigy-nexus {dot} com

"shut the hell up and stop posting stupid off topic crap..." - DJ Swift, 26 Feb 1998.

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