Review: Chemical Brothers At Apple Music Festival – A Reflection

Art & Culture

The Chemical Brothers have arguably the longest shelf life of all the pioneering big beat producers the 90’s offered, such as The Prodigy or Orbital. This night showed exactly why. 

'90s EDM clearly endures, so much so that the slick, crystal clean Apple brand want to have an old school rave act in their line up along side the likes of One Direction and Mumford and Sons. In fact, the '90s seem to be making a mini-comeback, considering Nickelodeon’s resurrection of shows like Rugrats and the plethora of mini rucksacks roaming the streets of Shoreditch. I mean just look at the popularity of Shane Meadows’ This Is England '90. It was ‘Madchester’ that arguably spawned The Chemical Brothers. Even if we don’t naturally associate one with the other, they did both go to Manchester Uni in ’89 to immerse themselves in its music scene.

Back to the night in question and I’ll admit, I find it hard to be objective in any way. As someone who has yearned to see them for years, it was always going to be a good night. Having said that, I didn’t expect it to be so good. 

I’ve you watched their shows from Glastonbury in 2011 and 2015 you will have seen, and not forgotten their light show, and it was just as incredible in real life. 

I’ve always thought the Roundhouse has the best sound of any venue I’ve been to, and it was at its glorious best on Thursday night. More than that was the aforementioned light show. If it looks amazing outdoors in front of a festival crowd, it looks even better crammed into a relatively small, round, sweaty room. For a comparatively small venue, the fact they managed to squeeze two huge robots swinging from the ceiling (and much more), says something about how much effort has gone into producing something spectacular. With bones sufficiently crunched by silly bass, eyes dazzling and already feeling generally fried (in a good way) they ended the set with 'Block Rockin’ Beats'. When you’ve already done so much over the course of an hour and a half, and blown your audience away, it says a lot that you can still end a set with a tune like 'Block Rockin’ Beats'. 

If there’s any criticism to be aimed at the Brothers, it’s that the light show is choreographed so well it’s uncanny. As if to say it’s almost pre-recorded. But when it’s this good, I can turn a blind eye to such heinous criticism(!)

Photo: Apple Music Festival, London 2015.