Faithless at Shepherd’s Bush

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Last night Dan, Jason, DJ and I went to the Faithless gig at Shepherd’s Bush. Without any great feat of planning we got there at 6 and were first in the queue. The hour spent waiting for the doors to open passed swiftly thanks to the beautiful weather and the entertainment we derived from making fun of the ticket touts.

Support came from the amazing One eskimO. I won’t offer any comparisons – these guys really are unique; just check out one of their tracks on their MySpace page. One eskimO produced an effortless half hour of engaging tunes that connected with the audience from the word go. When they finished and left the stage the applause and response from the crowd lingered long after they had departed. One eskimO are obviously good friends of Faithless and feature on the track "Hope and Glory" on the 2006 album "To All New Arrivals".

Faithless produced a storming set of songs that lasted for nearly two hours with hardly any breaks. There were a good few tunes from "To All New Arrivals" which were well received, but there’s no doubt it’s the old Faithless classics that really rocked the house and set the downstairs crowd moshing: Insomnia, God is a DJ, We Come 1, and the more recent I Want More and Mass Destruction. The sound and mix wasn’t too bad, but to me felt a bit toppy – maybe a sound engineer who has been in the business a bit long and tends to overcompensate for upper frequency hearing loss. But then again, it might just have been that we were up on the highest tier of seats. The standard of energy and musicianship was everything you’d expect from Faithless, every member bouncing and dancing to the very end all set against a simple led lighting effects set-up from which the lighting guys appear to have rinsed every possible programme combination most effectively.

Faithless have a very faithful, wide ranging and well behaved following and in their newer material show they are no hostage to any expectations based on their past. Few bands have made the transition from studio to stage so effectively and like their audience, they are growing up and changing. The people of the 90’s who went clubbing all night to ‘insomnia’ and ‘god is a dj’ are still turning out to see Faithless in concert while a new generation, still at school in the nineties are turning out to join them.

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