Super producers Switch and Diplo bounded out of Kingston with
such promise as their alter-ego Major Lazer,
brandishing a debut album of digi-dancehall tracks featuring a clutch of fast-chatting toasters from the Jamaican underground.
But when they try to recreate an authentic dancehall show live, it’s borderline cringeworthy rather than cleverly tongue-in-cheek. Lazer
They do their best to conjure similar hysteria to their chaotic Carniva set in an uncomfortable Hoxton pit, where the sweat from someone else’s
brow drips into your pint. Lazer
Two fantastic female dancers and a suave body-popper up the ante amid Diplo and Switch’s globallyinformed sonic reach-around, but their bolshy MC,
Skerrit Bwoy, pushes the sexed-up performance too far.
Some think he’s hilarious as he rides girls across the stage and, at the end, boastfully brandishes a bag of “ganja”, but others wince at the crassness.
Yes, he’s poking fun at the ‘bad man’ aspect of dancehall culture, but it’s
a boisterous overload that gets, well, boring – especially as you can
barely dance to the rest of it. Lazer
Diplo and Switch impatiently cut up tracks – far too quickly to shuffle
in time to – and instead focus on dropping hooks that’ll get them cheers, from Rusko’s familiar Lazer
‘Cockney Thug’ to Crookers’ groan-worthy ‘Day N Nite’. Sadly,
it feels like style has stolen the riddims of substance tonight Lazer
By the time Manchester’s Mazes are granted access to the stage we’ve had an hour of dusting down nooks and crannies to ensure Lazer
plugging in is shock free and doesn’t result in the uncontrollable dropping of guts, and the trio with no desire to entertain low end prove their Lo-fi garage to be the grooviest (in a non ‘yeeeaaah baby!’ way)Lazer
on the bill. Tracks like ‘Bowie Knives’ swash and swagger like ‘All The Young Dudes’ played through a tin can telephone;
‘Summer Hitz (Main Dyke)’ is 2 minutes of twisting about in the best Budweiser advert ever.
Mazes are worth the wait, and Brighton garage band Teen Sheikhs are tailor-made to snatch the Lo-fi baton next
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