“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” were the words of Albert Einstein.
Fortunately, London’s Chase & Status will encounter no such problem as becoming non compos mentis given their genre-spanning back-catalogue, but their ability to induce insanity in a crowd is unquestionable, and never so apparent than tonight.
Those absent from Main Stage predecessor Emeli Sandé’s set dementedly tore through the heaving masses to watch the London group pervade the whole setting with sheer menace.
The ominous ‘No Problem’, weighted with 20ft haunting visuals of its voodoo-influenced video, was a portent of volatility, setting a relentless, whirring tone kept up by MC Rage’s repeated demands to the group’s crazed spectators to “make a mosh pit!”
Their big hitters – such as ‘Time’ and ‘Blind Faith’ - make their appearance as expected, as do flirtations with The Doors (‘Hypest Hype’) and Guns n Roses (‘Smash TV’) samples, but Chase & Status’s strong origins are less in medical care and more in massive adrenaline shots straight to the heart, through their unashamedly ferocious drum and bass. Plummeting, elevator rides of relentless dubstep also find their own space amongst the uproar.
‘End Credits’ may be their most well-known collaboration with Plan B, but it is ‘Pieces’, from their 2008 debut album More Than Alot, which highlights the enchanting madness of Chase & Status. Its gritted-toothed chorus, layered over tremendously-paced breakbeats, of “I remember when I used to feel suttin, I remember when I used to feel suttin” is a terrifying lobotomy which bores a hole right through the skull into the audience’s frontal lobes.
Even with the commercial success of their big numbers, it’s clear their lesser-known, formative numbers hold the most potency tonight. Quite simply, if drum and bass were a deranged mental asylum, then Chase & Status are undoubtedly one of the most clinical and petrifying doctors in the whole asylum.
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