These monsters of late 90s and early 2000s big beat, whose trademark number At the River launched a thousand chill-out albums, had been on a break from live touring for five years until their impending 21st anniversary convinced them it was time to dust off the old instruments. Dance music has moved on a fair bit since Groove Armada’s heyday, yet for ravers of a certain generation they will always be synonymous with the good times.
Groove Armada, SWG3, Glasgow ****
An impressive light and laser show penetrated the gloom of the SWG3 Galvanizers, where punters came to wave their hands in the air like they just didn’t care in time-honoured fashion.
The Groove Armada live set up these days revolves around a synth-rock band setup rather than predominately pre-programmed sounds. Lanky main-man Andy Catospent much of the set playing a bass guitar dialed to dirty. A revolving cast of vocalists that included dub MC Mike Daniel and the wiry and contorting and tartan-trousered Saintsaviour gave a sharp focal point at all times, whether they were heading up dumb fun party bangers like Song 4 Mutya and I See You Baby, or the sleeker synth-pop likes of Paper Romance.
Presaged at the start of the encore by Cato remerging to a far larger cheer than any man wielding a trombone probably deserves, At the River gave the crowd just long enough to recharge its batteries, before a surging version of big beat/dancehall mash-up Superstylin’ ensured all arms were aloft by the end. - Malcolm Jack