Music review: Leftfield, Glasgow Barrowland

Leftfield. Picture: TSPL
Leftfield. Picture: TSPL
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BACK in the happy clappy club-friendly 1990s when faceless male dance duos ruled the festival circuit, Leftfield were as big a noise as any you might encounter, while their classic debut Leftism remains as effective a portal to those days as ever.


Glasgow Barrowland

Star rating: ***

Hence, the “mature” clubbing audience at this show, all geared up to party like it was 1995.

Since those days, Paul Daley has departed the fold, leaving Neil Barnes to man the hardware, with assistance from some ancillary sonic scientists. As has always been the way, these faceless blokes compensated for their anonymity with a son et lumière stage display of spinning screens battered by the kind of bass vibrations which hit you in the gut and make your hair stand on end.

Barnes concentrated mainly on new album Alternative Light Source, an underwhelming iteration of Leftfield’s intelligent blend of electro, techno and dub. There was a Kraftwerk-like discipline to opening number Bad Radio with added industrial heft but the teasing, hypnotic and subtly shape-shifting contours of the set promised more than it delivered.

Eventually a couple of charisma-free MCs - Cheshire Cat and Ofei – took turns to front proceedings but looked lost on their own in front of the screens. Phat Planet, the throbbing track which soundtracked the famous Guinness advert featuring the giant horses in the surf, packed twice the latent power of any other track on offer and only emphasized the lack of classics in the current setlist.