The Shamen were the band responsible for my conversion to electronica. Through ‘In Gorbachev We Trust’ to the seminal ‘Progen’, I had been a fan for a few years, but had never seen them live. Progen is my favourite electronic album of them all, it’s what really turned me on to computerized bleeps and samples. Unfortunately I was about a year too late to see the classic line up (Will Sin having tragically popped his galoshes about a year previously) but this was at the height of their popularity so should have been a corker.
This was also the first time I’d seen Orbital – they really weren’t dance giants yet, just the Green and Brown albums (they never bettered Brown, IMHO) to their name, but a growing reputation. They really get the crowd going, because their music is just so damn good, but they may as well have been playing the CD, there were nothing different about their live sound. Meat Beat Manifesto on the other hand, were much heavier, more industrial than their records, and more of a ‘live’ band, with Jack Dangers plonking away at a bass throughout most of the set. Don’t remember A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd, must have been trying to score or something.
The Shamen were, it has to be said, a teensy bit of a disappointment, and I think it was because there was no Will Sin. They didn’t have a bassist at all, it was just sequenced, and Colin strummed a guitar on a couple of tracks. ‘Make It Mine’ rocked a bit but otherwise it was all a bit limp. Mr C is my favourite white rappah, and provided them with much needed energy and character, because Colin is just a bit of a drip, and looks and dances like Arnold Rimmer. Disappointing, on the whole.