There’s only a handful of acts in the dance music arena that could be earmarked as ‘legendary’. These acts cause a stir every time there are mutterings of a tour, new music or a reunion. Names like The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy spring to mind and you can see people’s eyes light up when they recall what has been and gone. D&B maestros Pendulum would easily fit alongside these musical behemoths having previously conquered the World with their own take on the handle.
You could say they broke the mould with Pendulum: not just a collective of producers or DJs, but also musicians and live vocals backed by technical expertise and an unrelenting drive to make music that was bigger and unique from what had gone before. Their World conquering antics started in ’02 in WA but soon took them to London and across the globe producing 3 albums and multiple hits until their indefinite hiatus in 2010/11. Since then lead vocalist Rob Swire hit it big with Knife Party and starring vocals on tracks with the likes of Eric Prydz. Pendulum faded, there’s been chatter about new stuff, odd appearances here and there but nothing solid. Until now. Earlier this year there was an announcement that Pendulum would be touring Aus, hitting up a range of regional locations to drop DJ sets, and Adelaide was on the cards!
Prefacing the gig at The Thebi with another of our Fresh Air Open House events, Paul “El Hornet” Harding gave us an insight into just what drove the band on through the hard times setting up in London, onto the massive success of their albums, their influences, spin off projects and what the future may hold. Then on to the party.
Kicking off at 8 the show opened with local legend Patch and the ADL DNB crew were in full effect. His set was a dark, relentless, grinding affair showing that he had it where it counted. Deep down and dirty and featuring some classics including Un-Cut Midnight with MC freestyling over the top, it was a wicked starter taking us up to the main course.
As expected El Hornet’s set wasn’t just a straight up D&B affair, it took in music from across the spectrum paying nods to influences from Jungle, to Punk Rock, Metal and even Rave. Starting off with Pendulum’s massive hit Witchcraft and moving through tracks from Bad Company and Nero we were soon into the light and dark of his set; The Chilli Pepper’s The Other Side remixed and backed up against Laid Back Luke’s Show Me Love segued into Metrik Chasing Sunrise. It was all in the melting pot of the moment.
Before we knew it we were into the recognisable evil of Pendulum’s Voodoo People remix and things got frantic. Throughout the set El Hornet gave props to the Adelaide crew for their long time support, expressing his gratitude for still being able to sell out the Thebi and play the music he loves to an appreciative crowd.
People were on tenterhooks until, Tarantula, a track that even El Hornet confessed to still being surprised at the success of. It continues to pack a punch, the lyrics make no sense but who cares when the beat is so phat. Unsurprisingly he wrapped up his show with crowd fave Watercolour which got a rapturous reception and was a fitting end to what was an unsurprisingly wicked set.
I left the show asUnderground hit his stride and believe me, the night showed no signs of letting up when I peeled myself off the sticky dancefloor. Debauchery at its best.