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Pendulum - Nottingham Trent FM Arena Gig Review

Posted by Guest Writer on Wed, 08 Dec 2010.


Rob Swire
Gareth McGrillen
Paul Harding
Ben Mount
Peredur ap Gwynedd
Kevin Sawka

A packed and impressive Nottingham Trent FM Arena played host to support act Hadouken! and the main attraction, Pendulum, and what a hell of a night it was! It was only in October of this year that Hadouken!, their “Wall of Death”, and “Mic Check” hit Gatecrasher in Nottingham with a vengeance, but as the lights dimmed on a set that resembled a post apocalyptic nightmare that wouldn’t look out of place in the Terminator series of films, they took to the stage. Haduoken! quite frankly hit like a tornado and were exceptional. It’s a rare thing to see a support act get a such a massive positive response from an audience, but to my surprise, the first 20 rows resembled the rolling waves of an ocean as they bounced up and down to the commands of James Smith (“come on now Shottingham!!”), fists punching the air.

This Island

I’ve never been fortunate enough to catch Pendulum live having always been a little sceptical about Drum ‘n’ Bass / Dance music translating to such a large stage and setup like this. As the “crew” took to the stage to prepare for the arrival of Pendulum, for a fraction of a second, I wondered if they would be able to follow on from their excellent support act. It was a very small fraction of a second, followed by, “don’t be daft, this is Pendulum we’re talking about”. The voices in my head proved right.

They took to the stage with the fitting, "Genesis", with the screens and lights coming to life. It looked awesome, with a superb sound quality reverberating through the Arena. It came together perfectly, and I swear, I was actually worried about the seating giving out from beneath us as everyone took to their feet and started to jump up and down. And of course I had the ubiquitous shrieking woman next to me who got so excited she almost perforated my eardrums. Remember, if you don’t have a rabid shrieking woman next to you, it just not a great concert.

Pendulum are the heirs apparent to The Prodigy’s crossover crown, and a little to my surprise, 5th song in, a rendition of Voodoo People. I’ve seen The Prodigy live, three times, I’ve seen them do Voodoo People, and as far as “covers” go, this was fantastic, with Bez doing a great job. Slam is a personal favourite, and 7 songs in, I got a little apprehensive they weren’t going to play it, and then, in answer to my prayers, somewhere out there in the vast nothingness of space, somewhere far away in space and time, my prayers were answered, and even then, the most ardent of shoegazers went wild. Resistance was futile.

After “Slam” the audience are dared “What are you waiting for?/Just surrender here tonight,” and the Island comes to life in the Arena, in glorious parts 1 and 2. I always preferred “In Silico” and “Hold Your Colour” to “Immersion”, but have always enjoyed “The Island”, so was glad this made the set list. I then spotted a figure, “surely not” I thought, “Is that $pyda?”. This made Nottingham’s night as he took to the stage for Tarantula. No night would be complete without Propane Nightmares or Blood Sugar, and of course, they didn’t disappoint.

Their DJ sets are renowned, but the full show? It’s absolutely fantastic!

A big thank you to Sam for arranging this, and also to Hadouken! who I think have probably been one of my favourite support acts of this year.

To see more of Pendulum: www.pendulum.com