Reviewed on Thursday January 5
Grandmaster Flash is at a point where he has absolutely nothing to prove. It’s safe to say he’s been in this position for quite some time, having cemented a legacy thanks to an influential run in the ’80s alongside The Furious Five. These days, the man born Joseph Saddler is just along for the ride, frequently travelling around the world and playing broad, easily accessible DJ sets with enough cries of “make some noise” to last a lifetime. If you’re here for deep cuts or a thorough study of hip hop as a genre, you’d be best hitting up somewhere else for now. Over here, we’re putting our hands up for classics from MJ, Bowie and Queen. It’s got all the subtlety of a wedding DJ, and yet it’s the perfect lead-in to tonight’s headliners.
“We gonna have a good time tonight!” Flash promises over and over. You believe him. Your hands are up in the air and waving, but it’s not because you just don’t care – it’s because, in that moment, Grandmaster Flash can make you care more about the song that’s playing than anything else.
One thing we’ve learned about The Avalanches over the years is that they’re always going to need a little extra time. As long as we waited between Since I Left You and Wildflower, the latter proved to be more than worth our time. Then came the live show: while their Splendour appearance wasn’t entirely without merit, it was more or less agreed there were a lot of improvements to be made.
Within the first few days of 2017, The Avalanches have redeemed their live reputation, clearly indicating that if practice doesn’t make perfect, it’s pretty damn close. Vocalists Eliza Wolfgramm and Naeem ‘Spank Rock’ Juwan are quick to rile up the hugely energetic dancefloor – much of which is comprised of people who were barely even alive when Since I Left You was released – while drummer Paris Jeffree and guitarist Jonti Danilewitz take the guidelines provided by the songs’ sample work and illustrate within them masterfully.
‘Flight Tonight’ turns into a tribal chant, ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’ is every bit the triumphant banger it deserves to be and Wildflower cuts such as ‘Subways’ and the Oscar Key Sung-assisted ‘Colours’ are finally given life in truly awe-inspiring fashion. Brace yourselves for how great the 2033 tour is going to be.