Chase & Status – Rock City, Nottingham

When you’re informed via a friend when approaching a gig that it is a 14+ social club, you immediately have little hope of enjoying the night. Images of little children running around with their Skins T-shirts on posing for Facebook photos and inevitably asking the oldies to buy them beverages at the bar spring to mind (yes it did happen to my mate). Tonight’s dubstep, drum and bass, dance onslaught did feature many a little bobbler, yet the crowd was mixed enough to make a good atmosphere. (Also to note, Rock City smells like a Rugby players jockstrap, they need to sort that out).

One thing that always confuses the shit out of me at gigs is why the youngens (mainly girls) decide to make their way into the roughest part of the crowd. Let’s analyse this; you’re about 5 foot, weigh as much as a bag of sugar and wear your long hair down the back of your neck. You got the picture right? So, for a 6 foot 2, 12 stone chap (of pure muscle obviously) to only just be able to see and have to bail out halfway through the set – then what the hell are they playing at? One young lady behind me decided to face the opposite way to the stage whilst clutching onto her boyfriend for dear life – how the fuck is that an enjoyable gig? If you’re one of these girls, please do post a comment with your reasons as to why you put yourself through this. Also, if you’re going into a crowd where you are going to be pretty much on top of each other – tie your hair up, no one wants to leave a gig with a fucking fur ball in their mouth. Enough of that, more of the gig…

So the atmosphere was there, kids had their fake id’s and the air con systems were ready for overload. Could Saul Milton (Chase) and Will Kennard (Status) smash the place down? MR Rage MC definitely thought it was on the cards, as he was on fire tonight. The ‘No More Idols’ UK Tour features a hectic schedule for the London duo, but they got through tonight’s set with all guns blazing. Slamming in all the heavy hitters early in the set you just knew everything would come together in a frenzy of blood sweat and tears. You can’t argue with the quality of production in Chase & Status’ tracks, in a live setting they are twice as tight, and twice as monstrous.

Accompanying the live set was some crazy drum set up, a few TV screens at the back and some heavy duty lighting rigs. During songs featuring guest vocalists we were treated to the screens filled with digitalized faces of the artist – Plan B being a highlight for “End Credits”. However during these songs, Rage looked a little out of place jumping around on stage spitting out the odd crowd pumper – but hey, that’s what you get for using guest vocalists in the studio when they aren’t available on tap.

Without a doubt, this band have got the live setup in the bag, everything is powerful, those basslines are like wild creatures in the night and the drum patterns are hectic. Making the most of both views within the dirty crowd and upstairs, you could see just how well Chase & Status can pump a crowd. “Let You Go” could have been an advert for “The effects of a good bass line” as pretty much everyone in Rock City was jumping up and down like a kangaroo on heat.

With a number record, an unbelievable live sound and an excess of tour dates this year, Chase & Status are gonna be nailing it over and over again, becoming bigger than ever. Listening to No More Idols may leave you with a feeling of “meh” or “generic, with a few bangers” – but get your peepers and listening utensils into a live gig as Chase & Status create their own league of banger after banger. Note: Wear ear plugs after these chaps, as my ear-bongos have been molested!

Deaf Havana – It’s called the easy life

There aren’t many bands with this brand of weird timing and de-tuned sounding riffs at the moment in the UK, but even if there were, Deaf Havana would still be at the top of their league.

Mixing brutal riffs with a very light pop-style voice on occasions makes the EP of high interest to me. Opener ‘This afternoon was a total disaster’ is a nice heavy start and 43 seconds into the track is where my interest is drawn – a very “Every Time I Die” style riff is introduced and has my head fully rocking.

The whole EP has a similar feel to it, with a slight mix of ‘Underoath’ mixed in there for good measure. Track 3 is the next prominent track; a very promising song and I can imagine how energetic this would sound live, but yet again, parts of the song are starting to sound a little too similar to “Every Time I Die”. This is when I ask myself the question “Is this really such a bad thing??”

The next track ‘The tune of ID’ show’s a very different side to the band, opening with a mellow and crisp sounding guitar tone and smooth flowing vocals (a lot like Incubus) before kicking in with a nicely timed and executed heaviness. Two and a half minutes in the song goes back to its roots before vocals of James and Ryan suddenly break through, with enough emotion to make your hair stand on end.

The 5th track (out of 6) ‘Love by the riverside’ is a short one, however it is also the most energetic yet; with a guitar riff so long and powerfully unique, it just proves that this band really know what they’re doing. The final track ‘ Oh Howard, you crack me up’ is my personal favourite. It’s clearly the strongest on the EP, and the vocals provide an epic atmosphere. This is definitely a song that Deaf Havana should release as a single.

The only problem with this EP is the fact that is only an EP. These songs are too powerful and of a high quality to not be part of a full length album. It’s a shame there isn’t much of a demand for this style of music in the UK, as I am convinced that if there were, these guys would be massive.