2005.05.13 – Orion Hall Festival, Brno, Czech Republic

Date: 13th May 2005
Event: Orion Hall Festival
Venue: Pavillon Z (in the BVV Halla, the congres center)
City: Brno
Country: Czech Republic
Support: see timetable (picture)

1. Wake Up Intro
2. Their Law
3. Wake Up Call
4. Warning
5. Breathe
6. Spitfire
7. Back 2 Skool
8. Firestarter
9. Action Radar Link
10. Mindfields
11. Poison
12. Method Beats
13. Smack My Bitch Up
14. Dead Ken Beats
15. Out Of Space

Extra info:
Kieron Pepper couldn’t be on this gig so there was a new drummer. it was the same guy who played drums for Clever Brains Fryin’ a couple of time as the end of 2004.

It was the first gig with the new guitaris after Jim Davis leaves. The new guitaris name is Rob Holliday.

Review by neko:
Friday the 13th and I’m off to Brno in Czech. Nice and convenient late afternoon flight with Ryanair for 20 quid from London Stansted directly to Brno, so I can even fit in a half day of work.
Brno is a small town in the South of Czech and I’m staying in the ‘grand hotel’ in the town centre. Every hotel called that is always already a bit a risk. It looks all very 70s and is indeed a bit of a shocker after the Westin in LA last week, but everybody is very nice (or at least they all smile nicely when they don’t understand what I am saying). I have a little stroll around town and there isn’t that much happening it seems. I go to a supermarket though to buy some water and end up with a bottle of vodka for L2, not a bad souvenir!
I’m still jetlagged from coming back from California five days ago and not having had much rest since at all, so just chill in the evening. The gig is part of an all-night dance festival all centred around the live performance of Prodigy, a bit like the Two Tribes festivals in Australia were earlier this year.
The Prodigy are on at midnight, so get there just before 11pm. One of the Czech live bands is on, The Nihilists. They’re not bad actually. What they play, hard dance with furious beats and a whole live band and female singer to support it, probably isn’t anything new, but it’s better than most local support acts I’ve seen recently. Very nice. When they leave and people clap for an encore I actually want to see more. They come back and play their own version of Kraftwerk’s We are the Robots, pretty cool.
The venue itself is a huge circle shaped hall, Pavillon Z in the BVV congress centre. There’s also a ‘second stage’ outside, which is basically a guy at a table with some decks. The vibe overall is really good though, cool people, couple of technoheads and a bit too many sunglasses, if you know what i mean.
At about 11.20pm then the warm-up DJ for the Prodigy gig is on. He isn’t bad either actually, plays a varied set including Diesel Power just before midnight and finally wins me over by spinning Freeland’s Mindkiller, a current favourite.
Just after midnight a familiar Exterminator is played, and then soon the stage is ready and the Wake Up Intro starts that gig…
So, as most of you probably know by now, Jim Davies has left the band as live guitarist to concentrate on his own band, so it’s a new guy playing guitars today. Live durmmer Kieron Pepper isn’t here this weekend either (nothing to do with Jim leaving, he just couldn’t make it) so it’s another new guy at the drums as they all come on stage for Their Law. The new guys may be familiar faces to some of you. On guitars is Rob from Sulpher, who has previously shared a stage with Keith when he was playing live bass for Flint. On drums this weekend is the same guy who played drums for Clever Brains Fryin’ a couple of times at the end of last year (cannot remember his name). So there ya go.
As at all previous shows it kicks in with Their Law, which is good as ever. You can hear just as little of Rob’s guitar as you did of Jim’s (i.e. nothing), so not much difference there. The sound is quite good tonight though, the venue really carries it well. Crowd reaction is really good and you can tell that a lot of people have been waiting to see this gig for a long time.
A nice link then takes us into Wake Up Call. I really like all the links, it all fits together so nicely now. Liam really seems to take his time now with these, so although the set has less songs than it had previously, it gets longer because there may be one or two minutes of new stuff in between the songs. And different ones pretty much every time too, nice.
It continues after Wake Up Call into another new link and then, uh oh, what seems to be a slightly different Warning. Or at least new beats to it. hmmmm, only heard it once at the time of writing, but I’m not too sure about this one. The whole thing now sounds much fuller, but in a way it’s almost too much now. I really liked the last version a lot, especially as it was quite simple. This new one now is much more complicated. I like the ending of this version though, it’s totally immediate, but in a rocking way (still liked the lenghty beats in the last version though). So anyways, we’ll see, i guess I have to hear it again. It’s definitely not bad, but i just loved the last version a lot.
There’s another link, Keith is heating up the audience now until he goes “breathe the pressure, breathe the pressure…” which of course erupts in the start of Breathe. For me this is one of the highlights tonight, definitely good stuff, very intense. I think the sound gets a bit louder as well when it starts, which always works. For a change they also keep their guitarist on stage now but you wouldn’t be able to tell if you didn’t see.
Next is Spitfire, newly with guitars as well, and then we’re already into Back to School, which is another favourite of tonight’s show. The sound works really in favour of this track tonight, it’s loud and hard. If you look closely you can notice the eye contact between Liam and Maxim whenever there’s the “one, two, three” with the massive beats following (tonight they get it fully right), which nicely shows how live the whole thing is.
Firestarter then, with the new mix of course, I’m still no fan of this but it actually sounds pretty good tonight!
Then the Action Radar link, one of my favourites. All in all the new drummer is doing really well, but during this one you notice the absence of Kieron Pepper now. This especially when it links into the next trac,k Mindfields, where there’s a definite lack of the drums that usually take us through this transition.
Mindfields then brings the whole band back on stage. Having live guitars for this one seems a bit random though, i think, but a nice performance of the track as well, before then all leave.
Shortly afterwards, band return with Poison and I get the feeling the sound is even louder now, but still loud in a good way, it sounds great. Then the Release Yo Delf fill takes us into SMBU, resulting in big audience reaction once more. Absolutely brilliant. Then, together with Breathe and Back to School, the third one of the highlights for me tonight is Dead Ken Beats. With the loud and great sound tonight it’s just brilliant, absolutely works, very nice.
The final encore then Out Of Space, a track which naturally goes down well with a more dance oriented audience as here at this gig, so the band leave accompanied with a big and well deserved cheer by the audience, who do not want this gig to end yet.
So all in all, although it wasn’t a Coachella, it was a good show.



Photos from the show:

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