The Chemical Brothers were, alongside the Prodigy, my gateway drug into electronic music and hip-hop, tempting me from the big hair, tight jeans and wailing guitar solos of Def Leppard and Guns n Roses into the far broader beats I’m now more than a little obsessed with
Growing up in the North Midlands, you didn’t really have much choice as to the music you listened to -it was either guitars or guitars. After all we had local heros such as the mighty Noddy Holder and Ozzie Osbourne to look up to, so aside from the few
drug-addled *ahem* experimentalists who ventured to the heady metropolis that was Birmingham to listen to the cutting edge ‘Trance’ that was on show there METAL was the only respectable option
Then the Chemical Brothers happened.
I don’t know why it was acceptable for little indie kids/metallers like us to like ’em, but I still remember sitting around with mates listening to the Chem’s seminal debut album, air scratching (cringe) at In Dust We Trust, and being sucked in by the braincrushing beats, driving Techno tinged basslines and eclectic samples – given the strictures of ‘commercial dance’ music of the time this was an utterly different beast, and something completely new to our parochial little corner of the world.
Live at The Social is exactly what it says – a live recording of Ed and Tom at The Social in Islington, which was a case of, and I quote the CD liner, ” get a back room in a dirty old boozer on a Sunday night. Get a pair of DJs who were more renowned for their party rockin’ than their fluid mixing. Get guests , anyone and everyone from pop stars to shit hot DJs and get them to play their favourite records. The only rule – our guys go on last. Build up your own anthems, find new heroes, find your own stimulants. You think you’ll get maybe 70 people, but after 13 weeks when you call it a day, you’re turning away 700. ”
Dang, I wish I was a few years older at the time, as this sounds right up my street.
Despite it’s short duration it had a huge following and some seriously influential people turned up, with Bjork, Primal Scream and one pre- Fatboy Slim Norman Cook being in attendance, and buying into the Big Beat thing.
From the faded in sample warning of ‘mind-bending chemicals’, via the electro hip-hop of DJ Cash Money and Marvellous / Mighty Hard Rocker, to their homebrewed remix of The Charlatans Nine Acre Court, entitled Nine Acre Dust, to the classic New Orleans funk cut We’re Doing It (Thang) by Eddie Bo it’s quality all the way through.
- The Chemical Brothers – “Introduction” – 0:36
- Meat Beat Manifesto – “Cutman” – 5:20
- Davy DMX – “The DMX Will Rock” – 0:49
- Cash Money & Marvelous – “Mighty Hard Rocker” – 3:43
- Crooklyn Clan – “Yes, We Can” – 1:57
- Carlos ‘After Dark’ Berrios – “Doin’ it After Dark (D-Ski’s Dance)” – 0:48
- Tainted Glass – “Can’t” – 2:07
- Eric B & Rakim – “Juice (Know the Ledge) (Main Mix)” – 3:18
- Red Snapper – “Wesley Don’t Surf” – 3:09
- Lionrock – “Packet of Peace (Chemical Brothers Remix)” – 4:36
- DJ Who – “PB4UGO2BED” – 3:30
- Metro L.A. – “To a Nation Rockin'” – 3:42
- The Chemical Brothers – “Get Up on It Like This” – 5:16
- Tim ‘Love’ Lee – “Again Son” – 4:13
- The Charlatans – “Nine Acre Dust (Chemical Brothers Remix)” – 3:52
- Funk D’Void – “Jack Me Off” – 5:58
- Will Web – “Mirrorshades” – 2:42
- Selectah – “Wede Man (Hoody Mix)” – 4:54
- Eddie Bo – “We’re Doing It (Thang)” – 3:02