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Left To Their Own Devices
Fresh from a triumphant Electric Picnic performance,’90s dance legends LEFTFIELD are getting straight back into action with a short run of Irish dates. Mainman Neil Barnes talks about the joys of blowing the ears off punters with his vintage beats.
Paul Nolan, 08 Dec 2010
After completing a series of storming festival performances around Europe during the summer (which culminated with their headlining slot at Electric Picnic), dance veterans Leftfield are heading out for a lap of honour before Christmas. Their short run of shows includes two nights at Tripod, a venue in which they delivered a memorable performance earlier this year. Leftfield’s mainman, Neil Barnes, says this time around the gigs will focus slightly more on the group’s landmark 1995 debut album, Leftism.
“I wanted to go back to the start, and it’s something that so many people wanted to see,” notes Barnes. “I love both albums, but I wanted to show the full range of what Leftfield were about. The set we had worked so well that I’ve just added a bit to it, rather than taken away, and indeed we could add a bit more to it as well. So yeah, there is a bit more from Leftism, and that’s what I said I would be doing with this tour.”
Neil also explains that the group will also have a new sound system for these shows, which will make them louder than ever. He even asserts that Leftfield are now the loudest band around (in the group’s early days, they received complaints about the noise levels at their gigs during some European shows). Playing devil’s advocate, I suggest that Scottish noise terrorists Mogwai would at least give Leftfield a run for their money in the volume stakes.
“I love Mogwai, they’re one of my all-time favourite bands and I’ve seen them many times,” enthuses Neil. “They’re loud-ish (laughs). But that’s a sort of guitar loud, it’s a lovely sound. They’re a band that also needs that power; I’ve seen Mogwai when they haven’t been loud and it’s been disappointing. They did a show in London a couple of years back and it wasn’t powerful enough, although it was to do with the venue more than them. But they’re a wonderful band.”
Of course, on their reunion tour a couple of years ago, My Bloody Valentine were still performing ‘You Made Me Realise’, which features a section of apocalyptic noise that the band dubbed “the holocaust”.