“This is the closest to Blackpool I’ve ever been”, confided a relaxed as ever Maxi Jazz during Faithless’ show at Lytham Festival on Thursday night.
The band took to the main stage, situated next to the town’s iconic windmill, as part of a tour celebrating 20 years since the release of their first single Salva Mea.
Renowned most for their dance music hits Insomnia, We Come 1, and God Is A DJ, this ever evolving outfit with vocalist Jazz, keyboardist Sister Bliss and producer Rollo (brother of one Dido) at its core, never fail to impress with their live shows.
Jazz’ stage presence is a force to be reckoned with, and with a gravelly, overworked voice that is perhaps more suited to reggae these days, he took the audience on a journey that brought together the best of Faithless’ two decades at the forefront of electronic music.
His messages of peace and “oneness”, and his questioning of the establishment united the audience in choruses that few acts can produce, as the day turned into night and the band’s light show came into its own.
Re-working their hits and changing the structure of their songs ensures no two shows are ever quite the same, and the addition of two drum kits, guitar, bass and guest vocalists add some umph to the layered and textured electronic sounds produced by Bliss’ keyboard and synth prowess.
They opened with the meaty Machines R Us, from 2001’s Outrospective, and worked confidently through some of their album tracks and singles, most notably - Mass Destruction, Everything Will Be Alright Tomorrow, What About Love, I Want More and Miss You Less, See You More.
The funk beats of Mohammed Ali morphed into a live drum n bass sound, quickening the pace and whipping up the audience into a frenzy.
The sound crossed the boundaries of house, funk, soul, classical, rock, “chill out” and drum n bass effortlessly.
The highlight for me was Salva Mea, originally vocalised by Dido, but taken on by an unknown singer that really brought out the best in the song, and the well known lyrics “How can I change the world if I can’t even change myself? I cannot change the way I am? I don’t know, I don’t know.”
It was one of those moments that really capture the essence of live music and take things to another level.
They ended on We Come 1, which many now dismiss as a “cheesy dance pop anthem”, but those people, I’m afraid, are missing the point.
“Look after eachother, we’re all we’ve got”, was one of Jazz’ parting shots.
Well done Lytham Festival organisers for bringing this world renowned and much loved band to Lancashire for the first time.