Faithless have a great live track record, so we were excited to be able to catch up with them at the Brixton Academy…
Faithless as a live group (with a “proper” band of drummer, percussionist and guitars) have been pulling increasingly larger crowds for the last couple of years.  Their success can be attributed to some great performances and solid touring based around Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and the recent addition of LSJ.  Having seen Faithless live before (at the Brighton Centre and the Southampton Guildhall) we had high expectations – particularly as this gig was on their home turf.
We get to the Academy in time to have missed the first of two support acts – Cass Fox – but catch the second – Crazy Penis.  Crazy P’s slightly bonkers female lead singer has a great voice which is let down somewhat by the band’s tendency to musical blandness.  This only changed for their final number, a fine cover of Candi Station’s classic You Got The Love.  All credit to Crazy P for this as it really did get the crowd going – despite having seats on the balcony we’re already up on our feet grooving.
After a quick change of kit on stage (with the highly excitable audience cheering and applauding every mic check) Faithless hit the stage at 9.15 starting with a big instrumental opening from Everything Will Be All Right.  The first few bars are enough have the audience on it’s feet and grooving with the beats.
Then Maxi Jazz saunters onto the stage and rips into classics like God is a DJ and Insomnia; and the audience goes nuts, the band goes nuts and the whole world just seems to be bouncing off everything to the huge tunes.  Then, when Bliss gets to those seven fat chords in We Come 1, and the place feels like it exploding with energy; and that diving bass keyboard note just goes straight through your rib cage and shakes the house.
Despite this, the gig wasn’t Faithless at the top of their game.  Maxi’s voice sounded a little tour worn, which is unsurprising when you consider how hard songs like Mass Destruction are on it.  The instrumental sequences and less known numbers like Postcards (from Sunday 8pm) lost the audience who, in the main, seemed to be clubbers who had come for the big floor filling hits.  This was compounded by a few sounds difficulties about halfway through – mic levels dropping and sound becoming “muddy” – which took a couple of numbers to get sorted.  That said, as Faithless progressed through I Want More, Mohammed Ali, Miss You Less, See You More and Take the Long Way Home to reach the gig’s climax things came back together and by the end the place was like an overcharged Duracell battery it was so awash with energy again.
Overall: a reasonable gig – but not Faithless’ best, though I’m sure I’ll be back for the next tour.