Basement Jaxx vs Metropolitan Orchestra: Melbourne Live Review

Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe aka. Basement Jaxx hit Australia this month with a full Orchestra and it was a treat for the eyes and ears.

We went to the Margaret Court Arena show in Melbourne and it was a mix of both sedate and upbeat classical reinterpretations of some of their biggest hits plus some downright symphonic floor fillers too.

There was some new material on show, including the Didgeridoo Waltz performed with William Barton, together with some surreal ballet and Salvador Dali-esque style dancers perfectly suited to some of the slow numbers.

Whilst we were in Margaret Court Arena, this show could have easily been suited to Hamer Hall or The Plenary in Melbourne. The live show hit Sydney Opera House the following day and I can’t help thinking that the entire show was targeted to that particular venue as Margaret Court probably wasn’t the best venue for a seated performance. It was all good, but you did feel like you should’ve been in a hall or theatre to get the best out of the performance. Hardly any of the food and drink vendors were open at the venue, which would’ve not been the case at a theatre.

If you miss read what you’d booked to see or didn’t have any context to the intended performance, there’s a chance you would have been disappointed at the show.
Anyone who didn’t listen to the Basement Jaxx Vs Metropole Orkest album could’ve possibly been struggling to identify some of the tracks being performed. However, from the enjoyment on the punters faces and the ones racing to get drinks in between tracks, not to mention the dancing in the aisles to the ‘lively’ numbers, I don’t think that many were upset with what they saw and heard.

My gut feeling is that a fair number of attendees on the night got a completely different musical experience to what they were expecting but if you were open minded, loved a classical evening and wanted a magical re-interpretation of some Basement Jaxx numbers, you got what you came for.

The show highlight for me was the symphonic reproduction of the absolute classic ‘Good Luck’ which we were treated to by Lisa Kekaula from The Bellrays in all of her vocal glory. From the way the crowd got pumped at that song, I’d say that they thought so too. What a voice!

I enjoyed the show. It was very different, and intentionally so, to recent tours by Pete Tong and Armand Van Helden with orchestras who both DJ’d like for like reproductions of classic Ibiza and House tracks.

I do hope that this duo come back to Australia soon with both new material and a DJ/Festival performance as I now find myself craving it.

If you missed out on our interview with Felix from Basement Jaxx, have a read of it below:

An Interview with Basement Jaxx

About Graham Porter

Founder of YMR and has been trying to make a difference for unsigned, up and coming artists and all things great in music since 2011.

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