CHASE AND STATUS, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 18 Nov 2013

Chase and Status fans have been known to be enthusiastic. On a Saturday night at the dance duo’s biggest home-town show, they were so up for it that they nearly ruined their own gig.

Twice during the first two songs, the music kept playing but the arena was plunged into darkness, a buzz killer blamed on people throwing drinks onto the lighting console. There were long pauses followed by the Panasonic logo appearing on the big screens, suggesting that this technical hitch could be solved by turning the show off and on again.

Chief cheerleader MC Rage had good reason to live up to his name, but things soon settled down – if you can apply that notion to lasers, bursts of steam and startling multicoloured zaps of a substance between smoke and fire.

Saul Milton and Will Kennard orchestrated a vivid dance history lesson. Devastating bass was their weapon of choice – Eastern Jam sounded like an industrial accident – but there was also the skittering garage of Blk & Blu and the Nineties keyboard stabs of Count on Me.

Though their roots are in drum ‘n’ bass and their mascot is a bulldog, a new international outlook was demonstrated by dancehall reggae and menacing hip hop on fresh songs. A wide-ranging set overcame its teething troubles to have real bite.