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6 July 2002 : Witness Festival - Ireland


  When the MC comes out shouting ‘do you want it’ it means only one thing: Prodigy time. the crowd are going bananas, there is a real burst of life from the crowd once more... there is a real buzz, the chemistry seems to be just right for the prodge to blow the top of the place.

  Keiron and liam walk out first taking their positions as normal. Remember this is the first time the irish people have seen Keiron behind the drums and theirs murmurs of ‘ooh what’s this’ the fans seem to be impressed.

  The military intro kicks in. Keiron pounding on the drums whilst liam builds the baseline .the tension is unbearable at this stage…so maxim walk out very calmly. Hugh roars from the crowd go up for maxim then the theatrics of Keith Flint and his many faces joins the show also Jim Davies takes his place…the people are going nuts…

  The opening riffs of THEIR LAW start to echo throughout the field an old favourite with the prodigy mob that has turned out to see their hero’s…screams of appreciation go up when they hear this song…when those opening beats kicks in nobody remembered that’s its been 5 years…all of a sudden their was a sea of people moving in the same motion…..it was just to die for.

  To our surprise we start to hear the opening riffs to something new…then this real heavy rock link starts to play…it lasts for about 2 mins…its nothing spectacular, people are just looking on…keiron is like animal from the muppets at this stage showing real aggression on the drums….but the sound from this is too much attitude and no substance…people didnt like it...

  Next up was TRIGGER a song I hate personally…its sounds so dated. I was a bit worried things where going to go stale from here on in…but to my surprise the crowd loved it…they really took to it. I looked around in amazement, once again I though ‘blimey’ maybe the NEW prodge stuff is going to be excepted like the FOTL and JILTED stuff…I was pleased trigger went down well. The vibe from the crowd at this stage was great. Once trigger was done and dusted the opening riffs of BREATHE starts to play…I find breathe a bit dull by this stage but it’s a real crowd pleaser with the festival goers…the next thing we hear is the New fill called little goblin or goblin Im not too sure…anyways it sounds great…dark, atmospheric could really turn out to be something major on the next album who knows?

  At this stage Im thinking after 3 songs and 2 fills the people are really enjoying themselves…the old spark might be back, then as I hear SMACK MY BITCH UP building steam Im thinking this is heaven…best song of the night from the prodge ..sheer mayhem, things just cant get any better than this…the poeople are loving it

  Now the opening melody from BABYS GOT A TEMPER comes in, I was expecting a great reception from the crowd for this tune….but man I was soooooooooo wrong. It got a real half hearted clap it was almost like I was a cricket match…as the beats pounded not very many people were moving to this. THUMBLE WEED CITY…..YAWN. I feared the crowd had been lost, after such a great opening….they just didn’t take to BGAT….when I hear MINEFILDS slowly growling away after BGAT I was thinking this will get some people moving again…but no its seems the crowd has lost interest at this stage, a few people bobbing their heads in through hip hop fashion to minefields but not really getting into the song at all. Almost as if they feel obliged to dance to these songs.

  Now another New song gets played, NUCLEAR..this sinks like a led balloon, people just cant believe the shit their hearing…..the gig has just gone flat…

  So after the shite I just heard that was NUCLEAR I was never so glad to hear POISON…..Im jumping around like some kind of caged animal at this stage im not really bothered to what’s going on around me….for a few mins I felt like a kid again ;)

  After poison we hit the 45mins mark into the set, the band walk off the stage to the crowds surprise…this is where I feared things are going to get messy…so after the screams of the usual we want more chant, liam appears one hand in the air in an alan shearer type stance…the rest soon follows

  Instantly the FIRESTARTER riffs gets unleashed… the place is buzzing again it’s the one song that I think everybody knows and wants to hear…so when it ends, to my surprise I hear another new fill, might be called dust yoself….I wasn’t really impressed, lasted for about 50 seconds maxim rapping over the top, jim davies playing some funky guitar riffs…but what disappointed me was liam wasn’t doing any of the beats….he was playing around with the baseline whilst keiron was pounding on the drums….so I was a bit disappointed with this.

  Now to cap it all off and put this rather predictable set to bed was FUEL MY FIRE…I think by this stage people had enough and wanted to return to their tents….didn’t really get anyone going or moving…as the band walk off after about 57min mark people are still waiting in hope that the band will come back out…but theirs no chance of that….

  So overall I have to admit personally I was disappointed after such a great opening the set fizzled away maybe with an adoring irish fanbase aswell?

But I think the general feel from the crowd was ‘The prodigy where OK….not great, but not bad’. One of my mates asked me what would I have given them out of 10, I said 6.

  I think that’s sums the performance up.

  Highlights of witnness: Lemon jelly (saviours) and chemical Brothers (aggressive and awesome) a real return to form for the brothers, even though I didn’t catch their full set L

  Worst moment’s: Nuclear, fuel my fire and Ian browns singing

  Best Dj set : soul wax: played out of space J mixed into fisherspooner. I also never though Id be moshing to destinys child

Review by Dessie