808state DJs at Manchester Academy (Prodigy Support) 28 March 1992

Report from Select, June 1992:

The Prodigy
Academy, Manchester

Hardcore — you must know the score by now. Son Of Smiley hijacks the acid trance dance and injects an adrenalin rush that starts several thousand baggy-trousered ravers sprinting on the spot as if their lives depended on it.

Manchester being Manchester, 808 State are in the house, and their DJs Darren Partington and Andy Barker manipulate the crowd's feet mercilessly. But copious cans of Citrus Spring can't keep the hardcore monotony at bay. An inspired rave mix of James' 'Come Home' excepted, they follow the set Civil Service guidelines to the letter, leaving you to wonder how The Prodigy are going to hold the interest. One faster is the answer. Cranking the drum-box speed control up to eleven, they deliver 40 frantic minutes of "ultimate hardcore". Dressed like post-apocalyptic morris dancers, the three Prodigy dancers impress with their sleight of foot, shuffling through an impressive 'Everybody In The Place' and several variations on that theme. But Liam Howlett, The Prodigy himself, stays in the shadows.

The Prodigy sound is powerful enough to ensure tired limbs break through the pain barrier, but when 'Charly' reminds the crowd that they didn't tell their mums where they were going before they went out, the spell is broken and it's time to stagger home.

Once there, you make a cup of tea and switch the telly on, only to be confronted by Pete 'Hitman' Waterman leering at a big-chested girl in a Mecca ballroom to the tune of 'Everybody In The Place'. Michaela Strachan is blowing her whistle and suddenly everything starts to look and sound the same.

TIM NICHOLSON