Basement Jaxx @ Ponderosa Stage
Review of Basement Jaxx on the Ponderosa Stage at Tramlines.
It appears the clouds parted to await the arrival of headliners Basement Jaxx last night; after a flattering warm-up from the glorious Martha Reeves, frontwomen Sharlene Hector and Vula Malinga opened with a rainbow explosion of costumes and the classic ‘Good Luck’. Taking things completely in stride, Simon Ratcliffe, Felix Buxton and co. continued to move seamlessly through stunning tracks from their new album Junto, including ‘Never Say Never’; a perfect homage to the festival season. The crowd appeared to adore every new direction, proving that even after eleven years the group haven’t lost it. And lovers of the good ol’ Jaxx days weren’t disappointed either, treated to the likes of ‘Jump N Shout’, ‘Do Your Thing’, and ‘Red Alert’. The crow suit-clad trumpeter especially came into his own for the classic ‘Romeo’, which was dedicated to everyone there who was ‘really here to have a good time’ after conscientious requests that everyone looked after themselves in the pit.
From ballet to belly, the Ponderosa stage was filled to the brim with dancers, and with Hector’s reappearance sporting a massive star headpiece, the whole thing felt like a blissed-out pantomime. Amidst bowing gorillas, Burton shimmied from underneath his synths to front the finale ‘Where’s Your Head At?’, but there was really no need; the main stage crowd knew every lyric, every syllable, and didn’t have to be coaxed into expressing it. With ease, the sound of Basement Jaxx perfectly encapsulated the Tramlines vibe: flamboyant, sun-drenched, and tailor-made for a bloody good dance.
Words: Samantha Fielding
Photo: Simon Butler