Gig Review by Hayley Clark with Photography by Frank Ralph

Torrential rain and snow didn’t stop the masses gathering at Manchester’s O2 Apollo for the opening night of dance superstars The Prodigy’s winter tour.


DJ Krafty Kutz warms up the crowd of a jilted generation under the smokey stage filled with popping strobe lights of red and blue within an ultra violet haze. The UK’s leading bassline DJ mixing bassline tracks with old school hits mixed in with a few crowd favourites such as Happy Monday’s ‘Step On’ to warm up crowd on the frosty evening.

The music did not stop as jungle pioneers The Ragga Twins jumped onto the dimly lit stage to whoops and cheers of the crowd.

Hackney duo Mc Deman Rocker and Flinty Badman bigged up the “Manchester Massive” as they bounced around the stage rhythmically spitting out beats and lyrics accompanied by their DJ.

The crowd looked in awe as they plowed through an epic drum and bass set, pounding rhythm filled the stage as they sped through hits such as ‘Badman’ before taking the crowd back to 1991 with the days of bright white lights and jungle beats accompanied by 80’s sampling in the background of ‘Hooligan 69’.

The energetic duo claimed the biggest cheer so far as the crowd were on their feet, as Krafty Kutz returned to keep the crowd going as a calm before the storm things were about to get as mental.



It was the Summer of 1991 when these homegrown dance superstars hit the music scene big with their debut ‘Charley Says’, a warning regarding drug taking backed by a cartoon cat was bound to shock the nation. The then four piece were catapulted to stardom and twenty six years later their eager crowd awaited their idols arrival onto the dimly lit stage.

Now a three piece accompanied by Brummie guitarist Rob Halliday for the tour, producer and songwriter Liam Howlett took to his station high above the stage to a massive cheer with his blonde hair as spiky as ever, just how my friend from school who introduced me to them liked it.


Front man Keith Flint appeared in a white vest and trademark devil horn hair as the crowd erupted like a can of fizzy Coke as final member and leader Maxim stormed onto the stage in a leopard fur coat with a hood covering his head. Like a nymph he jumped onto the drum kit and the beat kicked in for ‘Resonate’.



The crowd jumped around moshing and raving reliving the heyday of the 90’s dance scene, a scene in which these boys from Braintree dominated bringing hit after hit within my childhood.

The interaction between Keith and Maxim was on fire as they plowed through their set list, Maxim and Rob cascading the audience with a shower of bottled water as the temperature soared within the intimate venue as they flew into ‘Everybody In The Place’.


Maxim exited the stage for a quick stop gap as those opening horn sirens filled the arena as Keith took the lead vocals. The multi aged crowd bounced from side to side and the 62 year old lady next to me sang along to ‘Firestarter’, as Keith acted virtually identically to the role he played in the music video.

The phenomenal set list didn’t end with something for everyone for new fans and old, the crowd going crazy for ‘Voodoo People’ and ‘Run’ with a nice surprise of ‘Their Law’ thrown into the mix.


Not ones to disappoint as bright strobes flickered across the stage the high octane performance delved a higher notch with ‘Poison’ and ‘Invaders’ before reaching climax with crowd favourite ‘Smack (MBU)’ Maxim getting the sell out crowd to get on the floor before jumping like a pogo stick to the beat.

Calls for more from the fans after the energetic performance, it’s hard to believe that these guys are coming up to their 50s, gave way to a three song encore.

With six albums and twenty two sIngle releases the crowd waited in anticipation for what was to come next. Early hit ‘No Good’ made way for Keith and Maxim to battle it out with the bands 1996 number one single ‘Breathe’ before the finale of newer track ‘Take Me To The Hospital’ led Keith bouncing around the stage with hand gestures and heart shaped interaction with the crowd.



The crowd were left on a humongous high having witnessed the epic performance. Outside on the way back into town people were buzzing from what they had witnessed, a couple from Liverpool described The Prodigy like a fine wine who had got better with age, others were speechless to the performance they had witnessed.

The tour takes to Glasgow on 18th December then Wolverhampton on the 19th and concluding with a three night run from December 21st – 23rd at the Brixton Academy.


Wild frontier
Everybody in the place
The day is my enemy
Voodoo people
Get your fight on
Need some one
Their law
Smack MBU

No good

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