Leftfield, the iconic British electronic music pioneers, graced the stage at Manchester’s New Century Hall. Having been gone for quite some years they wasted no time in reaffirming their position within the electronic landscape. Led by Neil Barnes (the sole original member), Leftfield unleashed a sonic spectacle that transcended boundaries and captivated the audience from the get go.
As the lights dimmed, Leftfield set the tone by opening their set with “Pulse,” A gripping track from their latest album, “This Is What We Do.” Neil Barnes, ever the innovator, engaged the crowd with a touch of irony, utilising a robotic voice simulator to deliver messages of living in the present and detaching from mobile devices. This unique twist added a playful and thought-provoking layer to the performance.
With their fusion of progressive house, dub, and reggae, they have sculpted a genre-defying sound that continues to shape the musical landscape. Throughout the show, Leftfield blended new and classic tracks, showing their unwavering confidence in the new material. One standout moment was the infectious and pulse-inducing “Accumulator.” Exemplifying Barnes’ ability to bring high energy and deliver catchy-as-hell beats that had the entire crowd in a frenzy. It was a testament to Leftfield’s enduring ability to create music that is both innovative and irresistibly groovy.
Beyond the sonic landscape, Leftfield’s visuals and atmospheric elements transported the audience into a realm of psychedelia and contemplation. Yet, when the beats dropped, the energy surged through the venue causing the, thankfully rather robust, original sprung dance floor to test its limits. Leftfield’s ability to balance introspective exploration with pulsating energy created an immersive experience that reverberated through every soul in attendance. One thing that has changed since Leftfield’s notoriety at Brixton Academy (which has since been etched in music history) is that the decibel levels no longer reach that of the deafening roar of a Boeing 747 taking off. This is the only sign of Leftfield mellowing.
As the encore approached, Leftfield unleashed their timeless classics. “Melt,” “Song of Life,” and “Phat Planet” need no introduction. These tracks, worth their weight in cryptocurrency, have soundtracked countless late-night raving shenanigans over the past couple of decades. Their inclusion in the performance brought waves of nostalgia and euphoria, uniting the audience in a collective celebration of dance music history.
Leftfield’s fusion of genres, their ability to captivate audiences with a mesmerising blend of old and new, and their innovative use of technology make them an unmatched force in the music industry and still a captivating experience.
Making A Difference
Release the Pressure
This is What We Do
Power of Listening
Song of Life
Check out our other reviews here.