Faithless

UEA

Melodic, intelligent and socially and politically conscious, Faithless have always managed to ascend above the slick, hype driven pop-scene without any real effort.

But at the same time their very own brand of 'protest music' has remained accessible and never fallen into the trap of the Band Aid-troupe which can at times seem patronising and trite.

So it is no surprise that their special one-off performance at the UEA sold-out within hours of being announced. This is a band accustomed to playing before tens of thousands so seeing them perform in such intimate surroundings was a bit like watching Manchester United having a kick around in the street.

Their anthemic sound is well-suited to the country's more chasm-like venues but to hear it at such close quarters is a treat.


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Tracks from their new album, To All New Arrivals, felt unfamiliar but lead single Bombs, with its chugging, understated beat, social analysis and decidedly anti-war stance, makes an impressive start.

I for one couldn't help feeling the obligatory performance of Insomnia, the single which many true fans blame for attracting a 'chav element' to the band, felt tired (if you can excuse the pun).

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But on the likes of Mass Destruction and Muhammad Ali, Maxi Jazz displayed the urgency which makes his voice unique. God Is A DJ was the inevitable highlight and choruses of 'this is my church' will be ringing around listeners' ears for days, like a form of sinister but irresistible tinnitus.

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