Pendulum @ The Custard Factory, Birmingham – 16th May 2008


Pendulum‘s sound has shifted a little for the new album, In Silico, and, from what I’ve heard, so has their fan base. They’ve taken on a rockier band-based sound, more akin to The Prodigy, and left some of their die-hard drum ‘n’ bass fans behind, while picking up new ones along the way — of course some people will always complain but nobody wants to hear a band put the same album out twice.

The Custard Factory‘s Space2 is a fitting venue for tonight’s gig then as it has undergone some changes of its own. From its humble beginnings as a once bustling industrial centre for Bird’s pink instant-custard powder, to the place to be for anything artistic or slightly underground.

On the bill tonight in support of Pendulum is a DJ set by London-based breakbeaters, The Breakfastaz. They play a largely drum ‘n’ bass set, lace it with a bit of rock and throw in some remixes to keep the crowd singing and dancing for an hour.

It’s past 12.30 by the time Pendulum take the stage and, due to the largely inaccessible bar, I don’t think anybody could be plied with enough alcohol to wait patiently any longer, and so the excessive cheering when they do show is understandable.


Opening with the frenetic Blood Sugar, the room instantly jumps into life. Fasten Your Seatbelt has much the same effect and things only slow down, for a while at least, half way through the night for the acoustic intro of Girl In The Fire. Their remix of Voodoo People quickly brings the room back up to temperature and sets the pace for the rest of the evening.

Coming to the end of the set Pendulum show they’re really not about to get lazy — with the buzz-sawed, dance floor favourite, Slam, the fast-paced and trance-like Granite, the chilled out Hold Your Colour and newest single Propane Nightmares, it’s a stunning finish.

The only problem for me, however, was that I could have done without MC Verse shouting over the top of the music constantly, in an effort to keep the hands high and feet moving. I don’t imagine the atmosphere inside the custard factory would have been any different if MC Verse hadn’t been there — either way it was a very impressive set that left my ears ringing for the first time in a long time.

Review – Ash Carter
Photos – Tom Horton

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