Liam Howlett  @ Fabric

London, 21st July 2000

review by neko

I have to admit I am quite excited as I leave my home in London's East End towards the nearby Farringdon. Tonight Liam Howlett of Prodigy will finally DJ again, at Fabric, his first and so far only DJ set in 2000! Out of pure excitement I have indeed managed to fall down the stairs and almost break my leg this afternoon. Not funny!

I meet some friends at Farringdon Station, but we're terribly early, so we use the time to have a drink in a nearby pub. I really needed that! As the doors open at 10pm there's already long queues of people waiting to get in.

For those of you who have never been to Fabric, its a quite large club, mostly under the ground, with 3 rooms on 2 floors. In room 1 James Lavelle is on and the announcements on the walls have Liam Howlett scheduled for 1am to 3am.

As we're hanging around at the bar some Irish people ask me if I'm neko with the website, which is of course right, but still a bit weird. They're big Prodigy fans and have come all the way from Ireland for this DJ set! Also many other familiar faces from previous DJ sets turn up.

Fabric starts to get full very quickly and just before midnight I can suddenly spot Ex-Prodigy dancer Leeroy Thornhill coming into the room. He approaches the bar and is now actually standing beside me. Considering how much effort I used to put into travelling after The Prodigy it is quite surprising that I am literally too drunk already to care that this is Leeroy here, and since I wouldn't know anything intelligent to say, I just leave it for now. He soon is approached by quite a few fans who have spotted him now, but he apparently doesn't mind talking to them at all and is very down to earth and friendly.

I wander towards the room 1 and now I am a bit surprised, I see Liam walking through the room, not being recognized by anyone at all. And thats where I step in, hehe. As always I have to make a fool of myself at least once per night, so I am basically so shocked to see Liam just walking through this room that I just tap on his shoulder and say 'Hi Liam'. He is a bit confused and grins but since I don't even know anything to say I decide that this wasn't really the best idea of the evening.

Liam disappears again but now also around is Keith Flint, comepletely bald again, but of course also gets recognized by many fans. At about 0.30 Liam now enters the DJ booth, and starts to sort out his records.

view over the crowd from the stage opposite the DJ booth Room 1 is getting very full now, and as almost every Friday, Fabric is just too crowdedl! You almost can't move anymore. About 0.40 Liam starts his set with a Rage Against The Machine track from The Battle of Los Angeles, War within a breath if I'm not mistaken.

Opposite the DJ booth is a stage for people to dance on, so for the beginning we go for it, dancing up there overlooking the crowd, something I can really only do under the influence of a certain amount of alcohol!

Liam Howlett DJing Next is a quite commercial sounding track and then soon Got your money by Ol'Dirty Bastard. I'm personally not so much into this track and don't find it very 'danceable' so I leave the stage again and go a bit closer towards the DJ booth and take a few pictures of Liam in action. Makes me feel like a paparazzi and a teeniebopper in one.

Liam plays that tune with the Now hear Dis sample now, like he did at some of his DJ sets in 99. Still no one has told me the name of that track, so, come on, mail me if you know!

Liam Howlett DJing Liam with Keith Flint behind him

I wander around the DJ Booth now, in front of it it is horribly crowded, you almost can't get through.

You can click on all pics to see them full-size

Liam looking through his records The atmosphere is good though, everyone is buzzing to Liam's set. You can tell that there is quite a few Prodigy fans here and not just your usual Friday night clubbers. I remember Pills from Primal Scream's recent album Exterminator being played now. Great tune, the crowd loves it, but no big surprise really about him playing something of that album. There's of course as at previous DJ sets many of those unknown tracks in between, stuff I have never heard before and if, then only at previous DJ sets by Liam.

Also not missing are some of the tracks that were featured on his DJ album 'Prodigy presents the Dirtchamber Sessions Vol.1' like 'Rock the House' by the B-Boys, Medicines I'm Sick, Meat Beat Manifestos Radio Babylon, I get wrecked by Tim Dog and KRS One and especially Chemical Beats by the Chemical Brothers sounds amazing and gets everyone moving. Already a 'classic' of Liam's DJ sets is when he plays the much requested Mexican by Babe Ruth which is definitely one of the highlights of the set.

a look over the fence a look at the people dancing on stage

You can click on all pics to see them full-size

 "NOT this Internet girl again, please! ok, I'll smile and she'll go away!" Another highlight if not THE highlight is when the Chemical Brothers remix of Swastika Eyes by Primal Scream gets played. Like already last year when he played this tune at Homelands Ireland it goes down really well!

I am now behind the DJ booth, probably the best place to be, cause unlike in front of it, you actually have space to move!


Liam concentrated someone gives him thumbs up

Many people have been wondering if Liam was going to play any new Prodigy material at this DJ set (supposing that there is any, of course!!!!) and especially 'No Souvenir', that collaboration with 3D from Massive Attack, had been talked about. I doubt anything of what Liam played was new Prodigy material, but all of a sudden I see a very familiar face walking past me and entering the DJ booth. It is no one else than Rob Del Naja aka 3D from Massive Attack!

Keith is watching and Liam is smoking Liam always chooses a few weird tunes for his DJ sets and I just hope that when he played Aaliyah's 'Try Again' (some RnB chart hit) that this was meant to be one of the 'weird ones' and not a hint at what kind of music Liam is into at the moment! I'm not even trying to pretend that I am into this song just cause Liam played it, cause I'm really not. ;)

3D leaves the DJ booth again and is now just standing behind the DJ booth as well. I've been a quite big Massive Attack fan for years, and 3D is definitely one of those people I really look up to, so it's quite amazing for me that he is just standing around here now!

3D from Massive Attack! Liam DJing

Public Enemy gets played now with Welcome to the Terrordome plus also a very dancey remix of another Rage Against The Machine track. I am not even sure what RATM track it is, all I can recognize is Zack's voice, but I think it was a track from BOLA.

Keith Flint is also going in and out the DJ booth, while 3D asks around for a lighter. Liam now plays the breakbeat remix of Bugman by Blur. He had played this track once before at a DJ date, at Bug Jam, just about one year ago. At about 2.40 I can see that pink vinyl in Liam's hand, it can only be Never Mind the Bollocks by the Sex Pistols and I kinda expect him to play Pretty Vacant now, as he did at 4 of his DJ sets in 99. But no, it's not Pretty Vacant, neither is it New York, as on the Dirtchamber Sessions album, this time he goes for Holidays in the sun. The track doesn't go down as well as Pretty Vacant used to, proabybly cause it isn't as well known. With this track Liam's 2h DJ set is already finished and James Lavelle takes over.

Liam looking through his records Keith is also here

All in all this was another great DJ set by Liam Howlett. Once more he has kept his unique style, but still made this set different from his other sets I have seen. It would definitely rock if he did a few more DJ dates this year or Fabric would talk him into a monthly residency or something!

review and pics by neko

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new: 9:45 min excerpt of the soundfile in Real Audio [HERE]
(thanks to Spencer!)


Spencey's review

Here a 'guest review' by Spencer:

"Me and my friend first got to Farringdon station around 9:15, but then I had to meet up with another internet regular ‘Dalaw’. We then made our way towards the club.

First of all I would just like to stay how great The Fabric is as a club. Really Big club with 3 different rooms and some really kool lounge type areas, where ya can just sit down and chill. But onto the main reason why I was here!!! For Liam’s DJ set. My friend and me had managed to get in on the Guest list so we didn’t have to pay which was quite kool. Liam was scheduled to come on at 1:00 until 3:00 so we had a couple of hours to spare, so we decided to meet up with a couple of peeps we knew through the net Neko and Smitty <both from the ProCON team> and even met up with NG regular ‘SplitScreen’.We then decided to watch James Lavelle who was on before Liam. It was now 12:35 and we then saw Liam enter to his deck’s sorting out the records he was going to play etc, he was 25mins early before he was supposed to come on. Which was Kool.

Liam Howlett Liam concentrated DJing

You can click on all pics to see them full-size

Liam and James Lavelle Liam smoking

Liam started his set with a Rage against the machine track, which absolutely rocked. And a much different start to his set. Through all Liam’s other DJ set’s he usually started with dance tracks, after that very surprisingly he went into Ol' Dirty Bastard's 'Got Your Money'. Throughout Liam’s set he did still play quite a lot of stuff from the Dirtchamber including Tim Dog’s – I get wrecked, chemical beats and of Course the Mexican < Which I shouted to Liam during the set, and he gave me a grin, Thanx to Smitty!> Meat beat manifesto’s - radio Babylon and Medicine’s – I’m sick was also played.

choosing another record Liam with pink glasses

You can click on all pics to see them full-size

drinking head cut off ... sorry! Keith Flint and Mike Champion are watching

Probably the most surprising track Liam played was "Aliyah - try again" which is a r&b track although in my opinion I think it went down well. From what I can remember Liam played 2 Primal Scream tracks "Pills" and "Swastika eyes <Chemical Brothers Mix". Another highlight of the set for me was when he played Dylan Rhyme’s – Naked and ashamed which is a great track, and that really got the crowd going. By this time we started to make our way round to the back of the DJ booth, and then I noticed Keith and Leeroy, Keith was there without his classic "Horned" haircut, just complety bald <Like at Reading ‘ 98> just dancing along to Liam’s set not really caring bout people noticing it was him. Leeroy was just the same dancing in his Unique style, I of course had to go and say hi and get a pic with him ;PP. Room 1 now where Liam was playing was so crowded now you could hardly move, the possibility of even getting to the bar to get a drink was out of the question. Run DMC’s – Peter Piper was now the track Liam was playing, now I saw a familiar face it was "3D" from massive attack entering the DJ Booth to talk to Liam.

Liam concentrated DJ Liam at Fabric

Another personal favourite of mine now was played "Joey Beltram – Energy Flash" a track I can remember Liam playing at the Homelands Festival (Scotland) last year., now I could hear that great sample "Zeeger, Zeeger, Zeeger playing the records backward’s and so on" it could only be Rasmus – Punk Shock. A this time the security guard who was standing in the front of the entrance to the DJ booth, start signalling to me? He was like u got a light for 3D’S fag? And I was like nah and then simultaneously bout 20 people flicked their lighters at the same time!;PP <A moment I bet PT wish’s he was there; PP>. Now 3D was leaving the booth, I of course had to ‘Tap’ him on the shoulder and try to get a quick chat with him;P, he was very very kool bout it, and very down to earth and he didn’t mind talking to me. I chatted to him briefly bout No Souvenirs, and said "I’m surprised Liam didn’t play No Souvenirs", <joking of course> he just started to laugh and replied "Nah we wanna keep it underground for the moment" I then said "Any idea, for a release date then?" 3D Replied "Dunno yet, we’re probably gonna fucking change it another 10times before we release it anyway;P we then chatted briefly for another couple of minutes, and then I got a pic with him" The remainder of Liam’s set was track’s such as Blur’s Bugman but it was a strange breakbeat version of the Song <That version was also played at the bugjam I think. It was now 2:35 and we thought he would end his set with Sex Pistol’s – Pretty vacant <Cause all his DJ set’s in 99, Finished with that track> but no we all heard a few guitar riff’s and we were like ????.

Liam chose a record Liam Liam Howlett

What track is this Unbelievable it was "Holidays in the sun" another great pistol’s track. But to be honest in my opinion it didn’t go down that well, well not as well as ‘Pretty Vacant’ did in the past at his other DJ set’s, now we saw james lavelle enter the booth sorting out his records, he was to DJ again after Liam. And then we knew that was the last track and that Liam was leaving. 

So, a quick sum of Liam’s set. Definitely very surprising with 2 of the track’s Liam played ‘Aliyah - try again’ and Ol' Dirty Bastard's 'Got Your Money' being very ‘Charty’. And some Well-known favourites were missing ‘Blackalious - Alphabet Aerobics’ and ‘Chemical Brothers – Music Responce’. But as I have only see Liam DJ once before <at Last years Bugjam festival. I thought the Fabric set was great with a lot of underground dance tunes being played, that no-one really recognised. But overall a really great set! I just hope that Liam will DJ at some more places this year!. It was now 3:00 and time for me and my m8 to leave, trying to figure out how to get home; P"

by Spencer


Tracks Liam played:
(this tracklist is NOT in order and NOT complete, since we haven't got a soundfile yet)

B-boys : Cuttin Herbie & Rock the House
Rasmus : Punk Shock (not tonto`s release as it says on dirt.)
Run DMC : Peter Piper
Badder then Evil : Hot Wheels
Public Enemy : Welcome to the Terrordome
ODB : I got your money(dj dee kline and ed209 vocal breakbeat mix)
KRS-One and Tim Dog : I get wrecked
2 Rage against the Machine songs
Noreaga : Superthug
a remix of Moby`s Go
Joey Beltram : Energy Flash
Chemical Brothers :Chemical Beats
Dylan Rhymes : Naked and Ashamed
Babe Ruth :Mexican
Primal Scream : Swastika eyes <Chemical Brothers Mix>
Blur : Bugman <Breakbeat mix>
Meat beat manisfesto : Radio Babylon
Aaliyah : Try again
Sex Pistols : Holidays in the sun
Primal Scream : Pills
Westbam : Alarmclock
Medicine : I'm sick

thanks for help on the tracklist to John Roche and Spence

I'm trying to get hold of a full soundfile of Liam's set, keep checking back here!

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copyright 2000 by neko, all rights reserved