Chase & Status

JAKE ALDEN-FALCONER: gets ‘swept away by the relentless waves of frenetic energy’

Cambridge Corn Exchange Chase & Status DJ Drum 'n Bass DubStep Liam Bailey

Thursday 10th March, Cambridge Corn Exchange:


Heavy bass reverberates down the windy backstreets and the deafening roar of thousands of fans breaks through the historic doors of the Corn Exchange: Chase & Status have entered the building. I wade through the sweaty sea of teenagers to get a glimpse of the two artists: there they are, between a wall of speakers, arms raised to the crowd and standing proudly behind a giant flashing ‘C’ and ‘S’. I try to slide between the sticky bodies ahead of me, but I can’t get any farther forward; Plan B’s face has filled the stage screens and the crowd is going wild.

Jammed between two topless skinheads and a group of teenage girls, their classic drum ‘n bass track Pieces gathers momentum. Everyone around is screaming/jumping/singing/crying (it all gets too much for one girl)- when suddenly the sound dissipates. There’s a pause as the entire building waits for the bass to drop. It feels like we’re approaching the top of a rollercoaster. Then, finally, the sound is released, and once again everyone around is screaming/jumping/singing/crying, and the appropriately named MC Rage is bouncing around the front of the stage, shouting so aggressively at the crowd I wonder if he’s trying to start a fight.

Chase & Status have come a long way: from two students DJing at house parties in the early ’90s, they evolved into the biggest names of DnB/UK Bass, were midwife at the birth of Dubstep, and more recently had Rihanna and Jay Z both vying for their attention.


On tour for their new album, No more idols, their set combines classic C&S tracks and new collaborations with soulful artists like the cheeky Liam Bailey- who I spy up on the VIP balcony, dancing mischievously with a group of scantily-clad girls. They play heavy bass and fast beats, dance music I’d thought was long dead- it turns out I was wrong. If anything it seems only to have grown. You might think drum ‘n bass is ‘old’, or you might never have liked it, but in that crowd with a circular mosh pit of hideously sweaty youths throwing themselves around so unbecomingly, you can’t help but be swept away by the relentless waves of frenetic energy emanating from the stage.

Accuse them of selling out, or even  losing their musical edge; but you really can’t deny: Chase & Status are an amazing live show.