REVIEW: Underworld, The Wyldes, nr Bude, Cornwall, June 8, 2024

I can’t believe I’ve waited 30 years to see a band, whose first album under their proper moniker literally changed my life, and they didn’t disappoint.

Unbelievably, this is the first time that Underworld have played in Cornwall, as their first album Dubnobasswithmyheadman soundtracked my first period of living in Cornwall from 1994 to 1995.

Karl Hyde and Rick Smith are UnderworldKarl Hyde and Rick Smith are Underworld (Image: Oliver S Reed Photography)

Another band that also released a sublime debut album at the same time was Leftism by Leftfield and both these I listened to constantly.

I managed to see Leftfield finally last year and, while they were very good, Underworld knocked it out of the park - literally.

From the beginning Underworld went hard, there’s something disconcerting about a bloke looking like your headmaster grooving behind a wall of electrical equipment, but the sounds Rick Smith conjured from his bank of machines certainly weren’t funny at all!

Karl Hyde, looks incredible for his age, constantly throw shapes and streams of consciousness from behind Rick or encouraging the crowd out the front.

The band have plenty of classic tracks that they could of just played all night and it would still have been amazing.

Sure they played Cowgirl, Rez, Dark & Long (Dark Train), Mmm... Skyscraper, I Love You, Shudder / King of Snake and of course a stunning Born Slippy from the film classic Trainspotting.

But it was the first part of a three hour set that went really hard and deep cuts and lesser known tracks that got the crowd worked up into a frenzy.

Underworld thank the crowd after their setUnderworld thank the crowd after their set (Image: Oliver S Reed Photography)

When the laser show and impressive lights show and effects really kicked off in, in what was a lovely tree lined venue, the crowd were ecstatic.

Paying homage to Underworld at The WyldesPaying homage to Underworld at The Wyldes (Image: Oliver S Reed Photography/The Wyldes)

While there were a few younger people in the crowd, the majority of them were people around my age having the times of their lives reliving their youth. I for one haven’t danced so long and so continuously since the start of my raving days nearly three decades ago!

Stephen Merchant from The Outlaws and The Office fame put in an appearanceStephen Merchant from The Outlaws and The Office fame put in an appearance (Image: Paul Armstrong)

It shows the power of this show that as the end of Born Slippy built to a climax, I realised the very tall bloke in bright yellow near to me the whole gig was none other than Stephen Merchant of The Office and The Outlaws fame! Rave on!