Rudimental – review

Oran Mor, Glasgow

This tour was booked when jungle collective Rudimental had just one No 1 under their belt. Now they have two, and should probably be playing bigger stages – not least because of their ballooning body count. Live, their core songwriting quartet is bolstered by a drummer, a roaming trumpeter and three singers. On a congested stage in a sold-out venue, Rudimental radiate positivity through close proximity.

Their imminent debut album, Home, features a tombola of guest vocalists – including Emeli Sandé, the Zelig of pop-soul – but the practicalities of touring mean everyone pitches in. Ella Eyre takes the lead on More Than Anything, a kissing cousin of Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy, while Thomas Jules bravely subs for US firecracker Angel Haze on rap-filled torch song Hell Could Freeze. There are reggae workouts, deep house interludes, a well‑received Fugees cover and constant yet cheerful hectoring from hype man DJ Locksmith.

What is appealing about Rudimental – over and above their ability to synthesise the past two decades of urban dance music into a polished yet occasionally surprising whole – is that they are so nice, a pretty radical dance stance. They write songs rather than tracks, and are more interested in ache than bling. This nurturing vibe means they can plausibly chart a course between the stadium house of Faithless and the sweatbox hedonism of Basement Jaxx.

John Newman pops up to reprise his crooned vocal on Rudimental's first megahit Feel the Love, and the reaction is so intense, tech-wranglers Piers Agget and Kesi Dryden emerge from behind their equipment stacks to share the applause. They encore with a Live Lounge-approved ska version of Paramore's Now that needle-skips into Bob Marley's Sun is Shining. Then Eyre sings Waiting All Night, a plea for romantic validation braided with jungle breakbeats, the second pearl on what could become a string of chart-toppers.

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Contributor

Graeme Virtue

The GuardianTramp

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