Venue: Union Chapel Date: 07/09/10 The Union Chapel is a beautiful venue, and served as a perfect setting for the premiere of the new Relentless film – their first feature length offering, “Lives Of The Artists; Follow Me Down”. The film switches between two distinct parts; following UNKLE (who soundtracked the film) on tour and following Jeremy Jones and Xavier De La Rue as they take to the slopes, in Antarctica. Each of these parts mixed footage from the events themselves (UNKLE performing live in Moscow, Jeremy and Xavier ice climbing and snowboarding in incredibly scenery) alongside interviews and discussions with the main players. Jeremy Jones kicked off by saying that he’d grown slightly jaded of all the support teams that normally follow him on an expedition – being helicoptered to the top of slopes and picked up again at the bottom (it’s a hard life...) and he wanted to do something different – hence the trip to Antarctica, where him and Jeremy first climbed the peaks they wanted to snowboard. Cue some truly impressive filming in beautiful scenery, including helmet-cam footage from one of their ice-climbs that was one of the most incredibly things I’ve ever seen; my whole family are keen climbers and mountaineers but obviously not to this extent, and watching someone lead a climb on ice really was remarkable to watch. As a long-time fan of UNKLE I found it very interesting to hear James Lavelle talk about the rise of the band and the formation of MoWax records, and he spoke surprisingly candidly about the backlash following the release of Psyence Fiction and the changes in the band that followed as a result. Watching footage of them performing in Moscow made my heart leap – the crowd looked amazingly stoked and I really wished I was there. There’s no doubt that this is an incredibly emotive film – it really lifted my spirits and made my breath catch in my throat. Filmed with both passion and compassion, the two different aspects are both about art, but whereas James Lavelle turns it outward, Jeremy Jones turns it inward; it was very interesting to see the two different approaches. If I had to criticise, I’d say that the two elements of the film weren’t really linked all that well – it was more a case of 15 minutes with UNKLE, then 15 minutes with Jeremy and Xavier. The pervasive themes of art, aspiration and achievement ran through every minute of the film, but some of the transitions were vaguely awkward. However, the footage, the cinematography, the music and the sense of wonder are constant throughout. One quote from the film that really stuck with me was this; “Love is the most rewarding and the most destructive of emotions”. Having seen live footage of UNKLE during the film, I was in two minds as to whether the Union Chapel was the right venue for them to perform in. I needn’t have worried. Towards the end of the film the Heritage Orchestra set up - with the strings and percussion on stage and the brass and wind in the alcoves above – they started playing along with the credits and then seamlessly continued into the set, which featured a lazer show that probably put every other lazer show I’ve ever seen to shame (and I’ve been to Glastonbury 3 times). Multi-coloured beams bathed the Chapel in light, casting strange and shifting shapes in the smoke above the stage. Joined on stage at different times by Leila Moss, Joel Cadbury and current UNKLE singer Gavin Clark, James Lavelle dipped into UNKLE’s extensive back catalogue, taking tracks from Never Never Land, Psyence Fiction, End Titles – Stories For Film and Where Did The Night Fall and playing these alongside new songs to create a set that had the entire Chapel spellbound. Dedicating ‘The Healing’ to the wife of an UNKLE collaborator, who had sadly died earlier that evening, raised the level of emotion in the room to almost unbearable levels. Setlist: 'Forever' 'Reign' 'Heaven' 'Ever Rest' 'Against The Grain' 'In A State' 'The Healing' 'Lonely Soul' On an aside; Relentless Berry tastes surprisingly good with gin. All images used courtesy of Relentless and Radiator PR