Coming up in the next few months, London comes alive in the run up to the festive period. A proliferation of club events, live music shows and other forms of entertainment fill the calendar, making social planning both easier and yet paradoxically a bit of a headache. An event set to fulfil such criteria is Crazy P’s headline show at Electric Brixton on Thursday 14th November. Promising to be the outfit’s biggest live performance in their history, the night will centre around the music from their latest album, The Age Of Ego. The LP released earlier this year to critical and public acclaim was further evidence that Crazy P are one of the most respected bands in dance music. Let’s go right back to the beginning to understand the origins and journey of the disco heartthrobs.
Crazy P began life as merely a two-piece production unit. In 1996, founding members Chris Todd and James Baron linked up in a studio in the Nottingham area. The duo experienced moderate success, releasing several singles loosely described as “deep house”. They would ultimately be indecisive in choosing a permanent artist name, putting music out under various different monikers. By the time that Manchester stronghold Paper Recordings picked them up in 1997, a sound had stuck - and a name was about to. Crazy P was born. Allegedly, it derived from the name of a record owned by Todd called loco pinga, the literal translation being “crazy penis.” The intended use was of course one of tongue-in-cheek, but it proved popular and so stuck.
Already in the dawn of the project, the trademark soulful influence layered over a 4/4 beat can be detected. Less than 2-years later, the debut album was ready. A Hot Bath With… would be the first in a hot streak of LPs that stretches to the present day, with Crazy P adopted the format as their preferred modus operandi. Although essential a house record, the debut album would feature acid jazz, downtempo electronica and hint towards the future progression of their sound.
Over the course of the next three albums, the unit would cement their style in addition to bringing more musicians into the set-up. First to be added was bass player Tim Davies, before vocalist Danielle Moore and percussionist Matt Klose were also recruited as the band expanded to a quintet.
Though these early records found favour with some of the most influential faces in the scene at the time - including certain Haçienda regulars Greg Wilson and Laurent Garnier - the outfit’s profile didn’t really skyrocket until they went on tour to Australia. Whilst Down Under, something clicked, and the live show proved incredibly popular with Australian audiences. This would spark as the catalyst for Crazy P gaining deserved recognition in their home country and in other territories. For a brief period, Crazy P operated in a strange dual-existence, where they were DJing sweaty basement venues in London one weekend, and selling out arenas with a full band on the other side of the world the next.
The next stage of the band’s evolution can be seen as the departure from Paper Recordings, and signing with 2020 Vision. It was around the same time that they made the conscientious decision to drop “-enis” from their name, and officially become known as Crazy P citing their determination to be taken seriously in the music business. 2008’s Stop Space Return was the first fruit borne of this new era, and the point to which we can trace back the current form.
Today, Crazy P are still paying homage to disco past’s whilst simultaneously pushing a progressive version to audiences. Their sets are undeniably electronic music, with nods to electro, synth pop, acid and always with a futuristic glaze.
Crazy P takeover Electric Brixton on Thursday 14th November. First release tickets are on sale now.