You would be hard pushed to pick a time when Röyksopp weren’t somewhere close to the top of their game, but one of their closest periods to being at their best was definitely in 2006, shortly after the release of their magnificent second album The Understanding. The live performances that ensued yielded an exception extended live EP, Röyksopp’s Night Out, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this week.
The bulk of the tracks are singles, starting with What Else is There? which is largely performed in the same form as it appeared on the preceding album. It’s an excellent song, and sounds amazing live, as does the first single from the second album Only This Moment. This is definitely a performance I would have loved to have attended, as hearing it on CD can only be a fraction of the experience, and when I finally saw Röyksopp live a couple of years later, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed.
Purists and lovers of debut album Melody AM may disagree, but for me, the Someone Else’s Remix of Remind Me is vastly superior to the original, and even if you aren’t convinced by that point, you surely have to agree that it fits better here. The vocal effect may detract just a touch from the power of the song, but it still sounds life-changing to me.
Also from the first album is Sparks, performed here in a hybrid of its original album form and a much livelier remix. This time I would probably agree with the purists – particularly when they have to start missing lyrics out, this isn’t quite as good as the album version, which really does send shivers down your spine, but it’s still very strong nonetheless.
Poor Leno appears here in the form of the brilliant Istanbul Forever Take version from the single, and it sounds truly enormous. The only thing that’s notably lacking is the vocal from the original, which is a shame, but this version definitely has its place here too.
After all the singles, it’s time to take a break with some more obscure moments, starting with Go Away, from the bonus disc of The Understanding. On the album, it falls a little flat somehow, definitely lacking the strength to belong on the first disc. Here, somehow the energy of its neighbours has fired it up too.
Alpha Male comes next, pretty much in its entire album form from The Understanding, followed by a cover of Queens of the Stone Age‘s Go with the Flow, so good and so unique that prior to the release of this EP it had already seen service as the b-side to Beautiful Day without You. As with the rest of this performance, it’s overflowing with power and energy, but this time in a much more raw, rock-based form. Which is every bit as glorious as anything else on here.
Finally, the energy drops with the beautifully arpeggiated Teppefall, a short instrumental which closes the concert, and is exclusive to this release. In the end, Röyksopp really were on top form during this period, and this is an essential entry in their highly accomplished catalogue. Perhaps not one for absolute beginners, but definitely one for budding completists.
For me, Röyksopp’s Night Out is probably their finest hour. Or forty minutes, anyway.
You can still get hold of Röyksopp’s Night Out through all major retailers.