Well, tickets purchased AGES before the return of Death In Vegas, this was an event I was much looking forward to. It sold out long before I thought it would- finger off the pulse, the last time I saw them was back at the beginning of the century (end of the last?) during the Contino Sessions tour. A great gig then, but not sold out. It appears they have a new generation of folk into their brand of not particularly mainstream techno/dance (my- that phrase looks dated).
Indeed it was an empty venue on arrival (Sundays are weird ones for gigs- I guess Peeps want to allow their roasts to settle, and TV fodder to come to a suitable conclusion before venturing out to a night of having to move.) It soon filled.
I spent the support act and DJ slot sitting (allowing roast to settle), the support act- who, criminally, I didn’t get the name of, were very good, lots of bass assisting the settling of roasted meats, and suitable noise and ambient drones- nice.
Death In Vegas, ambled onto stage at a later hour (ooh, 9ish?) and the temperature in the Concord2 was unbelievable- this is December people! A veritable hotbox of Guardian reading funkateers (really, I suspect most of the tickets were sold on the back of ‘favourable’ write ups in the ‘right’ papers) filled the dark belly of the venue.
Starting with the first single off the new album, Your Loft My Acid, a good place to start, as those new to the band would be instantly pleased, and those, like I, who had recently settled roasts in need of a little ‘movement persuasion’, could start to ‘shimmy’. And, really, DiV are a great sound live. Richard Fearless is very aware of what makes the difference between a club crowd and a gig crowd- different synapses need stimulating you see. Clubs are all about a journey whose destination is above where you are, made by stops that are above their previous destinations. Gigs, are more of an undulating, wibbly-wobbly beast- not so predictable, where the final resting place is pretty much the same- but, there are far more surprises on the way.
A beautiful reconstruction of ‘Dirge’ off Contino Sessions was next- a guy like Fearless is all about revisiting stuff and remodelling to fit the current mood, this he has done wonderfully- although it was not as ‘dirgy’ as the original.
A few dips into the excellent new album ‘Trans-Love Energies’ followed- Scissors and Coum, both evoking the more Krautrock/ Throbbing Gristle tendencies of Fearless’ new (neu?) direction. Wonderful analogue synths and simple percussion give a warm note to what is often perceived as a cold musical genre.
We then started the real grist of the night.
‘Medication’ the new single, is a wonder- really, if you can, hunt out the Richard Fearless Nightcrawler Remix, drums and acid and things you want to hear- it made me weep when I first heard it. I should say at this point that I was generally disappointed by the lack of dancing/moving/rhythm by those in my immediate vicinity (not including those I was with, you understand), I mean appalling- did they read a favourable review and think you just stood? This is a dance band, they make music you dance to, if you can’t dance, I’m sure that those beats at that volume will entice the smallest amount of funk from the most immovable of all beings- crap, Brighton is going to be void of all culture if it continues to constantly drift up its own defecation hole! MOVE PEOPLE!
‘Blood Yawning’ was another beast unleashed, it grew and Grew and GREW- now, I have this on limited Edition Etched 12″ released back when I could drink more and suffer less, and it was ok- not this thing I was now grooving to (albeit slightly reservedly, lest I bump into a ‘appreciator of the arts'[tossers MOVE!]), a lolloping ‘Death Threat’ and then the most cinematic rendition of ‘Aisha’ I’ve heard- truly wonderful, I’ve divulged my personal story of this track within these (digikal) walls, and so I was left awestruck and swaying to the beauty.
‘Savage Love’ delivered more of the hip swinging loveliness I was getting used to on the winters eve, and indeed I had to leave the arena briefly as it really was too hot! A fabulous ‘Moe Tucker’ ode to her of Velvet Underground fame was followed by a suitably Underground themed ‘Hands Around My Throat’ a Miss Kittin meets early Daniel Miller/Dominatrix/S&M thing- lovely.
All this was heading to a pleasant close.
What I wasn’t fully expecting was the concert finale…
Now this was a tune that meant I didn’t really care whether those next to me would be upset- it made me so happy! You know one of those tunes that as it develops you can only really say yes! (unless you’ve got yer bassface on and can only say ‘c’mon!'( I may have done this))
Kind of like a Vitalic’s ‘Valletta Fanfares’ soaked in acid, with breakdowns, and crashing snares everywhere, strobes to enhance the senses, and, and, and, all those things that make great dance tracks truly great- I think every trick was bunged in- or not, maybe the beauty was the simplicity of it all, it sounded complex though- and when it finished, those who understood looked genuinely pleased/stunned in equal measures. Mr Fearless had delivered a fantastic thing. Lord knows what it would have felt like on a Friday!