Saturday, October 31, 2009

Delphic / Two Door Cinema Club / Old School Tie @ The Rainbow, Friday 30th October 2009

Achingly cool French label Kitsuné hit the Rainbow with a double header of two of their latest discoveries ably supported by local dubby dance psych legends Old School Tie. What’s not to like eh? I suppose the gig could be on a tropical island populated by nymphomaniac porn stars and an endless supply of Weston’s Old Rosie but we can’t have everything can we? Squint a little and that forlorn looking plant in the corner of the room could almost be a palm tree and I reckon one of the security guards on the door would be up for a quick fumble if you fancied it…

First up roll yerself a phat one, brew up some shrooms and indulge in some serious dubby dancey rubba dubby fan dubby dozeee dubbiness…it’s Old School Tie. Resisting the temptation to strip naked and do those strange handmoves that you see old hippies do in films about Woodstock instead I let myself drift off into a magical world of purples and golds where talking lobsters float across marshmallow skies. Yes, there’s something in the air, and it’s not the smell of the Rainbow toilets. If you let it, the music of OST really does take you places, especially on tracks like their epic masterpiece (and, as ever, one of the set’s highlights) ‘God’s Electric Super Scene’. Watching this band live is always a joy because they all seem to be having a genuinely great time up there, in fact you get the sense that they’d play like that whether they had an audience or not. The bass player (tall chap, curly hair) in particular spent most of the set bouncing up and down like Tigger on speed and having the time of his life. The last track of the set (a new one?), the rockier ‘We Are Machines’ got the crowd throwing all kinds of shapes and could well give ‘Gods Electric Super Scene’ a run for it’s money when it comes to their best song.

Next, if Foals met Vampire Weekend on the dancefloor of their local indie disco the result would sound a lot like Two Door Cinema Club…probably. Go on. Have a listen. I’ve nailed it haven’t I? Oh alright then, please yourselves. It took a couple of numbers for the boys from Bangor to get the crowd to shuffle forwards but, with the frankly irresistible ‘Something Good Will Work’ the same posse that had just been getting down with OST were, as they used to say back in the day, ‘having it large’. ‘No One Can Talk’ (what Editors would sound like on an E) seemed to go down particularly well too. A good showing, if a little nervous in places (but then I guess the sight of a Rainbow full of Friday night revellers is enough to throw anyone off their stride a little). If you’re Birmingham based you can catch ‘em (and I heartily recommend that you do) on November 8th at The Hare & Hounds.

Finally Delphic. I was struggling to think of a way of describing this band but happily I met a lovely chap just before their set started who’d seen them before and he neatly summed them up as Underwold meets Joy Division. Genius. Makes my job a lot easier. I’ve seen them referred to as ‘post dance’ too. So that’s what the Royal Mail are up to eh, bopping around sorting offices all over the country instead of delivering our gas bills? Truth be told there’s a mighty slab of the early 90’s dance scene with Delphic, from the beats right through to the ravetastic lighting set up…strobe lights, neon lights, LED lights…basically a whole big light thing. Standing quite close to the stage my retinas now resemble those crispy bits of chorizo sausage that you get on pizzas. Nice. Anyway, back to the music. Delphic have that kind of early 90’s trippy, trancey approach to dance music that stirred distant memories of dodgy nights in even dodgier nightclubs during my dim and distant student days. Take their big anthem ‘Counterpoint’, New Order-ish guitars and Beloved (remember, they did ‘The Sun Rising’?) style floaty, bleepy bits. The crowd went nuts for this track in particular (although there was a fair bit of hands in the air stuff going on throughout the set), the slightly chilled out section giving them a breather before a clattering build up (and enough flashing lights to bring on epileptic fit) left the more active amongst us a sweaty mess (even I threw a couple of shapes at one point…I’m sorry, it won’t happen again). Despite clearly being designed for (and destined) to play enormodomes and Summer festivals the whole thing worked really well in the confines of the Rainbow, not a trick that every ‘dance’ act can pull off but down to the fact that, despite being dancey, the band were actually playing live (guitars, samplers, keyboards, those little drum things that Depeche Mode used to use). Now, I’m off to find myself some glow sticks…sorted.

PS: Proper photos of this gig were taken by the lovely Mr Wayne Fox (check out Da Snappers section to the left of this)...who gave us a lift home after the gig too. What a lovely man.

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