Thursday, 20 March 2014

Blood Orange

Injections of live music used to bring on great euphoria but sadly, disappointment seems to be the top prize from such evenings over the last 12 months.

Pricey tickets, shit sound, too many dick heads, £5 for a can of warm beer that the sneering bar staff opens in front of you, no vibe - without wanting to sound like an old dick, all of these tings and more are wrankles when it comes to going out. And, as the crappy experiences have tended to outweight the good, there's been a general retreat from the clubs into the pubs where it doesn't cost you an arm to booze and the twat quota is low.

With this backdrop, when something's good, it really is fucking great - so it was with Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange when he played the Converse gig at the 100 Club. It was a mesmerising experience fo' sure.

Tickets were divvied up via an online raffle in which the majority of us lost out. I even queued up at midday like a proper fan boy to try and pick up one of the final ten pairs of tickets on offer but was unsuccessful there too. It was only by a chance last minute pull out that we could go. The whole vibe tasted even sweeter as a result.

The 100 Club spills out onto the tourist-shopping-armageddon of Oxford Road so there was a suitable amount of chaos both inside and outside the place, particularly as the now-New York based Dev Hynes wandered freely among the crowd giving high fives to friends old and new. After stints in previous outfits Test Icicles and Lightspeed Champion, he's seemingly found his true vocation as a producer for hire and solo artist in his own right. His studio tinkering with Solange, Sugababes and Sky Ferreira has all been top draw, potentially chart busting hits, but Dev's own material is arguably even better - his latest LP Cupid Deluxe sucks down hard on the best bits of Prince and Quincy before blowing it all back out in lurid smoking four minute pop cannon bombs. And even better is how he sounds live. Surprisingly, watching him in the flesh makes for a crisp, tight sound with Hynes twinkling and sprinkling right through it. This is despite looking like he and his attire (vest, truckers cap and baseball boots) have fallen out of a copy of I-D from the eighties. Even the vocal interplay between him and current squeeze Samanath Urbani is great - it's non-sickly, like a genuine Elton John and Kiki Dee.

The show finished with us drinking our own cans in the venue, an appearance from grime king Skepta and a stage invasion. In lesser hands, this could have been a car crash but instead Dev and his ace, agile band weaved circles around us and left the place in raptures. Hats off...
amantha Urbani

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