Monday, 25 August 2008

Review: Chromeo Hidden Depths, The End


Upon arrival, about 10pm, it was quickly clear that the organisers had massively oversubscribed this one. People were queuing around the block to get in, and it was only the press line that got us entry at all. A fair bit of huffing and puffing from fellow press packers (lets call them this) got the line moving, and before you could mutter 'unfavourable review' (not my style, personally) we were inside, beer tokens in hand (actual beer tokens - brilliant! - they know how to buy a happy journalist don't they) with a last, sympathetic look at the masses curdling outside, unlikely to see the bottom of a San Miguel bottle before 1am.

Inside it was jumping. People were packed in wall to wall, but the atmosphere was incredible, a really happy, excited crowd. No doubt the free entry helped. Seams of well turned out Indie Kids
ran through the sedimentary layers of intrigued inbetweeners, all bobbing happily to Herve and Annie Mac, who against the advertised lineup were playing together. This, as the rumours purported, was because the two are definitely an item. I'm not one to get much of a kick from gossip (even if it is the slightly tounge in cheek gossip of the love affair of two electro/house DJs) but in the intimacy of The End, where you almost walk right into the DJ booth when entering the main room, it is hard to ignore them when they are sharing a tasty wonk set and a good bit of old tonsil tennis in the booth!

Both were on form, playing steady fidget and glitchy electro, a mixture of the less known and the current big hitters (!). And Annie Mac's A.N.N.I.E. T-Shirt! (See below) Fuck the Erol original. I want this! I had to try hard to resist the urge to attempt a high-five with her in appreciation. (again, this is what the intimacy of the end encourages (Sorry Annie, but the way, this isn't your best light, slight quivering lip, bad photo)).

As the zero hour, the hour of Chromeo's cometh neared, things began to get a bit fanatical. People poured into the right hand side of the main room to try and get a perch with a view of the stage. Here the weakness of The glorious End was exposed - a club just not designed for a live gig that everyone in the whole building not only wants to hear but, as is the convention of live music, wants to, believe it or not, see. Various problems ensued, like firstly not being able to move, and then getting pushed over. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one to shy away from a good, packed in crowd. I like the smell of another man's hairin my face as much as anyone, but this got a little silly. So much so that the organisers, and fair play to 'em (and they got a good bit of booing from the idiots who somehow sneaked in) they halted the gig until people backed off and left those at the front some more room.

And then, finally, to a a reception I had never predicted, Chromeo took the stage. The one question that was nagging us all night was 'how are so many people into Chromeo?' I had no idea they were this big (to commend a several crushings, football style chantings and a two hour queue outside??!). Unless their record lable, in association with San Miguel, has somehow convinced half the population of, say, Peterborough, that they XXHeartz ChromeoXX LOLS by giving them all free tickets and a selection of ringtones of Needy Girl. This isn't meant to sound bitter, like some 'they've sold out$$$€€' bullshit tirade. I think it's a great thing. I was just genuinely surprised.

The gig itself was not bad. Visibility was mixed, even for myself at just less than 6 foot, which instantly reduced my feeling of connection with the show, even though, in fairness to the organisers, they had a live video feed playing at the back of the room. Chromeo actually seemed a little too awestruck by their reception to genuinely make use of the fervent atmosphere. As the set progressed they began to enjoy things slightly more, but I would have liked a bit more playfulness, experimentation and madness. Some of the lighter funk-pop numbers seemed a little lost in the atmosphere, and it wasn't until the Needy Girl finale that their sound really cut through the crowd. By that point things had gone wild, and all seemed right again, in the way that a really fantastic pop tune can make you forget all that came before.
Overall a good night out, with some surprises, and the overwhelming feeling that Chromeo still have some growing to do to fill the boots that they've made for themselves (or have been made for them!), but I don't doubt that at the same event next year they really would act like they were curating the night, and make the show theirs.

Fellow Lofi Hifi crew and housemate Ciara tells us its 2am and the only way is Clapton. (Via MaccieD's, ouch)

All photos copyright Charlotte Sweeney 2008 All rights reserved.


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