Monday, September 04, 2006

dj shadow at koko

Following last Tuesday, I feel it is my civic duty to urge anybody not already in possession of tickets for DJ Shadow's shows at Brixton Academy later this year to hurry up while the month is young and buy two for you and two for your friends. Minifig and I went to see the sickening genius play at Koko last week and he was nothing short of brilliant.

I know that people often drag out the old cliche of hairs standing on the back of your neck, but honestly, until I saw DJ Shadow, I never realised quite how hairy the back of my neck truly was. When DJ Shadow played it felt like my entire body was alert and on call. He really is one of the greatest artists alive now, and if you miss the opportunity to see him, I promise you, it would be akin to missing Mozart or Duke Ellington, Jacqueline Du Pre or Jimi Hendrix if they were playing in the pub round the corner.

I can't really explain why DJ Shadow is so special, except that there are truly few greater pleasures than watching somebody do something as well as it possibly can be done. Even if you know nothing about him, hate dance music and despise traipsing out in the middle of the winter to stand in a drafty gig venue, I beg you to see DJ Shadow this November. It was one of the greatest gigs I have ever been too, nicely topped off by the fact the man himself said we were truly 'dope' and he had enjoyed himself immensely.

Sure, there were plenty of daft DJ cliches - Lateef the Truth Speaker came out and did a little MC skit - cue much 'Are yooooouuuuuu reeeaaaaddddy Laaaahhhhddoooonnn, make some noooooiiiisssseeee!", alongside many distorted and slightly psychedelic projected video images - but when DJ Shadow is onstage, you have no choice but to keep one eye on the dancefloor and the other eye on his hands.

As if the evening couldn't be more perfect, I cannot leave this ridiculously enthusiastic review, without mentioning the crowd. DJ Shadow fans are some of the sweetest, most considerate and polite gig goers around, with no pushing, shoving and general idiocy, but a general feeling of cosy camaderie and excitement. I have rarely felt as comfortable at a gig, and perhaps more to the point, more concerned that those around me were equally comfortable. And no, there were no chemicals involved, unless you count a couple of cigarettes, two cans of Kronenberg and a Diet Coke - in which case, I highly recommend it.

Last one to Brixton Academy is a loser.


At 04 September, 2006 21:18 , Blogger paddington said...

Robert Christgau on DJ Shadow's Endtroducing...:

"Armed with a sampler, a sequencer, and the black plastic he gave up trying to catalogue in 1989, 24-year-old Josh Davis of Davis, California and London, England distills everything he loves about drumbeats, symph-schlock, and oddball Americana into a 63-minute work with a beginning, a middle, and a to-be-continued.

Some under a minute, some over nine, the 13 tracks are designed for headphones--Apollonian even if beat-driven, their only vocals spoken-word and comedy samples that accrue a mysterious fascination without ever revealing their relevance to each other or anything else.

Except, that is, for the 30-second intro to the six-minute "Building Steam With a Grain of Salt," in which a square, self-taught drummer explains himself as a reassuring crackle attests to his vinyl authenticity down in the mix: "I'd like to just continue to be able to express myself as best as I can. And I feel like I'm a student of the drums. And I'm also a teacher." And then he chuckles nervously. And then Davis loops that chuckle for a second or two, making of it music and chaos and satire and self-mockery and music all at once."

At 04 September, 2006 21:38 , Blogger darling vicarage said...

and that, my dear, is what you call an A+ review


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