Etienne De Crecy, Dirty Vegas, Joe And Will Ask?

Steven Morgan 03/02/2010

Rating: 4.5/5

I missed Joe and Will Ask?, I assume they were fucking phenomenal, because when I arrived the place was still pretty empty and most people were milling by the bar. Saying that though, Koko's particularly shit when it's a bit empty, so if it wasn't going to get fuller quickly, I'd be most upset. Most upset.

You know when you walk into a room and you think “Hey! There's a bunch of pricks on stage!”? That's the phenomenal effect Dirty Vegas enforce upon you. It's incredible to think that these guys got themselves a support slot for a rare British outing of Etienne De Crecy's world reknowned epic stage show. Damn, it's incredible to think these guys are playing at all. Steve Smith leapt around the stage with aplomb whilst waving his tambourine into the aural void as the blandest Ibeefa house pulsed behind him. The songs were underwhelming often dependent on a singular over repeated hook to distract you from the utter lack of progression or variation. Song after song shat out of innocent speakers embarrassed to be used in such a demeaning manner yet powerless to change anything. By the time we struggled to the "we've got two more songs" call, it was pure sadism that made them decide to play four more instead. Maybe it was just two more, I really couldn't tell.

I knew little about Etienne De Crecy other than his mild mannered Super Discount albums and a snippet of a Youtube video showing the wonder of his Beats N Cubes live show. The Live On Neptune EP showed great promise for a more uptempo, harsher edge to his sound since these albums, which was good as the EP is based on the live show itself. I wasn't fussed though, much like in Jerry Maguire “You had me at Youtube”.

It's an incredible show. A towering structure of 9 squares, 3 x 3 with Etienne positioned in the centre whilst the rest are used for the phenomenal light show with enveloping electronic music leaving you alternating between a gawping stare and an approximation of dancing. It starts simple with delicate rhythms and basic repeated solid light movements to acclimatise the crowd to the spectacle. Hundreds of mobile phone cameras stick up in the air as a sea of pricks think that their shitty quality footage will somehow be better than all the other shitty quality footage that clogs up Youtube. You're here to watch it live and enjoy yourselves, instead I struggle to glance between body odour pumping armpits aloft preferring the low resolution of their mobile screen to the ridiculous resolution of their own actual eyes. As the show progresses, the light show evolves into more sophisticated patterns as the beats become harsher, more involved with faster progression and darker sounds. It always threatens to explode but holds back with charming restraint occasionally falling to more trance-y elements which usually makes me want to vomit, but are just about to pulled off.

Forget the music though, this is as close as I'm gonna get to being in Tron. Not the remake which will inevitably be shit due to its subject being utterly ridiculous in today's context (Daft Punk better pull out all the stops with the soundtrack), but the original, iconic version. Darkness surrounds you as the only light sources come from the solid lines of beautifully choreographed geometry (and fire exit signs). Sure the music stumbles into the domain of Moby (aka Fuck Off Moby) every now and again, but this is an experience of the senses to be enjoyed as a once-in-a-lifetime thing no matter who you are.

You do wonder where he goes from here though.