Saturday - Jamie Lidell Rocks - 05/11/05
Friday night we were back at the Sage to see Jamie Lidell, same room as Fourtet, so I knew what the set-up would be this time round. It was a later start with it being a Friday night with "Jackson And His Computer Band" being up first at about 10.30pm.
Warp records' Jackson Fourgeaud, played a pretty unenthusiastic beefed up version of his album, with the emphasis on a heavy 4 to the floor kick, which delighted the few people that were dancing (in very interesting ways) with insane grins on their faces and some quality gurning going on.
A simple laptop and mixer set-up, I'm not sure exactly what he was doing up there, bit of a disappointment as the album "Smash" is really good.
A quick DJ break featuring the North-East's Smoove and Raj Pannu (who had the personality of a couple of undertakers) and the crowd poured in for Jamie Lidell.
Walking on stage like an electronica version of Penn and Teller, in a long black mac Jamie resembled a dirty old man with his visuals pal Pablo Fiasco (dressed like a charity shop super- hero, complete with silver cape and 3D effect visor) he started off with singing one of the more slower Motown style album tracks, then moving over to the myriad of boxes, computers and devices he had squeezed on stage along side a huge split studio mixer, let rip with a collage of live looped beatboxing and singing.
And boy, this guy can sing. He was throwing himself between boxes and layering up harmonies, all of the pushes of the buttons and twists of the knobs being shown on the large projection screen behind him. I recognised strains of the vocals from the album but with completely different accompanying backing (for the better!)
The sound he created was sometimes out of time and out of key, but had an organic feel to it and eventually did all come together, which judging by the crowd - who were dancing their feet off - everyone was feeling it.
Pablo Fiasco was constantly moving cameras around and manipulating the output, switching the views in time to the music, attaching little mini spy cameras to the various keyboards (and a helmet) as they were being played, quite a character as well - interacting with the crowd (at one point we saw someone stroking his shoes... ?!)
With no sign of Jamie quitting and getting very shweaty and more into it, the power (and the sound) suddenly stopped. Mr. Lidell looking as bemused as the rest of us, I wondered if the breakers had gone but as the house lights came on, we weren't allowed to leave the auditorium, and found out that the fire alarms had gone off, and we were to be evacuated via the fire escapes.
An unfortunate end to a fantastic set, I'm kicking myself for not catching him on Jools Holland also, as seeing and hearing really is believing, and the music he makes live is almost indescribable. If there's ever a Jamie Lidell Live DVD I'll be the first to buy it, with multiple angles and similar features, his performance would be perfect for it.
Quantic Dj gig tomorrow (after some sleep!) and I'll hopefully post a blog after the weekend.
Ciao for now.