Thekla | 28th September | photos by Paul Lippiatt
Thekla sold out is one hell of a sight, and the energy is high. Mura Masa brought this higher amplifying the crowd’s energy with the synth sugar rush of Lovesick which raises a collective cheer from the audience but the vocals seem muffled from the off. Yet the lush layers and textures from the tropical plinks to the textured house drops pull it off nicely.
Tonight the venue has the same buzzy vibe you would expect at a warehouse rave, as the artists devoted following has come out in force. Bonzai’s vocal adds a sultry texture through the funky thumps of ‘Nuggets’, and soars sky high in a remix of Foals track ‘Night Swimmers’. Added with the rapping, versatility with her voice is definitely a strong point.
The heated waft of overexertion travelled past my nostrils barely over halfway, the perfect time for unreleased track ‘Was It Worth It?’ to cool things down with its scuzzy keyboard plonks pumping through the air. The most 2016 moment of the gig is ‘Are U There?’ echoes through the 14 smartphones held high in the crowd until the obligatory clap along is enforced at the right moment appropriately asking “I need to know, if you’re here with me” to Generation Y. And like that we are back.
“We’re gonna play an old one now” leads into the not aptly named ‘Terrible’ that punches out inverted breakbeats possessing many to do what The Chemical Brothers did best in 2007, ‘The Salmon Dance’. Delving deeper into his discography, ‘When You Need Me’ is another one for those lovers of the danceable debut. Considering that the breakthrough came on the second record the older tracks are a risky move, but succeed in telling apart the I-heard-of-him-first from the ones who’ve heard the beguiling ‘Firefly’ and warped ‘What If I Go?’.
And speak of the devil, ‘What If I Go?’ is no doubt the highlight vocally, stretching out the sweeter notes out of Bonzai’s lungs. And brings with it the biggest singalong of the night. As you would expect we finish on a high with the trippy ambience of ‘Firefly’ flickering with life despite the lack of soul popstrel NAO.
Considering it’s only the second performance in Bristol for Alex Crossan, he’s captured the hearts and moves of Bristol with one hour of eclectic bangers. Many could call him just another DJ, and they’d be right. He is another DJ, but one who is six steps ahead of all the others.
Watch the video for ‘What If I Go?’ below.