|Originally posted by SYSTEM-J |
Anyway... Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston at Back To Basics. About a year ago I saw Weatherall play a classic six hour set at Basics in a tiny backroom, along with a couple of TAs (Chris, Jon). That night was absolutely legendary, with Weatherall building up from about 100bpm slo-mo all the way to about 125bpm cosmic disco shit (the full set is on Soundcloud). On Saturday they were headlining the night with another six hour set, coming on at 12, and starting a lot more up-tempo than Weatherall had last time. The first four hours were absolutely sublime, just oddball tuneful genre-busting dance music with plenty of unashamed songs, and it felt like it was going to be even better than last time. Then things got... not bad, exactly, but certainly a bit monotonous, as they delved into about 90 minutes of rat-a-tat techno with some really annoying protracted breakdowns that didn’t really follow on from the first half of the set. For the last half hour they started to space it out and then brought it back to a peak with a couple of massive bombs to close on.
Overall, 3/4ths of the set was absolutely brilliant, but the remaining quarter was just a bit uninspired and took the gloss off the brilliance. I’ve heard a few of their Love From Outer Space sets in the past and the flow has never been quite as good as when Weatherall is solo. I suppose that’s an inevitable part of playing B2B, although they weren’t playing a straight “one tune each” arrangement and neither was it “an hour on, an hour off”. Weatherall mixed the first 8 tunes or so and then Johnston got on the decks for a while, and there didn’t really seem to be much pattern to it. No complaints about the crowd. They’re always brilliant at Basics, cheering when the bass kicks back in and going nuts during the breakdowns, friendly and enthusiastic from start to finish. The venue was also pretty cool – the Belgrave Music Hall is more of a gig venue than a club, but they decked out the stage to transform it into a DJ booth with an awesome wall of trippy visuals from floor to ceiling.
It's a shame that they played some uninspired music, but I guess if the crowd was loving it they were just eating off the crowd's response. I can't see Weatherall actually liking that stuff (you never know though!), but when you're playing with somebody else you have to bend a bit. I mean I've heard his B2B set with Ivan Smagghe, and they've done the same thing. There's a good 45 minutes to an hour of the set I have to fast-forward because it's incredibly boring tech-house.
Awesome to hear that 3/4 of the night was great music though It's a shame no one brings him to Toronto or Montreal yearly, but I guess they'd rather book DJs that 100% ensure attendance, considering international plane tickets between our two countries are down-right ludicrous.