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Jamie Lidell in the Academy 05/05/2008

Posted by lmd64 in electronic music, gig, review.
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Ok, I’ve been to the best gig ever. In my life. Which either means one of three things:

1. I don’t get out often enough (it’s true, I don’t).

2. I’m a master of over-exaggeration and hyperbolae (I so am, it’s unbelievably incredible how indescribably true this is)

3. It was a great gig (this, too, is also true)

First off, it was on in the Academy, the re-branded Spirit from clubbing days of yore. Having been on several occasions in the past, including putting on a short run of club nights in the basement, I was a little dubious about it. On this, I was wrong, it’s a pretty decent mid-sized venue, though the sound was a little ropey at the bar, as is usually the case in most places anyway.

Arrived into the middle of the opening act, which was very good, smooth and low-key indie-vibed singer with a band and gyrating accordionist. She pleased at least a small section of the crowd an acapella rendition of “O ró sé do bheath abahile”, and old Irish tune learned by pretty much every Irish child the world over. Didn’t recognise her at first until she sang the last couple of songs, but finally I realised it was Mara Carlyle, who released her album “The Lovely” a couple of years ago. I can confirm that it is indeed lovely, go forth and buy it now.

So, that having surprised and impressed me no end, we only had a short time to wait until Jamie Lidell and band took to the stage. I, of course, had nipped out for a quick ciggie, so I missed the opening track “Another Day“, but even from outside on Middle Abbey Street it got my head nodding and feet all a-tapping. Heading back inside quick-smart, it was amazing how much energy he was putting into the show, and by fuck can the man sing!

Someone drew a comparison with Jamiroquai, but Mr Lidell holds no truck with stupid hats, repetively bland tunes and ridiculously affected pseudo-funky mincing/dancing around.

An immense amount of gusto, verve and pizzazz went into the performance, from the slow ballad “All I Wanna Do” (which Anna thought reminded her ofthe old soul number “A Do-Right Man”, and not to be confused with the Sheryl Crow tune of the same name), to the tight and punchy-as-fuck P-Funk riffs of “Figured Me Out“. But the place lifted off its feet for “Out Of My System“, when the band gradually slipped from the stage, leaving Lidell to do what he does so well, looping and sampling, and beatboxing and singing over the top, turning the jam into full-on club house madness, only to be rejoined by the band after 15 minutes to drop the funk back into the room with a bang which triggered off large shakings-of-booty.

Little touches like the way he sang “thank you very much” into his Antares Autotune (or equivalent device) after the synthy wonderness of “Little Bit Of Feel Good” got a laugh from the audience, and pleased the non-dancing nerdy beardy types. I of course received a double whammy of joy-joy-goodness, being heavily engaged in dancing at the time, and also being of the nerdy beardy persuasion too.

The night finished off with Jamie and Mara performing an excellent duet encore of “Wait For Me” onstage. Excellent gig, 5 star rating.

BUY HIS ALBUM too. It’s really, really great. And if he comes to town, GO TO HIS GIG. You will not be disappointed.

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