|Report from the NME 2 November 2002:|
Whatever phases 808 State have gone through - and there have been many - fashion has rarely been their main concern. So, it's a real surprise to see the pendulum of trendiness swing towards these exhibitionist Mancunians.
In an intimate club setting, arguably the first stadium dance group gets down and dirty to the whoops and cheers of the London cognoscenti. And it's easy to see why they connect. Equal parts Miles Davis, hard-ass beats with an extra junglist twist, keyboard funk, and discreet elements of prog, Graham Massey, Andrew Barker and Darren Partington are on a surreal roll.
While onstage guests from Elbow, Alabama 3 and Simian (Elbow & Simian weren't there, see Pete's report below..., ed.) help keep 808 State contemporary, tonight is anything but a nostalgia-fest. Despite scintillating updates of 'Pacific State' and 'Cubik', the onus is on new floor-fillers like '606' and 'Crossword'. And it's nice to see, in the midst of all this, that the trio haven't lost their sense of mischief. It's just more subtle now.
|Report by Pete (updated 16 February 2003):|
Arrived in brick lane, east london (home of the indian restaurants), got cab from station (driver had never heard of it - typical). luckily I remembered it was opposite a brewery.
Myself & carlos eventually made our way to the entrance (which was at the side - alleyway).
so being a bit nosey, carlos & I go to see where they go. we go through a door & to the left is a larger room, with the stage directly to your left, a DJ on a table in the corner by the stage & a bar to my right.
as I whizz to the toilet I see graham and quickly say hello to him, passing the backstage door from where he came.
We finally get into the room where the DJ is spinning some funky up tempo house, only a hand full of people in there (I'm thinking please not another dundee).
after sinking a few more beers, the room starts to fill up.
then eventually we are delighted to see 808 come on stage, Andy on keyboards on the left, Patrick Illingworth on drums directly behind andy, to the right of the stage is graham with his bank of keyboards with paddy on bass & daz bongos & decks behind him.
straight off into Doctors & Nurses (a tune thats growing on me, still need to hear it on vinyl or cd).
Then we are blessed with the appearance of Alabama 3, (Larry Love looking like a cool Richard Ashcroft in shades). instead of the lyrics from Crossword - Larry just says 808 808 808 808 808 NO CHILL OUT, in front of Larry is the Reverend D Wayne Love and what he rants about I havent a clue. it went down well, unfortunately too short for my liking.
In Yer Face is next that gets a huge roar from the crowd as always no matter where you are in the world.
Wheatstraw follows, and I absolutely love this tune, very funky with mad squeeching synths, love the build up near the end (reminds me off Backbeat (live by JJ Jeczalik from Art of Noise at Hammersmith in 86). - JJ is a hero of mine along with Graham & those lovely German innovators Hutter & Schneider.
Next tune starts off as a catchy little number (luckily I heard it at castlefield and knew what it was) - all goes quiet , then in comes the melodic sound of Pacific, with Graham yet again playing a different tune on his clarinet. It causes the biggest cheer of the night so far.
Biggest shock of the night, was to see Bjork to my right, just in front of the stage, after a few numbers she disappeared (perhaps it wasnt so quiet for her).
Next is Boogieman (a track that no one seems to like, well I like it except the repeating boogieman boogiewoman most of the way through). thats the cue for me top go the bar & get a beer.
Then we are treated to the Dark and Lushious Long Orange (a tune that I& a few others requested to be brought back to the live set).
The Second biggest surprise is to hear 606 come on, where is Simon Lord from Simian I thought, then I notice Graham is singing into a mic using a vocoder (similar to Kraftwerk - Ve Are Zee Robots).
I'm getting excited about the finale as Quincy is next & I finally get to move about like a crazed loony - love it or what!
Last tune of the night is the Mighty Cubik, and everyone goes mental, what a vibe & how buzzing the room was by now. We want & need more, but sadly the gig ends. I did notice a few people camcording it & a few flashes from Cameras (you people come forward with pics please).
As I turn, I see Larry Love by the bar. I approach him & say how great the gig was, I couldnt help but say No Chill Out, then I offer him a drink (Tequila & Orange) for those who are interested in such things..
As we head towards the earlier bar area, in the passage way is Bjork chatting to Graham & Paddy and a few others.
I say hello to Graham again and Carlos (cheeky git) asks Bjork for an autograph, so me being a bit merry mentions the last time I saw you was at the Gmex gig.
Then as we move on, a tall guy approaches me & says are you pete in a scottish accent.
Then whilst listening to half a dozen voice messages from Nick King on my mobile, Carlos is approached by a guy from the backstage area (wearing a rather nice scarf).
he then tells me we are invited backstage, wicked!
Backstage is busy as ever, got to say hello to Andy at last, before some chick started chatting to me about what I was wearing & where I DJ
Got a brief chat with Daz, told him a few bad jokes about Heather Mills etc.
Then in the corner is a lively character - guess who LIVEWIRE.
Finally Graham & the guy with the scarf (Circus exec) get chatting to me about whats happening with releases etc, I'm told theres no single from the album, but there will be an EP in the new year (2003 I presume). Graham says to scarfey that I know everything there is to know about 808, I'm probably 3rd after Nick King & Markus.
before we knew it, we were being told to leave by the bouncers. I managed to rip an A4 flyer of OT off the wall on the way out
so out on the streets at 4am in east London, we get quoted £60 for a taxi from a dodgy geezer. We carry on looking for a proper taxi establishment & get a price of £45 going back to watford, we take it!
Yet another wicked night, bring on Manchester in December!