Tuesday, 23 September 2014

MUSIC REVIEW: Club MTV Night, Derry-Londonderry

You've heard the expression, "the morning after the night before".

Well, Saturday September 20 2014 is a case of the night after the night before, as thousands of weary but happy folk trudge into Derry-Londonderry's Ebrington Square for another dose of MTV.

This time, it is the Club DJs' turn, on a night which feels more summery than the preceding one. Cast in bright blue sky with a handful of clouds in sight, the Foyleside setting and whippy breeze promises an equally breezy and almost certainly boisterous evening in the company of tantalizing turntables and flashy flat screens. The face paint, headbands and overall attitudes of a largely teenage audience are as colourful as the stage lights themselves.

Fists pump and heads bob as Varski & R3wire excitedly set the scene, dusk settles and main opening act Daniel "DJ Fresh" Stein gears himself up. Not quite fresh faced, nor anything like the Fresh Prince, he instead freshens faces by striking the right beats at just the right times.

Positively Macklemorean in parts, with the colourful language of Messy MC to go with it, DJ Fresh's collection of recognisable samplings, sparky sonics and flashy computer graphics storms and steams off the stage, creating an outdoor techno disco. It's a fitting fusion of the fiery and familiar.

Less distinctive, but more interactive, and certainly much more hyperactive, are Sigma, aka Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie. Their presence suits the mood of the night: tempos escalate as quickly as temperatures drop, bar queues increase and voices raise amidst the now pitch black sky. Stage lights spiral everywhere alongside kaleidoscopic imagery and flickering lights.

The perfect time, then, for London-born electronic music duo Chase & Status to make their entrance; and their turbulent techno thumpathon is the icing on the cake for the shouts, selfies, snaps and claps in the audience below them. Club MTV crashes with flashes and bangs: a literal open air nightclub for its new found teenage fan club, and more, to remember.

(The original version of this review appeared in the Belfast Telegraph on Monday September 22, 2014. It can be read here.)