Over the weekend I had the pleasure of visiting The Rainbow Venues in Birmingham for the first time. The line-up was an all-star night consisting of Bicep, Joy Orbison, Hunee, Gilles Peterson and O’Flynn.
Gilles Peterson was on when I arrived at the venue playing in the smaller room along with Hunee after, I gave Gilles a miss seeing as I only saw him a few weeks back, and the tracks I heard him play he played at Phonox and I hadn’t seen Bicep or Joy Orbison in a while. Also the two rooms were on completely different vibes, not a bad thing, just sometimes it’s hard to fluctuate between obscure 80s tracks and banging Techno.
So I made my way into the main room, it was massive, not what I was expecting at all! The lights were brilliant and the speakers were solid. Joy O was on by the time I got in due to the size of the queue. Joy O played an amazing set of house, techno and tracks along the lines of garage and dubstep towards the end. Two particular highlight of his set were his track with Boddika ‘Severed Seven’ and Mood II Swing’s ‘Call Me (Moody Dub)’ which had the crowd going nuts. But one of the things I like most about Joy O is his use of RnB sounding vocals in the tracks he selects. You can tell this from his early productions and his time growing up around RnB and garage. It gives his sets a pop edge, which makes him accessible to a wider audience.
The main act of the night Bicep where next. Last time I saw Bicep was at one of their first live shows at Field Day. But this was a DJ set so I was expecting something different and boy they didn’t disappoint at all. The set was filled with so many unreleased tracks it was great. From their break edit of Kyla ‘Do You Mind?’ Finally getting to hear it out and it sounded unreal. Also getting to near Dark Sky’s latest track ‘Kilter’ sounding equally as good if not better, like some roaring malevolent beast packed with cosmic synths. Over the years of me listening to Bicep they’ve just grown and grown going from strength to strength, with no signs of slowing down. The most pleasing thing about them too is that they don’t put their edits online, so that makes you want to go out to hear them at there best. The fact that they almost tour the same set changing only a few tracks at a time means that they have perfected it and they’ve not only made it but they’ve built it. Like massive showcase of what they are capable of. Which is something truly great.
After Bicep had finished I went back to the smaller room to see the last of Hunee it couldn’t match Bicep, but then again it didn’t really need to as both DJ’s have different styles he played a joyous set of 80s post disco, something rather fitting to end a very good night.