I was in the midst of coming down from an intense beat experience at the Exclaim! stage when I ran into the most unexpected of visuals: a giant fire spewing steampunk tricycle. Circus Orange had begun its unique performance, and it involved making its way through the densely packed streets of curious onlookers. With fire spewing, the tricycle slowly made its way while the clown conductor narrated some sort of story in a made-up language… but it didn’t matter as the acrobats, stilt walkers, and various performers captivated me enough to get me to drop my plans to see Kevin Drew on the main stage, and follow this menagerie of weird to wherever their final destination was…
Pyrotechnic eye candy brought to you by Circus Orange
They made their way to a stage area with the tricycle, and at the command of the ringmaster, tall plumes of fire shot out from the stage area easily towering over the buildings in the area and lighting up the sky with an orange intensity. After the pyrotechnics display, the tricycle proceeded to disassemble, as the front tire became a giant hamster wheel for an acrobat who was spinning inside its frame. This wheel was then hoisted high up into the air by a crane, and began spinning and shooting fireworks and cold flames… Quite the visual, especially with the lighting such that a large shadow was cast against the side of the building that it was closest to. Then the sky lit up with an enormous fireworks spectacle finale. Definitely an unexpected sidebar to a week-end of music, but the performance went from surreal to sensational.
At this point I realized that Kevin Drew’s set is surely coming to an end, so I decided to head back to the Exclaim! stage to catch Hyperdub founder Kode9 hit the decks. Hyperdub consists mainly of UK artists, some of whom are my absolute favourites in the electronica genre: Burial, Lotus Flower, Darkstar, and Zomby. But it was Kode9 who was on stage, and it is he who brought the darkest and tightest jungle beats that evening. The setting was perfect… A poorly lit grimey parking lot containing a small stage with a few colour filtered spotlights, and a dim lamp showing just enough of a silhouette of Kode9 as he took the audience for an audio voyage with visual hints of urgency. Excellent set that would have filled any club in the UK, but offered here for free.
Kode9 in the dark brings the light
I pulled myself out of a trance state in time to realize that Spoon will be starting their set soon on the main stage. It pained me to leave Kode9 behind, but Spoon have been on my radar for a very long time, since 2005 to be exact when they released their excellent album Gimme Fiction. On this particular night they were promoting their new album They Want My Soul which should find its way onto numerous ‘Best Album of 2014’ lists.
I would gage the audience as unfamiliar with the band at first impression. But as any quality band will do, they managed to overcome any initial apathy with a strong performance of energetic songs from their vast catalogue. By the end of the show the crowd had grown both in size and fervour. Every song was acclaimed with a loud roar of approval, and Spoon completed their set with the iconic song The Underdog, which brought everyone to a climactic realization that they in fact saw something special. Spoon were tremendous, as was my first full day at Supercrawl.
More to come as I put down on paper my impressions of Sunday’s Daptone Review, including Mr. Charles Bradley which blew all sorts of expectations away for me.
- Small Stakes (from: Kill The Moonlight, 2002)
- Rent I Pay (from: They Want My Soul, 2014)
- Don’t you Evah (from: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, 2007)
- Who Makes Your Money (from: Transference, 2010)
- The Way we Get By (from: Kill The Moonlight, 2002)
- Inside Out (from: They Want My Soul, 2014)
- Do You (from: They Want My Soul, 2014)
- Don’t Make Me a Target (from: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, 2007)
- Rhythm & Soul (from: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, 2007)
- My Mathematical Mind (from: Gimme Fiction, 2005)
- I Summon You (from: Gimme Fiction, 2005)
- I Turn My Camera On (from: Gimme Fiction, 2005)
- Got Nuffin (from: Transference, 2010)
- Black Like Me (from: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, 2007)
- Knock Knock Knock (from: They Want My Soul, 2014)
- You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb (from: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, 2007)
- Outlier (from: They Want My Soul, 2014)
- The Underdog (from: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, 2007)