808state live at Funkt, The Mass, Brixton, London 30 April 2000
The venue itself was a rather strange layout with a feeling of being inside a lighthouse, with spiral staircases carrying on for which seemed like an eternity to get to the main rooms of the gig.
The room where 808 performed must surely be the smallest they have played in. It was as if I had invited them to perform at my 30th and asked them to set up in the corner next to the TV. I have never experienced being as close to a band during a live performance, it felt so personal.
808 came on stage just after 12.15am and played another blinding set. As is often the case, any new material takes a few listens to absorb and to react to. Not tonight however, Doctors and Nurses was just the tonic. As the samples kicked in the crowds reaction was immense, it was as if they had started with a tune which was as recognisable or as familiar as 'Cubik'.
The track that did it for me was 'Villains and Nerds'. Massey obviously relishes this track as he was going overtime on his dance movements whilst snapping at his guitar. I actually felt myself being induced into a trance like state as the bars rolled, quite remarkable, the track seemed to have everything.
I haven't seen Darren so hyped up for a gig in a long time. He gave all his worth on the mike go-ading the crowd, at times he had them well and truly in his hands whereby the chant 'Come On' would send them into a frenzy as the crescendo kicked in.
As ever Graham gave his all on the Pacific front. Sadly each clarinet rendition is now taking its toll on portly Graham (39) with paramedics on stand-by in case of emergency :-)
Another of the sets highlights was Cubik, an extreme track needs an extreme performance, and what better way than a female performer wearing a metal front and mobile chainsaw creating welding sparks in rythmic timing to the mechanic beats.....remarkable.
808 are like a vintage wine, improving with age. I just hope that when we sample their delights in the future it doesn't get corked like past material.
Thanks once again 808.