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chic @ the hmv forum, london

Clubland’s fiercest live shows

n Two GLAMOROUS singers flank Chic’s original riff-writing legend Nile Rodgers as he smiles in his shades and bandana, dreadlocks swaying over his white-suited shoulders. With the opening bars of ‘Everybody Dance’ the all-sorts crowd is on its feet in the stalls and jamming from front to back. From start to finish, this nine-piece band rattle off the hits Rodgers penned with his late bassist friend Bernard Edwards, delivering an ultimate singalong and an education in dance music. From ‘Let’s Dance’, ‘Like A Virgin’ and ‘Upside Down’ to ‘I’m Coming Out’, ‘Greatest Dancer’ and ‘I Want Your Love’ and those samples you only know from hip hop and house classics by Faith Evans, Modjo or Eclipse, it’s impossible to comprehend where dance music would be without this band: they could well be the greatest dance act of all time. And when Nile invites the audience on stage to dance to ‘Le Freak’, it follows that any vote for Chic is a vote for good, good times. phil dudman

andy c alive @ hmv institute, birmingham

Perfect execution

yuksek @ art school union, glasgow

n Set IN Birmingham’s grimy industrial quarter, halfway up Digbeth’s dreary high street, the majestic exterior of the HMV Institute seems out of place. Tonight’s proceedings could easily be mistaken for a theatre production, or even the ballet. Except, of course, for the elated stream of multi-coloured ravers bustling into the venue reveals that there will be no ballroom dancing tonight – this is strictly Andy C: ALIVE. A pioneering force on the d’n’b scene, Andy C (dubbed ‘The Executioner’) has been at the bass-driven heart of the genre since 1992. Co-founder of the illustrious RAM Records, he’s on a mission to keep UK bass music fresh

livebites It’s Bowl selecta for Calvin Harris and Madeon who’ve been announced as the support for Swedish House Mafia’s huge 65,000- capacity Milton Keynes Bowl

[[1L]] january 2012

show next summer (14/07) … Self-styled rapping wordsmith Professor Green will tour the UK from

and exciting. ‘Alive’ sees him elevate his captivating audio set to new heights by adding a mind-blowing, real-time visual light show to his frantic three-deck performance. As 1:30am approaches the 1,500capacity main room is throbbing from wall to wall with a mashed-up mixture of young and old. Youngsters in skinny chinos and caps skank alongside oldskool ravers with neon horns in their mouths. The two-tier balcony overhanging the main floor is swarming too, and as the epic intro kicks in a forest of hands shoot towards the rafters. Andy appears at the helm of an immense three-tier A-shaped light

April to May. Hit up ProfessorGreen for details … Looking ahead, it’s all about Hideout’s huge summer

display. Vibrant 3D flashes and flickers keep time with synth swooshes and stark kick-drum crashes. Illuminating the ocean of hands, ‘ANDY C – ALIVE’ appears in lights as the MC’s countdown is met by the gruesome bassline of Loadstar’s ‘Link To The Past’. Flooding the room with a diverse bag of old-skool jungle and modern jump-up, Andy layers track on track with drop after drop, unleashing an unstoppable wave of energy across the ferociously skanking floor. As ever, Andy C has raised the bar in d’n’b, delivering an awe-inspiring performance to keep his beloved genre well and truly ALIVE! MIKE roberts

line-up. The Croatian island festival (www. will feature Ricardo Villalobos, Claude VonStroke, Skrillex and Skream topping a mouthwatering bill from June 29 to July 1 …

It’s halcyon days for the brothers Hartnoll as Orbital announce they’re working on the score for a film, Pusher. Their UK & European tour kicks off at Manchester Academy (April 5) with some longawaited new material.

n The basement of Glasgow’s new hipster warren, the relocated Art School Union, is the perfect venue for a live set from Gallic production whizz Yuksek. Backed by a three-piece band including a stand-up female drummer with a Robert Smith-style hairdo, the spindly young Pierre-Alexandre Busson tours through the recent history of electronic pop, from the hard-edged house breakdown of ‘Extraball’ – the drummer taking Amanda Blank’s vocal role – to the psychedelic synths of ‘Say A Word’ and the hypnotic space disco of ‘Dead or Alive’. There are slices of slick discopop in the Friendly Fires tradition, then all of a sudden it’s 2001-o’clock for the crunching electro riff of ‘On A Train’. “You’re a few, but you’re the good few,” Busson tells his small but lively crowd, laying on the Frenchness with a “merci beaucoup”. After that the pure analogue pop of ‘Miracle’ bleeds into the bleeping crescendos and crooned finale of ‘Tonight’, a synthesised symphony setting the seal on as anthemic a set as can be crammed into a darkened Sauchiehall St basement. David Pollock

Photos gavin wallace, diego paul sanchez, james warwick

Ram Records bossman takes his live show to a new level

GIG3 Chic January 2012  

I commission and edit all the gig reviews on this page, this month writing up an unforgettable show from Chic and Nile Rodgers. Interviewed...