Live Review: Sub Focus

Sub Focus – ABC – 29/11

Sub Focus, a.k.a Nick Douwma, has been making waves in electronic music ever since the release of his self-titled album in 2009. The Dj and producer, based in London, has followed this up with ‘Torus’, which cuts through a wide cross-section genres; dubstep, drum ‘n’ bass and EDM. One result of this is that the audience attracted to his show at the O2 ABC are a pretty varied bunch, though there are plenty of eighteen year old guys dressed in Adidas Originals. In fact, it’s safe to say there may never have been so many Gazelle trainers in one place before.

The support act is Fred V & Grafix, a liquid drum ‘n’ bass duo signed to Hospital Records. They are incredibly enthusiastic, and resemble hyperactive bunny rabbits, jumping about with huge grins on their faces but their boundless energy definitely helps to get everyone in a good mood. As Sub Focus makes his way on stage, a huge piece of black cloth is pulled away to reveal a giant LED ring which encircles the decks and Douwma standing behind. The crowd goes crazy as he kicks off the show. Sub Focus himself tends to just stand there, occasionally raising a hand to play his theremin-like instrument, leaving most of the work to his hype-man who keeps running from one side of the stage to the other.

Tracks which get a big reaction are ‘Out the Blue’ and ‘Turn It Around’ featuring Kele of Bloc Party, meanwhile the LED ring throws out different coloured lights to great effect. There is a big focus on material from ‘Torus’, and a distinct lack of tracks from his first album. He could have played at least a couple more tracks from it, as the ones he did play were received with applause. The night ends in a crescendo with ‘Tidal Wave’ which sends the crowd into one last state of euphoria.

[Eve Lucas]

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