Live Review: M83 with Man Without Country at London Heaven – 1st December 2011

By on Thursday, 8th December 2011 at 2:00 pm

‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’ has been out for a while now (read my review here). It’s a magical journey through time and space, almost, and now Anthony Gonzalez is on tour with it and tonight M83 land in London.

Before the dream-drenched sounds of M83 though come Man Without Country, another Mute signing. A constantly evolving and intense live act, today they bring their mix of dub influences and soaring synths with huge amounts of energy to Heaven. You can almost hear the influence of M83 on tonight’s support and the duo on stage really revel in the opportunity to be in front of such a big crowd. They’re given a warm send off and it’s likely that many will go home and listen to them some more. A definite band to watch in 2012.

Half an hour later and the party atmosphere’s starting to wear thin. The show’s running later than advertised and the drinks are expensive. You have to question how many you’ve had though when a fictional character appears on stage. Wookie meets gremlin as the creature slumps onto the stage and slowly beckons us into the world of M83. Opening aptly with ‘Intro’, you can tell that the fremch dream-poppers have put effort into making themselves sound as tight as possible live. They keep to record and add even more as nearly 2000 heads and knees bob in time to the wall of sound created.

Playing exclusively from their latest and most recognisable three records, Gonzalez and co. tear through a host of tracks, confident enough in their music to put huge tracks from ‘Saturdays=Youth’, ‘Kim&Jessie ‘and’ We Own the Sky ‘in the middle of the set, as well as the hugely bold ‘Steve McQueen’ which, like a few others tonight, has been given live gleam. At times, you wonder if you’ve stepped into one of Heaven’s famous club nights as the dance vibe to Claudia Lewis extends over 7 minutes of pure dance. It’s the same kind of party that Friendly Fires bring, but with less Caribbean and more Paris.

‘Midnight City’ is undoubtedly the highlight of the night though. Undoubtedly the alternative anthem of the year, everyone present, including the band have smiles on their faces as it kicks in and following it with ‘A Guitar and a Heart’, the main set closes with an extended party. Of course there’s an encore and that just brings a euphoria of reserved dance. That’s the only issue tonight, everyone’s too polite. There’s not as much dancing as you might expect, especially as the vibe is so loose and happy.  Regardless, everyone’s in they’re in their own little world as the atmosphere M83 create is enough to put everyone on a high for the rest of the week. Gig of the week? Maybe of the year.

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[…] going to take the year. I reviewed it here for ThereGoesTheFear and then went to see them at Heaven here, which helped no end, but I think this would have risen above most other records this year without […]

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