Live Reviews

Diplo [DJ Set] Live

Bonde Do Role
The Old Blue Last

Upstairs at the Old Blue Last pub isn’t big. In fact, it’s about the same size as my living room and kitchen combined. But when its completely packed and the bar to the side is heaving under elbows so you’re sweating before anything has even begun, you know you’re going to be in for an energetic night. After the brilliant opening djs, the first of whom wore a cap that was in fact Donald Duck’s head and played some awesome dancehall and bashment and then was followed by an 80s throwback in tight yellow jeans mashing up classic old tracks [I’m talking “Uh Oh” by Shampoo here] with random house beats, it was time for the main support – Bonde Do Role.

The Brazilian group consisting of a DJ, a male vocalist and a female vocalist, were introduced by Diplo who has considerable interest in Brazilian music [check out his Favela Strikes Back album], and then all hell broke lose. They sample The Darkness, they throw in AC/DC riffs and they throw up metal horns every chance they get. They have the loudest carnivale style drums I’ve ever heard, and when they let rip, it was literally impossible for me to not throw my hands up and scream “aaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiaiaiaiaiaiiiiiiii”. It was like a carnivale from Rio was inside the pub and the female singer’s head thrashed from side to side as she screamed and shouted her way through the entire set.

I couldn’t tell you where one song ended and the next began but in all honesty it didn’t make a blind bit of difference because I was so caught up in the drums and fuzzy guitar sampling that I was just dancing right until the very end without a care for who was around me. As soon as their last song ended, and the female singer was throwing herself into the crowd shouting to be carried all the way to the back, Diplo was on the decks.

Now, I’m a huge fan of Diplo, for his hip hop work, his grime track with Kano and his Favela album [we’ll ignore his work with M.I.A] but this set was unlike any I’ve ever heard. He opened with the 60s golden oldie “Wait A Minute Mr Postman” before launching into a mix of Soft Cell. His set never stayed in one place for more than 2 songs at a time and during the set we were treated to the sounds of Madonna, a heap of crunk music, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Beenie Man, more Favela tunes and much much more.

By the time we’d hit the mid point of his set, the crowd were dancing like pill heads to every single beat dropped, whether it was fast house, slowed down crunk or even the super jungle he threw in, and when everyone was jumping and dancing in time with the music, the floor was creaking and moving. Did we care? Did we fuck, it was time to dance and that was that. Diplo is without the master of mixing in completely random shit, as proved by his Fabric mix, when he coupled Le Tigre with grime producer Jammer, Cat Power with Yaz and all roads inbetween. This was one of the best nights out I’ve had in years, absolutely amazing.

[Photo by Kim Norbury]