An Unkle performance is always going to be a little unusual given James Lavelle is very eclectic crossing many genres such as the groundbreaking Psyence Fiction album.
The first half of the performance was very much DJ lead by James at a desk and decks, live drums, keyboard/guitarist and Cello. This instrumentation alone really shows the diversity of the musical styling.
No live locals, as a result, the staging certainly didn’t have a central focus, everyone was with their instruments. Even Moby who crosses genres, as a live artist is in front of the other musicians or moving around the stage when not using a singer. Like any rock concert, the performance ebbed and flowed with raising and lowering of the tempo. With the slower pieces being the more cinematic pieces like Heaven.
Unlike a conventional performance the lighting didn’t pick out any of the performers, and like a club made more use of strobing light effects, but in contrast, a lot of videos were used as well including the amazing Spike Jonze directed skateboarders for Heaven.
Part 2 …
An intermission or perhaps a very long encore? Not what you’d expect halfway through a performance of this nature. But the change gave emphasis to the use of 5 different vocalists.
This changed the dynamic but also gave the second half a bit of a stuttering feel as the different singers can on stage and left.
Added to the fact that the delivery of performances originally by the likes of Ian Brown and Richard Ashcroft had the timbre of a female voice. But things got going and then just built to a thumping finale.
Interestingly even with the use of live vocalists, they weren’t lit up.
All said and done, Unkle doesn’t perform live very often and it’s great hearing the music performed live. I would love to have caught James Lavelle working with the Orchestra as he did with the Heritage Orchestra.
More photos here.
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