Following a 10 year exile, DJ Harvey’s return to his homeland in 2012 has seen the selector quickly reaffirm his legendary status with a series of enthralling sets. It was RBMA who brought him back, and tonight they have once again enlisted his skills for a 3 hour set in Gorilla.
I’d greeted the late venue change from The Albert Hall with disappointment due to the system in Gorilla lacking vigour on my previous visits, but my concerns are quickly dismissed as I enter the club for the first time in months and experience the wall of sound pumping out the considerably beefed up speakers.
The second noticeable change from my last visit is the average age. “What are you doing here?” quizzes an almost incredulous 50 year old to my friend, a strange role reversal from usual clubbing scenarios – I now realise how all the teenage classic rock fans in my secondary school must have felt attending AC/DC gigs. There’s a simple answer: DJ Harvey’s seamless blends of the finest cuts of disco, funk, house and even prog rock are universally appealing.
The night is a master class in DJing. Funky guitar licks, euphoric piano chords, fanfaring trumpets and staccato bass lines feature in abundance as Harvey keeps the room truly dancing all night with first-rate music. Ambience is provided by two large disco balls that reflect beams of light jaggedly across the room.
It’s one of the most enjoyable and captivating DJ sets I’ve ever seen. Harvey takes the crowd on the journey through the lighter side of disco with tracks such as JV’s ‘EditChannel XXX’ to the harder side, epitomized by Andre Bratten’s ‘Trommer OG Bass’ thumping through the room inciting fist pumps at 3am.
If anything can illustrate the brilliance of DJ Harvey it’s that the notoriously intrusive and moody bouncers of Gorilla jig along gleefully with the crowd throughout.
You can read our feature on RBMA here.