Words by Giselle Bueti
Photos by Josh Geelan
Following the success of his debut solo album In Colour, Jamie Smith, aka Jamie XX, has already proved that he doesn’t mess around when it comes to mixing music. His tour of the same name only emphasises this, bringing with it a love affair between rave and dance, creating a refreshing electronic sound.
Smith took the audience on a dazed journey through music, differing from the generic DJ format of delivering predictable sounds. Instead opting for a carefully calculated formation, creating a unique day dreamy set.
After an opening set from promoters Young Muscle, Tornado Wallace took the stage spinning records. He left the crowd mellowed out, which Smith continued with a non-stop, seamless takeover. The set started slow but gradually merged into an almost Caribbean vibe; with the sound of drums, cow bells and trumpets vibrating through your hips making it impossible not to dance.
Using an extensive collection of obscure samples and rare pieces of white label vinyl, it was an abstract experience. However, it was often a long stretch between recognisable songs, with Smith only peppering through his hits, making some crowd goers restless.
At times, his transitions out of these songs and crossovers into his own jumped out at you. You’d be in a trance, and then BAM, the music would be like, “WAKE UP and DANCE.” Then other times you’d wait for the drop and it just wouldn’t come. But this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It worked in making the build up even more exciting, proving why Smith is renowned for his production skills.
Talking about the production, can we get a round of applause for the lighting team? The light show was perfectly timed, hitting every cue and working hand in hand with the rhythmic elements of Smith’s set, bringing it to life in mystical technicolour.
Drawing to a close Smith brought out the big guns for the finale, finally playing Loud Noises in full to a thirsty crowd. This was followed by an encore of Good Times, which was no doubt the highlight of the night.
While there were some glorious surprises throughout the set, and some truly tasty samples, it would have thrived better in a dark basement at 3am, whilst brooding over a vodka lemonade, just letting the lights and sounds absorb you. The light show nearly got it there, but the big open space of the Thebby kind of took away the charm.
However there is no denying that Jamie Smith has some serious skills. The way he worked that deck and inarticulately weaved together sounds was remarkable. You know that saying, ‘You do you babe,’ that is exactly what he did. And he did it well.