This Major Lazer article was written by Dave Pittaway, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson
Every gig in Birmingham starts at The Victoria; a gentrified bar where young people with no money drink and go on dates amidst the 50s style pinup paintings, craft IPAs and £2 pork scratchings. As usual, I failed abysmally at flirting with the attractive bar staff and drank a little bit too much because it was cold outside.
That being said, I’ve always loved the walk to a gig; it’s like going to a football match. Loads of shouting, drinking and singing as you get this convergence of people heading down Bristol Street; funnelling in from the subways and corner shops with the girls dressed up to the nines and the guys dressed to the nines all shouting “MAYJAH LAYZAR” with a thick Brummie twang.
I’ll apologise to you right now because I didn’t pay too much attention to the support acts, mostly because I was reeling from having to pay £4.95 for a pint of Tuborg, but also because I couldn’t help noticing that every single girl in the O2 was wearing dungarees. From what I can recall, there was an MC spitting grime freestyles, mostly comprised of the words “Energy Flavour, Flavour Energy” over beats that rattled your jawbones harder than Shawn Michaels. He was followed by a strikingly pretty-in-a-Nordic-way rangy girl with a voice that sounded like MØ’s and an accent that made you wet.
Naturally, I went back to the bar and topped up as girls with high tops and scrunchies necked Jäger Bombs before swirling off back into the middle as the guys smoked E-cigs and tried to make them look Gauloises. Then, the place exploded into a sea of light, bass and pheromones as three guys walked out and just crushed it. There were smoke machines, giant flags, surprisingly few lazers and confetti cannons continually blasting as four dancers; who might just be the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen, busted moves to a ‘Far East Movement’ remix. Someone then jumped in a ball and started zorbing round the crowd to ‘Alex Gaudino’ as Walshey Fire bounced around the stage wearing a Villa shirt. Big fan of that move by the way. I have no idea what the set list was, mainly due to the fact that I was too busy cutting wild shapes as Diplo fired off streamers all over the gaff. It was madness, carnivalesquer. It was straight dopamine.
They dropped ‘Lean On’ in their encore; dressed in loose fitting, all white clothing whilst standing motionless atop their decks making it feel like some sort of rave before the rapture. And then they disappeared, and everyone filtered out into the streets feeling sweaty and euphoric.
And so I went back to The Victoria. You see, gigs are about the entire evening, not just the music you hear. It’s the over-priced, watered down beer and dealing with the cold on the walk over because you don’t want to pay for the cloakroom. It’s the pre drinks, fleeting eye contact and falling ribbons and confetti that people pick up off the floor to take home and put in a shoebox. Its about the specitical that you all just witnessed together, as an audience…