Gig review: Underworld, Glasgow

At the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Picture: TSPL

At the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Picture: TSPL

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THE Concert Hall has probably never seen anything quite like this ecstatic middle-aged rave in its 25 years, with former club kids (now possibly parents of club kids themselves) converging on the arena dancefloor to recapture that carefree time and place associated with the music of intelligent techno duo Underworld – in particular, that on their 1994 debut album dubnobasswithmyheadman, a club classic which wore out many a record needle even before Born Slippy became a Britpop anthem via the Trainspotting soundtrack.

Underworld

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

****

This is sophisticated dance music from seasoned musicians – rewarding headphone listening but really quite special as a communal encounter, a seamless, hypnotic entreaty which is still utterly ravishing 20 years on. Attuned to the ebb and flow of the music, the crowd saluted the slightest change in tempo or direction on the journey from the perfect Pink Floydian chillout number Tongue to getting lost in the irresistible pulse of Cowgirl and Rez.

Karl Hyde’s eccentric stream-of-consciousness lyrics unspooled as measured mantras, while his partner Rick Smith controlled the sound mixing desk at the back of the hall and new(ish) boy Darren Price manned the keyboards onstage.

The show was simply dressed – no barrage of visuals, just the song titles writ large on the backdrop and a phalanx of white spotlights piercing the blackness. Then the lights turned technicolour and hands were thrown up in the air all over the room for the obvious encore of Born Slippy and its accompanying outpouring of euphoria.

Seen on 12.03.15

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