Culture > Gig review: Simian Mobile Disco: Independent Venue Week

Posted on January 31, 2017
Image by Carla Castadiva

Image by Carla Castadiva

Joe Marshall dances to the drum of an independent venue

Simian Mobile Disco are masters of their craft. Over the years they’ve produced powerful music with lush synth sounds, pumping beats and edible textures.

DJ sets from A Made Up Sound and JDH & Dave P at the Village Underground last Friday created an unbearably tense atmosphere, in anticipation of the duo’s set. It was 1am when they finally hit the stage, and all bets were off.

The show was part of Independent Venue Week – a week long, national celebration of small music venues. Artists new and old performed in intimate spaces, honouring the event in style. The ambassador was indie veteran and The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess.

SMD’s sound is made of sublime builds and devastating drops. They whipped the packed out renovated warehouse into a hysteria of flailing limbs and shuffling feet. It was a night of almost primal excitement. I don’t know how James Ford and Jas Shaw, the men behind Mobile Disco, maintained their poker faces.

Their sound is made of sublime builds and devastating drops

Simian Mobile Disco were born out of the band Simian. Interestingly enough, the anthemic club hit We Are Your Friends, by Justice, is a remix of a Simian record.

The sound the guys produced at Village Underground was not as accessible as some of their album tracks. In the past they’ve worked with people like Gruff Rhys and Jamie Lidell to create altogether more radio friendly songs. The bass was a little heavy too. But considering the last concert I went to at the Shoreditch powerhouse was like walking into a giant MRI scanner, I had no qualms.

The show featured surreal visuals, including a frenetically shapeshifting man in a suit and a spinning eyeball, accompanied by strobe lighting which is always brilliant fun.

Village Underground on 27th January was a blur of banging electronic tunes.

Independent Venue Week was a roaring success, up and down the UK.

Village Underground continue to host parties to remember.

Joe Marshall
Joe Marshall is Exposure’s Arts & Culture Editor. With his written content he endeavours to raid the full remit of arts and culture in London, if he doesn’t drown in it first. He aspires to make a career out of journalism like his heroes Tom Wolfe, Hunter S Thompson and Jon Ronson before him.


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