A group of people cluster on the corner of City Road and Featherstone Street, drinking and chattering excitedly. The uniform is hi top trainers and white tees, and the atmosphere is expectant in the muggy heat. A man walks through the crowd and up to the bar, largely unnoticed, despite rising a head taller than most. What really sets him apart is how sharply dressed he is. Smooth in black leather jacket, wayfarers and mahogany loafers, pale skinned and dark haired, he is immensely striking.
This man is Dave Macklovitch AKA Dave 1, and the occasion is Chromeo at The City Arts and Music Project (the CAMP), their only non-festival UK date on the Business Casual world tour (they played Glastonbury last week and they’re playing Lovebox on 18 July) before the album of the same name drops in August. I can only imagine the contrast between tonight’s gig and last weekend’s Dance West Stage as we descend the stairs from the bar to the basement, the intimate setting with its stripped back features making us feel a little like we’re in on a well-kept secret.
Dave 1 and P-Thugg take to the stage amid the Chromeo Intro chant from the crowd, which bounces off the low ceilings as the coloured LED panels take us back to the very best New York 80s discotheque. They announce Needy Girl with, ‘this is for everyone who’s followed us from day one,’ and the cheer that goes up gives us goosebumps as everyone there knows what’s coming. With huge smiles we all sing along to Momma’s Boy, and new single Don’t Turn The Lights On slows the tempo and dims the lights, and the crowd gets a little bit sexy.
A few hours later we emerge into the night air, unsure of which decade we’re in, and feeling a long way from the bustle of Old Street roundabout. It feels like Dave and Pee are friends of ours who’ve shared a little bit of their musical history tonight. I can’t wait to descend the basement steps again.
The CAMP in July is one to watch as they’re coaxing in more big names, including Ali Love next Tuesday and Roska‘s Kicks and Snares label launch 10 July. See you on the dancefloor!
Chromeo – Don’t Turn The Lights On