Support for this one comes from Brighton resident and beatboxer Darren Foreman aka Beardyman. He’s got his debut album out “I done a album”, and his live show involves beatboxing and using a Kaoss pad to sample and loop a beat while rapping, singing or beatboxing on top. Entertaining and cool to watch, I just personally find beatboxing not too interesting for any length of time, although he does present it in a more entertaining way than most. Good set from the Bearded one though.
It’s been 11 years since Joshua Davis aka DJ Shadow last played in B-Town. Known for building songs entirely from samples and turntables, and reputed to have a record collection of over 60,000 records, he’s the uber-beat digger and king of the bedroom DJs.
He also understands that we’ve basically come along to watch a man playing records and using his sampler, and so his live shows have always constituted a visual aspect. This time he’s brought along what he calls the “Shadowsphere”, which is basically a domelike structure that he can fit inside with all his equipment, onto which various projections can be show while he’s playing. As well as just showing interesting visuals on the side of the dome, it can also rotate so that we can see inside and watch him at work, scratching on the turntables, using drumsticks to trigger samples or using his sampler and mixing desk.
The visuals are controlled by a guy with a laptop on the side of the stage, and they’ve put a lot of work into finding snippets of film that work really well with the songs being played. As the Shadowsphere is completely round, it can be projected to look like a bowling ball, a baseball, a football, the Death Star, The Earth or basically anything spherical. It’s a neat visual, particularly when it looks like it’s been cut in half by a chainsaw projected from onto the screen behind it. Top marks for visuals. 🙂
The music ranges from his classic tunes, to his forays into hyphy and drum ‘n’ bass, and a couple of tracks off his latest. Listening to the whole set, you’re reminded of how consistent the quality of this music has been over the years whatever genre he turns his hand to.
All in all a good combination of music and visuals. I was quite happy to sit and watch but it’s good to dance to as well, the packed standing area was testament to that, with people moving from the start of the set right up until the end. A good show cleverly presented. This video clip gives you an idea, apologies for the poor sound quality due to only having my phone available to film the footage, you’ll want to turn the volume down before watching this.