532889_397272876974746_871233773_n– GORILLA, MANCHESTER – 

My expectations for Flume were pretty high. The Australian producer’s debut eponymous debut album is full of Gold Panda-esque chopped up vocals and snazzy beats, and makes for an engrossing, exciting listen. I walked into Gorilla, one of the best venues in Manchester, with my head full of thoughts about this being a gig that would cement Flume as a force to reckon with, a gig where you said to friends “Yeah I was there.” The reality couldn’t have been more different.

Gorilla, for a start, was about half full. Half full of completely wasted Aussies, which, weirdly, I hadn’t expected. If this had been a Jet or a Datsuns gig, then yeah, I would have conceded that it would be full of wasted jocks, but for some reason I hadn’t anticipated just quite how much Aussies follow Aussie acts. But that’s fine… I don’t mind a boisterous atmosphere at all, in fact I actively encourage it. But when you can barely stand in one place without someone twatting into you with a vodka red bull, it gets a bit frustrating. “Nevermind”, I thought, “Things will pick up when Flume comes on and makes everyone dance to his beat.” Yet it was already 10.30pm, and Flume’s billed time was 10.15. In his absence, some guy with awful Hot Chip glasses and a terrible beanie was ‘dj-ing’ the most awful, nondescript dance music I’ve come across recently. It was properly rubbish, and even the wasted kids looked like they were struggling to have a good time to it.

After thinking, “When can I leave this gig and not actually file a review because it took Flume so long to get to the stage”, at about 10.50pm the lights finally dropped and the youthful chap took to the stage. Excitement bubbled under my slightly annoyed front as he fired up the equipment in front of him; I was ready to forgive and forget and lose myself to having a good time. Yet the subtle, intricate beats and chopped up vocals of his album seemed to be forgotten for core-rumbling bass and massive EDM drops, which quickly became really boring. A sublime ‘Stay Close’ threatened to get things back on track, but it was followed by more yawning, generic bass and beats that I just wasn’t prepared for.

I tried to stick it out, thinking that tunes like ‘Sinatra’ and ‘Left Alone’ would pull things back, but the thrilling moments didn’t materialise. I left early, annoyed and frustrated at what I thought would be a pretty special, smallish gig from a rising star. Instead, I came away wishing I’d just put Gold Panda’s album on and had a take away.