LIVE REVIEW: Disclosure @ The Apollo, Manchester (07/03/2014)
Even before the arrival of debut ‘Settle’ in May 2013, just a few uniquely louche electronic cuts were enough for a new preemptive phrase to emerge in the press: “Disclosure-mania”.
A #1 album, four top-twenty singles, a Mercury nomination, superstars queuing up to collaborate… their list of achievements is staggering. And tonight being one of two sold-out nights at Manchester’s colossal Apollo clearly evidences that people just can’t get enough of the brothers Guy & Howard Lawrence.
“Mania” it seems is still the operative term. Gazing down from the upper circle at 3500 youths already in party-mode, twitching and hungry for the duo to arrive onstage was nothing short of electric. The lights extinguished and the crowd erupted. So kinetic was the atmosphere that it felt like being in the sepia framed footage of those early Beatles gigs. A cacophony of woops and roars spilled so deep into the opening minutes of “F For You” that only the sampled power-house soul vocals of Mary J. Blige could eventually overcome it.
From then on 4/4 beats thrashed & synthesizers whirred through surprise outings of “Flow”, “Tenderly” and “Boiling” and went down a storm. An incendiary version of “When a Fire Starts to Burn” sustained the tempo, whilst “Grab Her!” was transformed from album-filler into set slayer.
An intelligent stage set-up comprising three diamond-shaped screens took the heat off the duo as they busied themselves at their opposing consoles. A melange of strobes, optical illusions and video-game inspired visuals accompanied the music with a wonderfully dizzying rush.
It was only during encore chill-out sesh “Help Me Lose My Mind” that you remembered to breathe again, inhaling its fluttering London Grammar vocals and iced electronics. But only momentarily, before the boys restored the crowd to rave-setting with a house decimating “Latch”. Exhilarating.
With Glasto confirmed to be on the cards, with this show Disclosure are will surely be eyeing up a big slot. First Glastonbury, next, the world. Disclosure-mania is just beginning.