at Back in Time Live Reloaded, June 22nd 2007
A review by Andrew Fisher
This was my fifth Back in Time Live event, and I was really looking forward to it. I got there nice and early, just about 5:30pm, to grab some food first. I ran into one or two familiar faces and then joined the group relaxing out on the terrace of Spitz and the event really began there… Rather than just a straight review of what happened, I thought I would highlight some of the great moments, starting with…
Meeting Jeroen Tel
I didn’t have a chance to speak to Jeroen in Copenhagen (at the Retro Concert in November 2005), but I did at Spitz. Also out on the terrace were people like Neil Carr, Warren Pilkington, Dan Gillgrass, Tomsk, Steve Barratt, Marcel Donne, Reyn Ouwehand and Mat Allen. To add to the memory, two bizarre incidents took place. One was a very drunk guy throwing a chair, the other was an audacious beggar asking for eight hundred pounds to get to "Barbados, or somewhere near the Caribbean"… The club part of Spitz was actually upstairs with the bar/restaurant downstairs. I got the stamp on the back of my hand and picked up my free Revival ST CD (with the Nexus-II EP tucked inside) from Chris Abbott.
Old & New Friends
It was great to see so many familiar faces – Jan Lund Thomsen, Slaygon, the aforementioned Neil and Dan, Andreas Wallstrom and Makke. (Makke and Sara were wearing flowers in their hair to celebrate the Solstice). It was also good to meet some new people – like Anna Black, the star of the 8-Bit SID Chip Sandwich Show on MySpace, and her friend Maria. With so much happening on stage there was little time to chat (I was there to hear the music, so didn’t want to talk while the acts were on). But I’m sure there will be another chance to catch up with all the people soon.
Throw Underwear Now
Adding atmosphere to the evening was a certain Chris Abbott with his placards. These had come from some suggestions on the Remix64 forum, along with some warped ideas from the bottom of Chris’s brain. My favourite had to be "When it’s Jeroen, you can always Tel". Groan. As Chris introduced the host for the night, Makke, he managed to obscure him with the "Makke says Relax" card – and also commented that the last Back in Time event was in 2004, so he didn’t know what we were all doing there…
Ziphoid deserves special credit for working behind the CD shop all night long. There were some new CD’s to buy – Reyn’s "The Blithe, The Bland & The Bizzare", the special "Disco Danceaway" CD to celebrate Paul’s set and the free Octave Sounds promo CD that Jeff was handing out (when he wasn’t dropping them on the floor). For the nerdcore, 8-Bit Weapon brought not one but THREE different CD’s. There was a special edition of 8-Bit Weapon Confidential and ComputeHer’s "DataBase", both of which were limited in number and came in authentic 5.25" disk packaging. Melbot also had her CD available, with its shiny hand-painted surface. So, taking advantage of the special offers, I handed over a large wad of cash to Ziphoid…
First up on stage were ComputeHer and 8-Bit Weapon. Michelle’s short set featured her playing music on her GameBoy and the Commodore 64, and there were some great tracks. Then Melbot (Melissa) and NaughtyDog (Seth) joined her for the full 8-Bit Weapon set with the help of an Atari 2600 "drum machine". Things livened up when Seth took to the floor with the microphone for One Last Mission, there was the Kraftwerk cover Space Lab and then people started dancing for the awesome Crazy Comets.
Get down and boogie
Sporting a blond wig and some big shades, Danceaway took to the stage for his sample-heavy set. He was having a lot of fun despite the heat and the crowd loved it. Highlights of the set were Bangkok Knights (complete with BANG and KOK signs from Chris) and Jeroen Tel’s Savage. Paul’s set was followed by the disco dancing competition, judged by the audience with binary voting (1 for good allowing the dancer to carry on, 0 for bad meaning the dancer was thrown out) during the first track, the Village Peoples’ YMCA. Ultimately two were left for the dance-off to the 70’s classic Kung-Fu Fighting, and Kerry walked away with the bag full of CD’s.
Just before Jeroen Tel went on stage, there was an important bit of extra business. Remixer Chilli_UK proposed to his long-term girlfriend in front of everyone, and she said yes! And as well as all the dancing, MJ Hibbett’s set featured several opportunities for audience participation. Not least from Waz who was standing next to me with the words to Hey Hey 64K, which was getting its world premiere that evening. (Warren also "performed" vocals during One Last Mission, jumped on stage during Jeroen’s set, then got everyone going "Day-oh" in the right places during Deflektor – and this from the man who says he’s shy!) MJ’s set grabbed attention at first but gradually lost some of the audience as he shifted away from computer themes. The set list was "Hey Hey 64K", "Control Alt Delete", "The Gay Train", "Easily Impressed" (with MJ surprised by the volume of the shouts from the audience at the appropriate time) and finally his hilarious cover of the Fresh Prince’s "Boom Shake the Room".
The Maniacs of Noise always had the best drum breaks, and Jeroen Tel mixed up a storm. Familiar riffs and drum patterns got the crowd dancing once more, the lights on his hands moving around as he really enjoyed creating the vibe. He may have been wearing the "World’s Greatest DJ" T-shirt as a joke, but there’s no doubt he can rock a party. For me, the only thing the set lacked (and this can be applied to 8-Bit Weapon, too) was a proper light show and/or back projections to spice things up. (These have been a part of previous shows, so maybe next time?)
One Man Band
Saving the best for last, Reyn Ouwehand took things to a whole new level. He was remixing "live", playing several instruments – bass, guitar, drums and keyboards – and capturing sequences to be looped around. Starting with the psychedelic Parallax title tune from Martin Galway, it was a dazzling display of talent that wasn’t spoiled by one or two technical hiccups. And then he started asking for requests, like the tune Skier that he improvised in a ska style and a blues-y Flimbo’s Quest, proving even more of his skill. Makke persuaded him back on stage for one more song, with Reyn finishing on his own Last Ninja 3 title tune.
The Cold Light Of The Day
Walking back to the Travelodge after the event (with Waz, Danceaway and Octave Sounds) in the wee small hours of the morning, it felt so satisfying to have been there. Another great night of live music and fun in the capital… I can’t wait for the next event, and more magic moments.