Disclosure with Joey Bada$$ - Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, Wed 5 Mar 2014
Poor sound quality can’t hamper a night of near-perfect pop-house
Given that the Corn Exchange is used as much for wedding fayres and corporate events as for live music performances, it’s not surprising that it lacks the decent acoustics of purpose-built gig houses. Tonight’s support act, Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$, is the latest casualty of the venue’s poor sound quality: his lyrics are muffled and incomprehensible, and he has to get by on sheer energy and exuberance alone (which, thankfully, he has in spades).
Headline act Disclosure are much less affected – their clean, often minimal house sounds are lean and hardy enough to survive in even the most unforgiving of spaces, and the set is loaded with enough stand-out hits to keep the audience from flagging during less well-known numbers. Kicking off with the recently updated Mary J Blige version of ‘F for You’ and following up with the evangelical ‘When a Fire Starts to Burn’, the pair predominantly play tracks from their critically acclaimed debut album, Settle. ‘White Noise’, ‘You & Me’ and ‘Stimulation’ all feature in relatively quick succession, leaving the audience guessing what might be in store for the finale.
Sadly, the sole misstep of the night is a weak ending: the combined low-tempo comedown of ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’ and ‘Latch’ are exactly what a crowd gearing up for a night of midweek clubbing don’t need, even if the latter (the pair’s breakthrough hit) is at least somewhat expected. Better to chuck it in at the end, perhaps, than feature it earlier and disrupt a ridiculously solid set of near-perfect pop house.