Gig Review: Bicep @ Digital

Unless you are a regular of World HQ nights, electronic music that does not stray into the mainstream is regrettably neglected at the majority of Newcastle nightclubs. Perhaps it was the enormous success of Belfast duo Bicep’s recent self-titular album that brought them to Digi on a Friday, the first day of December.

Personally, I thought that Christmas had come early when I first saw the gig announced a few months ago, and have been bouncing off the walls with excitement ever since. Upon arrival of one of Newcastle’s largest clubs, it became apparent that this was also the case for many others- too many others, in fact.

I thought that Christmas had come early when I first saw the gig announced a few months ago

I understand the venue’s desire to make more money, and squeeze in as many people as they possibly can to the sold-out event, but it was this overselling which was one of the main factors which undermined the atmosphere of the night. The main floor was far too busy, and left dancers packed like sardines, with almost no space to vibe to the music, expressing themselves through cutting shapes to the beat, and gurning jaws slightly less to the beat.

The sound system itself was certainly adequate, although while it was bassy enough, the speakers lacked the depth for the subtleties of the enormous tunes such as ‘Glue’, ‘Orca’, ‘Aura’ to be properly appreciated. The audience were also made to wait until the final hour of the set (03:00-04:00) for the majority of the widely lauded album Bicep to be played. In the hours before this, more obscure and even unrecognisable songs kept fans in suspended anticipation of what proved to be an impressive climax to the night.

You’d certainly be kicking yourself if you left before the lights came on at 4am

You’d certainly be kicking yourself if you left before the lights came on at 4am sharp, yet the vast majority of the attendees seemed to go the distance to the relatively early end time, and were rewarded with a half-an-hour-long queue to leave the club, and bitter cold outside.

Although the night out may not have quite lived up to the lofty expectations, to do so would have be quite a feat indeed.

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