Words: Matthew Pollock
Thunder Disco Club have claimed almost veteran status on Glasgow’s promotion circuit, having gone from basement parties at The Lite Club circa 2009 to hosting the likes of Ben UFO and Genius of Time at the Sub Club. Tonight their guests are Belfast duo, Bicep, who return with their exclusive, new live show.
Bicep collaborator, Hammer, and TDC resident, Jubé, kick things off with a set that swings between purposeful rhythms and more playful moments; ultimately locking into an intense groove that ratchets up the intensity bit by bit, pulling in hungry ears to surround the decks. By midnight, the place is bristling.
Then, the volume unexpectedly plunges. The wails and whistles of the crowd fill the void where once there was a thudding beat and the soaring vocal from Bicep’s 'Celeste' gradually unfurls above the din. As a wave of recognition spreads through the room and the rafters shake, I can see why my friends bought tickets for this months ago.
From blogging about obscure disco delights and hidden house gems, Bicep have amassed a huge following, and their productions have ultimately taken them to the next level. Initially producing tracks that read largely from the hymn sheet of classic house, more recent releases have touched on trance, electro and breaks, with last year’s ‘Just’ EP bringing those previously more understated elements to the fore.
The live results are impressive, and as testament to their loyal following, there is a strong showing of home support at the Sub Club tonight. Standing at the urinal in the male toilets, you might be forgiven for thinking you’re in Belfast, such is the number of Northern Irish voices merrily slagging each other across the room.
Back on the dancefloor, the sense of momentum is only increasing. We're led through a labyrinth of moody synths and constantly shifting, razor-sharp percussion, but even when the music veers away into more minimal and unfamiliar territory, it retains a sense of urgency.
By the time they drop 'Just', people are going ballistic. With its jilted, almost chirpy melodic hook bubbling and fizzing at the surface, and a brooding synth slowly swelling underneath, the track ascends to a dizzying peak, at which point the lights go up and the sweaty, contorted faces of those around us are briefly thrown into relief.
In the melee, a coolly, compassionate voice beckons from the shadows: "we're just the same", and tonight, the Sub Club’s dancefloor moves as one.
Bicep’s remix of Blaze ‘Lovely Day’ is available on both digital and 12” formats on August 26th. Thunder Disco Club celebrate their 7th birthday with Horse Meat Disco on the 25th November.
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