Growing up in Liverpool means that throughout my formative years I have endured many Mathew Street Festivals as though they were some form of scouse right of passage. From “Blurasis” (a unique blend of both Blur and Oasis, how’s that for pushing the boat out?), to “Letz Zep”, to the sensitively named “Amy Housewine” there aren’t many artists whose biggest hits I haven’t heard being belted out by pun-ridden tribute acts. As a result you could forgive me for being a tad cynical when it comes to tribute acts and cover bands and it would be fair to say that when we were contacted about going down to see Introducing recreate Discovery, which in my opinion is Daft Punk’s best album, I was a little apprehensive. Worried that I’d be once again seeing some fantastic songs, in this case an incredible album, performed live minus all the nuances and subtle detail that make the originals so great and performed by sub-par tribute acts in which every single member seems jaded and/or a little bit nuts.
I got down to The Globe as the doors opened and I’m struggling to recall many things I’ve regretted more. Arriving at half seven only to wait until around nine for the band to finally take to the stage drained me of all my energy. Sitting in a hot, sticky and very quiet venue for 90 minutes alone* can be a struggle and by the time Introducing begun their set I was feeling lethargic. The band finally took their positions, by this time the room had filled out a bit and temperatures were rising. Acknowledging, but ultimately ignoring, this intense heat Introducing suddenly exploded with energy as they kicked off the set with Robot Rock before dropping effortlessly into One More Time. The set continues in a similar fashion, the performance of every single track is packed with an incredible amount of energy and a clear adoration for the songs they’re recreating. The great thing about Discovery is that alongside the big hits and the infectious hooks, there’s also some really mellow, tender moments as the choruses are put to one side and instrumental breaks come to the foreground. Needless to say, Introducing showed an incredible level of mastery over the big hits, delivering songs like Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger and (my personal highlight) Too Long with all the enthusiasm and animation you’d expect. However, it was in those more instrumental moments where Introducing really impressed me. The level of musicianship on show was truly incredible, as the band recreate every last detail of the track with the precision and intricacy that you imagine Daft Punk themselves originally created the songs with.
However, as I mentioned earlier, having seen a lot of tribute acts in my relatively short time on the earth, what was always going to separate Introducing from these vast legions of Mathew Street staples was not only how well they recreated the music but how much of a show and how enjoyable a gig they put on. At the beginning of their set, a tangible nervousness and tension lay heavy on the crowd as people stood around not really knowing what to expect and whether it was okay for them to dance. However by the third song the crowd were politely bobbing heads and tapping feet, by the time we reached the halfway point there were full-blown dance moves and by the time the set finished pretty much the entire audience had come to the conclusion “it’s Daft Punk, of course it’s okay to dance” as we joined in unison in an effort to raise the temperature of the room by at least another ten degrees. At the end of the night both the band and the crowd glistened with sweat; the result of our sweet and joyous perspiration, a badge of honour to prove how much fun we’d all just had.
Closing the set with a five-minute mini-mix that quite simply blew me away before coming back to perform Around The World for their encore (which blew me away again) I had been fully won over. Convinced no more that Introducing were simply a tribute act or a cover band but certain that I’d just had the most fun I’d had at a gig in a long time. Great songs that have never been performed live, being performed live.
A groundbreaking electronic album transformed into a completely live experience. A clear love and respect for the music they’re playing and a contagious level of energy and excitement, Introducing are a melting pot filled with every element you’ll ever need for a fantastic live experience. With a couple more tour dates over summer, a Radio One session and an appearance at Bestival in September, it’s looking to be a busy summer for the boys and it is simply imperative that you experience them in some form. As Daft Punk seem adamant that they won’t tour, even after the triumph of Random Access Memories, then seeing Introducing perform Discovery (and a few tracks from other Daft Punk albums) is honestly as good as it gets.
Joseph Ainscough – @TheJoeSco
*At this point I must thank the two girls from Bristol who allowed me to join them for a drink and a chat as we waited for the gig to begin. I’ve forgotten your names but thanks a lot.
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