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Asbo Disco – The Correspondents

Friday, 14 October, 2011

Mr. Bruce – Singer/MC.  Chucks – DJ/Producer.  Unsigned

The Correspondents

Tracksuits in a chapel?  But this was Saturday night, not Sunday morning, and the chapel in question, the Trinity Centre in Bristol, no longer functions as a place of worship, but has been born again as a clubbing venue.  On Saturday 8th October The Asbo Disco stated leisure wear as the dress code appropriate for the night they held there, which turned out to be the perfect choice of attire as most people were sweaty enough to warrant dressing in gym gear in the end.  It was also a refreshing change after all those electro swing gigs with people looking very perfect and vintage.  The queue to get in was almost as long as the hype preceding the gig, as The Correspondents were to be accompanied by a free photo booth and the Dance Off crew. The latter were sadly unable to attend  and Yes Sir Boss were welcomed into the gap, warming up the crowd to an unnecessarily high temperature.  As the air became barely breathable, it is not clear how a dance-off would have survived the heat.

The only way to forget the discomfort was to focus on that of Mr Bruce, who pronounced himself ‘barely alive’ at the end of the gig.  Under normal conditions, choosing to wear a cloak whilst singing, rapping, rhyming, engaging a crowd and dancing like a maniac, on stage would be no mean feat, but couple this with the extreme climate of the room, and then throw in a treadmill, and some idea of the standards that the Correspondents set themselves become apparent.  A DJ and MC duo, Mr Bruce and Chucks ‘revamp vintage sounds for the modern ear’, mixing and blending Electro, Drum ʻnʼ Bass and Swing.  They have been described as one of the UK’s best live acts, playing throughout the UK since 2007 and now have a huge and loyal following, as their tunes are catchy and unusual, and the show they provide is exceptionally entertaining.

Mr Bruce’s MCing was topped only by his dancing.  This man dances with every fibre of his body, down to his fingertips.  At points, he even conducted the crowd, ensuring that he got as good as he gave, as almost everyone was compelled to dance.  When this much energy and thought is given to a performance, it would be rude not to.  Visually, The Correspondents are every bit as impressive as they are to hear, as they are so well presented they could almost be a brand.  Famed for his legs, which kick, lunge and bend about in stretchy fabrics, their length and flexibility often accentuated in bold stripes,  Mr Bruce’s clothing reflects the musical style.  A refined, vintage array of glasses, bow ties and waistcoats, thrown together with some distinctly fluorescent, electro flair.

The crowd found it in them to dance wildly to Washington Square, carried along by an incredible MC dancing on a treadmill.  The overall impression was a performance to remember, and to talk about, encapturing the current electro swing movement, but with an edge.  The Correspondents need to be seen live.

(c) Claire Higgins 2011

Reviewed Thursday 8th October 2011, Bristol

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