Disclosure have come a long way in such a short period of time. 2013 has been a pretty successful year for them to say the least. They’ve had a string of top 20 singles, played numerous festivals over the summer, had a chart-topping debut album, and they are now currently playing a sold-out headlining tour.
I saw Disclosure recently at the Newcastle O2, for the second time this year. They were brilliant the first time round. They were sensational this time.
They were supported by Friend Within and Tourist, two newcomer House DJ’s who played very different sets. I recently listed Friend Within on my personal playlist for their infectious song ‘The Renegade’ and it was clear that this was the only song the audience had heard from him before; he played for over an hour but the atmosphere was subdued throughout until this song began. He was good and it was clear he knew what he was doing but as with most newcomers if you haven’t released many songs yet the audience aren’t going to participate in the way that you would prefer them to. That said, Friend Within is certainly one that I’m going to keep an eye on. Tourist’s set on the other hand was moody and slow in comparison. Out of the two of them I think Tourist needs a bit more practice, but he’ll probably be huge eventually too.
And then Disclosure came on. It was clear from the onset that they have refined their skill enormously; their set was ten times better than when I saw them in February and it’s surprising that they have come on so far in only eight months. They began with ‘F For You’, showcasing Howard’s impressive voice (he should definitely sing more on their next album!) and the audience were jumping up and down instantly and singing along. This is what we’d waited for.
Their set included their biggest hits; ‘You & Me’ sounded as compelling as it does through my headphones; ‘Stimulation’ was infectious ensuring that every single person in the room was dancing, or at least bopping their heads along; ‘White Noise’ was undoubtedly fantastic but I have to admit it was better when I heard AlunaGeorge sing it live a few weeks back; ‘Voices’ featured a surprise performance from Sasha Keable – her voice was on top form and for the first time there was some real movement on the stage.
Disclosure have to be applauded. They remained stationary for the best part of their set with each of them confined to their own podium surrounded by their various instruments and laptops, but they completely worked the audience in a way that surprised me; constantly talking to the crowd, encouraging them to sing and dance along. There was something to watch always, whether it was Guy banging the drums or Howard playing his guitar or the blinding display of lights that illuminated the room. The light display also contributed somewhat to the experience I had; the lights changed and pulsed in time with the music and red and yellow lights flashed along with ‘When A Fire Starts To Burn’ helping to create a burning sensation. I could have seriously watched them for hours.
Their encore consisted of ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’ and ‘Latch’, both assisted by a singing graphic of their trademark face. It was gorgeous to watch for the former, but it wasn’t necessary for the latter. Nor was the backing track of Sam Smith; the audience sang for them and their set culminated in a powerful closure.
Their tour may be currently sold out, but Disclosure are touring again next year; I would certainly recommend seeing them. They’re only going to get better.