Originally posted on Noise Cannon: http://noisecannon.com/2015/10/19/jamie-xx-o2-academy-brixton/
Jamie Smith has always had a modest air about him, from his work with The xx to his latest solo project as Jamie xx, he’s not one to boast. Neither is he one to talk to the crowd, much less to anyone else. However, he is one to stick it to the crowd, with a careful selection of music that he absorbs himself in to. Smith’s lack of vocal interaction puts all focus on the music, and as he mixes those records, the anticipation lies in where the song is going to go. It is perhaps this that has earned him a sold out show at Brixton Academy as part of his In Colour tour.
Opening with a reworked version of ‘Sleep Sound’, the crowd roar as every beat is pounded with a bass that shakes the floor and makes you feel downright dirty. Smith’s absorption in the music is resounded through the room, his energy bouncing back on the crowd. There’s no surge to the front of the stage, there’s no violence, everyone is quite literally all under one roof, raving. Smith holds a very strong presence, but you don’t need to look to the stage to realise it – it’s felt in every beat, every strobe of light, every ecstatic smile you see on the faces around you.
Every track played is mixed into oblivion, offering surprises left right and center, keeping us on our toes, and even ‘Good Times’ – with its general mixed reception among Jamie xx fans – goes down a treat. To pick a weak point is hard, and to be honest, being overly analytic of the night proves a struggle as Smith’s performance is almost hypnotic at times. It’s easy to think of these kinds of shows as glorified DJ sets, but you’d be sorely mistaken to think this is a lazy man’s game. The sheer thought put into how to mix up each song is unimaginable, and then maintaining the crowd’s interaction without forced humour – this is a movements show, with dancing bodies holding more of a seal of approval than any amount of cheering.
The crowd only slows towards the end, in appreciation as opposed to boredom, as the subdued ‘Loud Places’ softens the blow of a heavy night with confetti filling the room. It’s almost as if everyone feels the need to take a snapshot of the night, just before ‘Girl’ kicks in to close the night, and the movement ensues.