Nightmares on Wax brings 'Shape The Future' to Brighton

by Michael Spyrou, Feb 08, 2018

Performing to a sold-out crowd, George Evelyn aka Nightmares on Wax debuts his newest album 'Shape The Future' to an eager audience at Concorde 2.

Despite being of different generations, the Brightonian crowd at Concorde were vibing together on the trip that was Nightmares On Wax’s live rendition of his latest album Shape The Future, the first of its kind taking place after it’s launch party at Phonica Records in Soho, London.

The Leeds born George Evelyn and his brilliant support really rocked out the Concorde 2 hall thanks to the superb sound system, which renders it one of the best live venues in Britain. With the legendary Nightmares On Wax the on the menu it was a name to match the location.

Before the main course, Brighton based singer and producer Speelburg serenaded the crowd creating a warm atmosphere. After Nightmares took to the stage joined by an excellent vocalist, a drummer, and a pianist spread across the stage with their respective instrument and sofa. They began their performance at 9 and lasted for around an hour and 40 minutes of both high and low energy as well as mellow and more hard-hitting tracks, off the sonically diverse new project.

The enthusiasm amongst the performers, especially Nightmares on Wax, who barely spent a second, not on his feet and dancing around despite having his own sofa, was infectious and had the vast majority of the crowd bobbing and swaying along in almost a trance-like state. As well as his outstanding backup, Nightmares was accompanied on stage by two screens displaying some psychedelic visuals, complementing the entire experience, and each individual track off the Shape The Future project exceptionally well.

About three quarters through the performance was put on hold as Evelyn admirably took some time to talk to the audience about love, an appeal on behalf of a charity called ‘Last Night a DJ Saved My Life’. A charity which provides clean water to struggling populations in India and Africa which I thought was a lovely touch to the event, which befitted the album title and general vibe of the night. Overall, I thought the live rendition of Shape The Future was one of the best live performance I’ve seen in Brighton in some years.

The 12-track album – released on Warp Records – is a genre-defying blend of various sounds. This can be seen in tracks like the ambient “Back to Nature” a key track of the album, to the dub and reggae inspired “Tomorrow” or the African inspired and acid housey “Gotta Smile”. The title track “Shape The Future” another of the albums top records has a really bouncy melody that encaptured the whole audience in Concorde.

The myriad of sentiment and emotion translated through Shape The Future – can suit a variety of moods. However, the overall feel of the album is centred around love. There is perhaps a more definite lyrical presence in Shape The Future than a lot of Evelyn’s other work, adding to the importance of the piece’s aim to disseminate a positive message. However, he doesn’t stray too far from his classic trip-hop roots, with the album’s production textured and lucid throughout.

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