Live Review: James Blake, Mark Pritchard

29 July 2016 | 7:19 pm | Jenny Nguyen

"It'll sound shit, and it'll be your fault."

More James Blake More James Blake

UK-bred Sydney DJ/producer Mark Pritchard warmed up the evening with plenty of bass-heavy dancefloor fillers. If only there were enough dancers to fill the floor.

Pritchard's set featured several tracks from new album Under The Sun, including his collaboration with Radiohead's Thom Yorke (who was sadly not present to deliver live vocals), which managed get the few heads bopping along. If not bopping along, then vibrating because the bass was thoroughly felt throughout the room.

James Blake set out to deliver a mix of original tracks and reworks of his favourites from over the years, opening with Always from his latest record before quickly launching into the post-dubstep era of Overgrown. He followed up with a startling live rendition of Life Round Here; the three-man band layered syncing loops, vocals, harmonic keys, and abrasive drum beats live.

It was quite a surprising experience to witness how bass-heavy his music is in a live setting. It would have rivalled the frequencies of his support act but this was more so of an underground rave tone. Paired with the simple visuals of coloured lights and minimal smoke machine, the theatre was looking perfect.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

The room intensified ten-fold when Blake started to gently coo the opening vocals of 2013 hit Retrograde, which, by the end, drew one of the loudest applauses for the night. Other highlights included the delivery of two covers - Joni Mitchell's Case Of You and Feist's Limit To Your Love.

Blake thanked his father for the inspiration in Wilhelm Scream, and then performed an acapella version of Measurements built on vocal loops. He requested the crowd to maintain silence "otherwise it'll sound shit, and it'll be your fault".

Blake showed off his vocal range starting with airy falsettos and moving onto deeper baritone, before leaving vocal loops to play out the evening, inclusive of one defiant audience member's loud "woo" in the mix.