Live Review: Sophie + QT, Yuma X, Fresh Hex

11 February 2016 | 2:18 pm | Bradley Armstrong

"The music itself seems to sit somewhere between that Ministry Of Sound compilation you bought back in 1998 and the future of pop."

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Opening up the night, Fresh Hex falls victim to his start time being the same as doors open. Although playing to a fragmented audience, the producer's set is a brilliant way to kick off the evening with clear anime, chiptune and bubblegum pop coming across in his original works. Yuma X emerge seamlessly from Fresh Hex and the two-piece deliver a debatably more conventional breed of electronica, although it lacks real engagement. Clear influences from The xx and Jamie xx's solo work comes across instantly and, while it is not necessarily a bad experience, it does feel like filler for the times ahead.

First down the rabbit hole wins. The time has come for our headliners, PC Music illuminati, energy drink hoarders and futuristic beings from another plane of existence, Sophie (Samuel Long) and QT (Hayden Dunham) have packed out the room and anticipation beams off the walls. Sophie takes the stage first, with strobes and fog lights taking charge to a seemingly quiet mix. As the set progresses, this is clearly early footwork as things get loud. The music itself — well, for this portion of the show anyway — seems to sit somewhere between that Ministry Of Sound compilation you bought back in 1998 and the future of pop.

Roughly around a third of the way in, Sophie switches out with QT who surprisingly delivers a down-the-line set of bubblegum/future pop with flourishes of dance and trance thrown in for good measure. Sophie then, again, takes the reins and all that has come before was time killing. All the hits get an airing from the glitch/grime of MSMSMSM to the pitch-shifted dance nightmare/dream sequence of Hard. Just Like We Never Said Goodbye feels like an anthemic ballad and sees the sweaty, tuckered-out audience embracing and singing every word. Lemonade then brings things back up with its quick-fire weirdness.

An encore is obligatory, and both Sophie and QT emerge for the trademark Hey QT, which seemingly embodies everything that these artists and PC Music are about. It's kooky, it's futuristic and naturally has QT lip-syncing and delivering her best Hatsune Miku impersonation. Whether you're here for the artistic originality of the projects or just got swept up in the mysticism of it all, tonight is clearly an experience to have.

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