In his much anticipated return to the city, nu-disco genius Todd Terje headlined The Garage. Gwen Angood was there to review the action.
Last updated: 5th Apr 2016
Image credit: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Super-charged by the sunshine earlier on, you could clearly feel the buzz throughout the city on this special night. Hidden away amongst the industrial, graffiti-adorned playground of The Baltic Triangle, people were gathering in the queue at the Greenland St venue amidst a sea of excitement.
Once indoors, the dark disco dungeon that is The Garage oozed with atmosphere akin to an early-era warehouse party. The thunderous Funktion-One sound system pumped out refreshing sounds courtesy of Jemmy who was warming things up wonderfully with 'The Magical Party' (Jonas Bering remix) by The Silent Ones (below).
The track dropped a huge hint as to what we were about to witness, its eighties European synth slants echoing through the room as we danced our way to the front of the room to secure a prime viewing spot.
Handing over the helm to PBR Streetgang, the sound evolved from the lighter side of disco and house to the dirtier, jacking and bass-driven as the lads from Leeds ramped up the energy in the room in preparation for the night's eagerly anticipated headliner. And what a warm-up set it was.
With it's quirky Mighty Boosh samples, 'Freaks' by Misfits filled the room with it's reggae-styled trumpet surround and twisting acid-styled centre. It had everyone moving along, drink in hand, grooving underneath the beautiful sprinkles of the glitterball as if it were mid-day at a beach party on an island far away.
As the Broadway inspired backdrop of lights flashed to the heartbeat of their set, the PBR boys were stirring up a salsa on the dancefloor as the beautiful sounds of 'Ubik' by Laurence Guy twinkled out around us – a real highlight of their set with it's delicious bass riff and uplifting highs– it had us cheering, enthusing and twirling around on the floor.
We enthusiastically bounced around to the deep, yet playful 'Analogue Flow' by Alkalino & Lintronix, as the crowd began to huddle in tighter on the dancefloor, the presence of copious amounts of glitter and some amazing disco outfits began to emerge as the Studio 54-vibed atmosphere got warmer, more intense.
Dancing, sweating, laughing, covered in sparkles against the black surround of our underground venue, the crowd was ready and 100% revved up as PBR covered us in disco strings and brass by throwing out 'Loving You is Easy' (Tom Trago Remix) by The Carter Brothers before the stage was set for The Master, the awe-inspiring Terje Olsen aka Todd Terje.
Todd seemed to appear out of nowhere, the crowd erupted as he took to his synth with a modest smile on his face in response to our excitement and enthusiasm. He oozed cool on stage, the crowd was bubbling over like a disco cauldron, chanting his name as the man himself pressed the first magic button.
Opening the set with probably the most immense example of his work with Lindstrom, his live version of 'Another Station' indicated to us that this would not only be Album Time, but indeed time to showcase the very best of Todd – his productions, collaborations and remixes in all their glory.
The mighty 'Delorean Dynamite' came on very early into the set - like setting a firework off, the lights dazzled as the crowd bounced together and the energy peaked on the dancefloor. This track has the wonderful ability to take you from deep, dark and dirty to disco heaven in the space of three minutes with it's Nile Rogers inspired guitar riffs and addictive bassline.
The piece de resistance had to be 'Inspector Norse'. At least half the crowd united to impersonate this quirky sound in time with the music. Todd gave us a smile as he played a perfect, extended rendition of this popular masterpiece that has frequented dancefloors and festivals worldwide.
The only criticism of the whole set is that it was not long enough – the hour flew by, and there were a few other tracks we would have loved to hear Todd perform from the album itself. To be honest, we could have listened to him all night long and still wanted more.
We can't help but feel that this is just the beginning of big things happening in Liverpool throughout the course of 2016, particularly in the Baltic Triangle – the city and its promoters aren't doing things by halves if this Garage showcase was anything to go by.