Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Live Review: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

Most dance music acts tend to rock up on stage, all guns blazing, unleash their sets and head off. But this was far from the case. Native American headdresses, dinosaur costumes, wigged dancers and confetti cannons aggrandised the performance of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs at Southampton’s quirky Orange Rooms.

Orlando Higginbottom, the producer and singer known professionally as TEED, has hit the industry by storm – a big bang, in fact. With a fresh outlook on dance music, a unique style of music production, and an unforgettable name; it’s no wonder the one-man-act was snapped up last year by major record label Polydor.

Following the release of breakthrough single ‘Garden’, TEED continues to be noticed across the globe. If you’re unfamiliar with the act, you’ll soon find out that his musical style is considerably hard to pin down; all adding to TEED’s appeal and notable recognition.

Anticipation, excitement, hunger and impatience brewed in the lead up to the TEED frontman’s entrance. It was a full house. There was pushing aplenty - not to mention screaming.

The moment Orlando set foot on stage, the screams were amplified. But once they faded into somewhat ‘orgasmic’ groans, the atmosphere suddenly turned.

If you’d have walked in at that precise moment, you’d have expected the worst. It seemed as if the crowd had been punched in the face by Orlando’s presence.

What better way to make an entrance than in a multi-coloured African tribal shirt, quirk-ified with several Jurassic feathers jutting out from an oversized collar? Almost a spiritual affair, the crowd’s heart rate slowed – regardless of their Vodka Red Bull intake moments prior.

The lead in to the set saw a sterile house vibe drop, incorporating a dash of tribal influence. Heads began to bop. All eyes were mesmerised, glancing up at the wondrous Orlando - backlit by the lighting display which resembled three coffins appropriately shaped like a dinosaur claw.

With Orlando bouncing faster between laptop, drum machine and keyboard, the vibe progressed. Out came ‘Trouble’ – a 70’s pop influenced dance track.

With mindless vocals unleashed over a repetitive beat, the audience scrambled into an intensely profound state. And with the ignition of confetti cannons signalling the start of something a little filthier, each soul was hurled into action. 

Very much emblematic of TEED’s outlook on dance music, a variety of sounds, feels and vibes were incorporated into the set. Progressively and intoxicatingly powerful, it seemed even the venue couldn’t handle the atmosphere; with the speakers going up in smoke in the midst of action.

If that wasn’t enough, a quick-fix later, on came the dancers. Dressed in sexy, skin-tight dinosaur outfits, complete with chunky sequin embellished tails; they flung their bodies around like two ghetto girls on acid, grinding around on stage to the crowd’s roar. And with a change in mood, a change in persona was also in order.

From ghetto to girly, an outfit change saw them in cloaks and leotards conveniently positioned like ‘bare all’ hot pants. Flaunting a flirtatious persona, these chicks could do ‘50s housewife cheeky’ on demand. And when the music got dirtier, so did they.

The set felt like an all-out performance. Way more than you bargained for. An occasion you’d imagine going for dinner in London prior. Then lounge in some exclusive members club, before tottering up to be greeted by a man in a top hat, wooing you into spending more money.

Yet TEED’s aim is to deliver un-stereotyped, non-conventional, uncategorised dance music to people far and wide – not limited by any specific scene. And he delivered just that.

The atmosphere stirred insanity amongst the crowd; a mixture between some sort of mental hard house night and a religious gathering. Ecstatic. Reverent. Euphoric. Delirious. Orbiting around cloud nine. And when the beat dropped, you felt as if you were pushed over the moon right down onto it.

Orlando really has such radiant spirit; you just can’t help but succumb to his charisma. The out of body experience he provided was like riding a musical rollercoaster of electrical poetry. It draws you in, grips you, and refuses to let you go until the last note fades away into the nothingness of an elated audience.

Finishing the set with the heavy bass lines of ‘Sickly Child’ followed by a double-dosage of dubstep – always a winner at the end of the night – the crowd were left in a somewhat hypnotic state.

Tones echoed through your mind and sparks of musical electricity danced on your skin as you left, suspended in a state of contentment. But like waking up from an eventful night out, going over it all in your head – you soon realise that all it is now is just a long lost memory.

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