Koko is a grand old dame, she’s gone through several incarnations and name changes, first as a theatre (opened by another grand old dame, Ellen Terry, way back in 1900) then as a cinema, and later as a BBC studio. Between the 70s and early Noughties it was The Camden Palace, and was host to the first UK show of then up and coming US star, Madonna. Falling into disrepair, The Palace was renovated in 2004 became Koko – a beautiful and spacious entertainment venue.
We’ve covered Nick Bracegirdle, aka Chicane, a few times before on EP, but this was the first time we’d seen the man himself in action, and we very much enjoyed it! Although we had been told by a guard at the stage door not to bother showing up until 8.15 as the support was starting at 7.15, a niggling feeling prompted us to get there on time – and we were glad we did. The support act proved to be Nick himself, who ran through a DJ set that got everyone’s hearts pumping (and ears set to bursting).
Although there were some technical difficulties, Nick led us through an otherwise smooth and satisfying set of classic Chicane, as well as tracks from new album, “The Sum of Its Parts”. My companion on the night is an avid Chicane fan, and he was particularly touched to hear his personal favourite, ‘Popiholla’ performed live. I loved just watching Nick move – he started on a small desk with a Mac, and then progressed to a massive deck of keyboards and two more Macs, all the while overlaying tracks on the fly. The man is a musical genius – far more than a “DJ”.
Nick was accompanied by a band and a number of vocalists on the night. Bo Bruce and Bryan Adams were sadly unable to come but in their place we had the beautiful voices of Paul Aiden and Christian Burns – plus a female singer whose name I didn’t catch but who was a more than able replacement for Bo.
(Thanks Norman from the Netherlands for letting us know it’s Natasha Andrews – ed)
The night was fantastic, my ears have just about recovered, and my biceps feel all the stronger for the fistpumps I did. If Chicane comes to your town (or anywhere you can get to – we met fans who’d come over from The Netherlands), then don’t hesistate in buying a ticket.
Check out the video for “No More I Sleep”: