Oxford Art Factory was packed to the rafters with loads of inner city trendies and a handful of nerdy costumed punters who truly got into the vibe, donning dinosaur suits and headdresses. The room was half full by the time Flume started his set, but you wouldn’t know it by the way people bounced around to his songs. They filled the space with wild, flailing movements. He opted for a grimier choice of songs, including one dubstep track off the new album and a new dubstep-influenced track with his other DJ sidekick in side project What So Not. These bassier tracks had the majority of males on the dance floor jolting their bodies to the two-stepping tempo as the bass wobbled its way through the bodies on the dance floor. He skulled beer in between songs and waved his hands in the air in his trademark fashion – two fingers down – clearly ecstatic to be supporting TEED on this huge show.
The anticipation that had preceded solo UK dance producer Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs’ (TEED) exclusive one-off Australian show was huge. Tickets sold out in just 40 minutes and fans stalked social media outlets for months begging for tickets. It was quite a surprise to then see him emerge behind a curtain focused and composed, and start his set in a focused and controlled manner, completely oblivious to the crowd erupting in front of him. It must be said at this point that his costume was awesome! A tidy green dinosaur onesie gave him the look of a mod Stegosaurus, by way of spikes in a mane around his neck that continued to protrude all the way down his back. As the crowd stood mystified by this prehistoric creature, TEED got straight into his set with a melodic intro, singing the vocal line from Panpipes ‘I keep thinking about my love’ in his soft falsetto, giving the crowd plenty of time to defrost from our ice age of no dancing dinosaurs.
A disappointing light show meant TEED was the sole focus as he raced around his long desk of electronics and triggered samples and buttons, adding extra layers and sounds onto familiar tracks like Stronger. From the very start, the sound quality emitted from the speakers was completely and utterly flawless. The synths were thick and juicy, but also ridiculously clear and atmospheric. The bass was punchy, but didn’t make your eardrums bleed. Stand-out track Dream On was full of trademark, funky 80’s synths driven by a punchy four-to-the-floor house bassline constructed with layered synths and deep bass. His ability to make a crowd move is second to none. The use of fun percussion that borders at times on tribal and at others on jungle is one of many elements that make his music so energetic.
Well-known tracks Garden and Household Goods provoked vocal sing-alongs, with a few lovers – fresh or old, no matter – spotted sealing their love for TEED with a not-so-sneaky snog (and subsequent dirty dance). An attendee was overheard earlier scoffing at the amount of hipsters present, but I couldn’t for the life of me see any, or really care, due to the amount of people dancing about without a care in the world. Observing the character of TEED throughout the set, it was odd that he didn’t break his blank expression at all. He remained completely focused and in the zone, fiddling around with his electronics, only breaking focus to fire confetti out of handheld cannons into the crowd. It is bizarre that an artist who displays such little emotion can instil such excessive joy and happiness in people through his music.
TEED kept the transitions seamless as he took us on a journey through his catalogue of banging dance floor fillers, all the way back to his 2010 EP All In Two Sixty Dancehalls with thumping track Blood Pressure that had the dance floor in hysterics! When he dropped the heavy, filthy bass of Blood Pressure around half way through his set, the whole dance floor was bouncing up and down with rapturous intensity. Blood Pressure was followed up by the equally grimy underground basslines of American Dream Part II and That One that well and truly brought the house down. People lost complete control of their bodies as the moshpit turned into a writhing mess of bodies throwing themselves around in between jumping and flailing their limbs to the beat.
On TEED’s last track, Flume was spotted crowd surfing on top of the mosh pit. The crowd erupted! He surfed to the front and jumped on the stage with his arms outstretched. A security guard then grabbed him from the side and flung him offstage into a metal post, hitting it awkwardly with his shoulder and head. As Flume staggered to his feet and off the stage, holding his face, the crowd stood shocked at the brutal and unnecessary act from the security guard. TEED finished abruptly after this happened. It was a strange ending to an absolutely smashing set from one of dance music’s freshest and most exciting producers in the business right now.