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london gig (ocean 2) review
(by gavin stok)
october 7 2002

date: october 5, 2002
venue: ocean 2, hackney, london
members: toby marks, ted duggan
crowd: approx. 500 (sold out)
length: approx. 90 minutes

to celebrate the release of 10 years, a retrospective of banco de gaia's favourite work, its originator, toby marks, and long-time member & drummer, ted duggan, have been touring the u.k.. for london they chose the new and impressive  ocean 2 venue in hackney. here, in an intimate space, a sold old crowd of 500 people experienced a live show combining toby's keyboards, sequencer and guitar/guitar synth, with ted's electronic & live drumming.

with great pleasure that all the computers & electronics started as expected, probably due to technical difficulties at their previous gig, toby and ted started with heliopolis. they kept things upbeat for the next three tracks, then went up a notch when ted changed from electronic drumming to live drumming. the result was applause, tapping feet and nodding heads amongst a crowd dominated by those who have seen banco de gaia play live at one or more festival. in many ways many seemed there to try and recreate the magic of their first, or subsequent, live banco festival gig.

the night continued with a varied collection of tracks spanning back from maya all the way through to igizeh. surprisingly there were no tracks pre-maya. from the start of the show i was concerned at how tied to the computer they might have been. essentially it was a pre-programmed show on an apple mac that toby & ted jammed away to it using sequencers, guitars and drums. it was soon apparent though that they weren't just twisting knobs and hitting drums to look busy (bow your heads chemical bros.). instead they were genuinely adding an additional element that the crowd was appreciative of, especially when ted added obvious elements to tracks not found on the originals.

even more noticeable throughout the night was how strong the rapport was between ted & toby, proven by their long-term collaboration. ted's drumming was excellent whilst toby was clearly in control of the sequencer and keyboards. if nothing else their smiles showed that this was a show that was going perfectly, and the word after the gig was that it was probably their best london show ever.

there is no doubting that banco de gaia's work has made an impact on the dance scene over the past decade. whether you consider the work as global, trance, or otherwise, there is little question that it is original, infectious, and taken to a new level when experienced live. don't miss it!

copyright 2002 gavin stok. all rights reserved