Review by Bethany Walsh
He may have suffered from a perforated eardrum in recent months, but it hasn’t hindered Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet’s ability to bring the house down with an all vinyl set. After an initial postponement of the event, there was an air of anxious anticipation as ticketholders descended the stairs for the sold out show at The Shipping Forecast.
Upon entering The Hold after a stint in the bitter Liverpool air outside, revellers were engulfed by the heat of the room; Harry Sheehan warming the crowd up in both body and spirit. Once Hebden took to the decks, for the three hours that followed, Sheehan could only look on from the sidelines in an air of admiration and a tinge of envy. Bodies everywhere were possessed by the sonic mastery; jerking heads, swaying shoulders and flailing limbs. There truly was a storm on the Mersey that night.
Silently acknowledging the wanting arms of the audience over the booth and the cameras looming over his shoulder, Hebden maintained focus on the task at hand. Hunched over his equipment with a furrowed brow and nodding head, he was a picture of concentration, seamlessly weaving a tapestry of sounds from disparate elements of various genres. Smooth transitions between Afrobeat, Jazz, Samba, House and UK Garage kept the crowd on their toes, always wondering what would come next. And whatever did come next never seemed to disappoint; the crowd cheering and pounding the ceiling in appreciation.
Hebden played to their desires, even managing to slip in a couple of remixes, including The XX’s “VCR” and Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie”. His own track “Jupiters” caused an eruption, as did his encore track, Hendrix’s “Crosstown Traffic”, which he played after pleading chants for “one more song!” As the lights went up and applause rung in the air, Hebden flashed a meek smile and threw his hands in the air, as if celebrating the obvious success of his Liverpool visit.
Hebden described the night as a “slice of heaven” on Twitter and it is safe to say that those who were present at The Shipping Forecast wholeheartedly agree.
Four Tet performed at the Shipping Forecast on Thursday 21st February. The night was promoted by Abandon Silence.