I finally got to witness the live sounds of Four Tet on Saturday night and I was quite satisfied. I did notice early on in the night while the support acts were on that there was a scant presence of drums or any other applicable live instruments. As complex as Keiran Hebdens sounds are I thought he would dare to incorporate a live set of drums into the performance.
Tim Exile was on before Hebden and his own electro brand of Jamie Liddell style beat making was damn tasty. A nice dose of tricky loops and crunching beats set up for the main act nicely. During this time though I realised that Andrews Lane Theatre carries sound awfully. The walls at either side of the dancefloor area extend out past the line of the ends of the stage and seem to steal the sound from saturating the room. The venue mad up for it by having some of the friendliest crowds I have come across at a gig. As a friend said to me "I could have happliy left my bag on the ground for the night and no-one would have harmed it"
Hebden graced the stage to applause and lured the crowd into "Ringer" which set the tone for a set flowing with his best tunes that made the "folktronica" tag of which he has attained (reluctantly or not) so popular amongst those in the dance world. I found myself closing my eyes for most of the gig and letting the music fill my ears with absolute delight. The Four Tet sound has that power which can put you in a really positive place. Many of the sets material ("And Then Patterns" and "Sun, Drums and Soil some of the highlights for me) came from the "Everything Ecstatic" album of 2005 which epitomizes the notion that music can act as food for the soul.
Here is the opening of the set: