Modular Presents Infinity 2006 featuring The Presets and Digitalism @ Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle (08/06/06)

The late appearance of my cohorts and I at the Newcastle leg of the Infinity tour was almost counterbalanced by the so-late-it’s-overdue arrival of most of the crowd to the Presets’ brand of electro-sleaze. A full house greeted the globetrotting duo, and maybe it was the fresh OC influence or simply the rave connotations of the night, but this was a crowd quite out of place at the emo/hardcore-punk stamping ground of the Cambridge Hotel. Yet, forgiving my indie-snob tendencies, we all met here for the same reasons: to dance and have a good time.

And that wasn’t hard with the so-called “German lords of (banging) dance”, Digitalism, providing the soundtrack. The duo brought the cheese to please; all that was missing were the e’s. But that’s a touchy subject. Perhaps better known (well, at least in my mind) for pounding remixes of the likes of the Futureheads, Daft Punk, Tom Vek and tonight’s headliners, Digitalism most definitely showed they had plenty of their own love to give. With local hero Kato providing air horns and general mischief (I’m sure he did much more) the extended set most definitely had the ravers and indie kids raving alike. Digitalism brought a subversive take on the club scene; providing snippets of popular music and making you like-like them by building them up and tearing them down.

With little to no down-time to wipe the sweat from your brow, the Presets were upon us. Kim Moyes was hitting stuff real hard-like and Julian Hamilton was imploring us to do stuff with our bodies simply by breathing into the microphone. I’ve heard the Presets described as the sound of sex before but with a packed Cambridge gyrating along to songs of the calibre of ‘Beat On/Beat Off’ this gig was also the sight and smell of sex. When the lads dropped the shoulda-been-mega-smash ‘Are You the One?’ early in the set one could have been forgiven for thinking maybe, just maybe the band had climaxed too early. Thankfully, though, the song had the girls swooning and the guys violently head-banging. The show featured a healthy mix of songs from both last year’s debut album Beams and 2003’s stellar Blow Up EP. The highlights were many: the ‘Down Down Down’ mash-up of Madonna’s ‘Hung Up’ brought nods of approval and superiority from those who picked the sample and a show of elated ignorance from those who didn’t. ‘Get the Fuck Out of Here’ was tremendously offensive yet all the more alluding. But the pinnacle of the night was a rousing electro-clash rendition of ‘Girl and the Sea’, yes the OC song, which had everyone dreaming of sunny beach parties when the reality outside of the warmth of the Presets fire was a dark, cold Newcastle night. Still, I’m sure many of the girls present didn’t really come with dressing for the cold in mind. Really, who puts on clothes to have sex? Let’s hope we won’t have time to get dressed before the Presets again return to our shores.