– The Avalanches played their first headline show since 2001 last night (June 9) with a performance at London’s Oval Space, NME said.
Having played short shows at Primavera Sound festival at the weekend, the duo of Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi performed their first headline gig since touring of their album ‘Since I Left You’ finished 15 years ago.
However, the show was effectively a DJ set by the duo rather than the advertised live show, which has led to mixed reviews on social media. As well as new single ‘Frankie Sinatra’, the gig only featured one new song from forthcoming album ‘Wildflower’.
Halfway into the hour-long set, Di Blasi announced “This is off our new record” before playing ‘Subways’, the track which fans can hear by phoning a freephone number on adverts which announced The Avalanches’ return.
While Chater stuck to playing behind the decks, Di Blasi was as much a frontman as a DJ. He twice climbed onto a platform at the back of the stage, threw his jacket into the 1,000-strong crowd, emptied bottles of water over the audience and repeatedly walked among the front rows.
Starting with Kaytranada’s ‘Glowed Up’, the set featured Balaeric house tracks by the likes of 95 North and Wonderline 1 as well as The Slits’ punk cover of Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’, before ‘Subways’ ushered in more of The Avalanches’ own material. ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’ was segued with Coolio’s ‘California Love’ before ‘Frankie Sinatra’ and ‘Since I Left You’ ended the main part of the show. ‘Subways’ was also played for the second time.
An emotional Di Blasi said: “We’re very happy that you remember us. Our next record is just as good,” before announcing the final song, soul singer Betty Everett’s cover of The Beach Boys’ ‘God Only Knows’.
The Avalanches play at Wild Life festival on Saturday, then Field Day on Sunday. ‘Wildflower’ is released on July 8. It features Father John Misty, Biz Markie, Toro Y Moi, Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donohue, Royal Trux’s Jennifer Herrera and Ariel Pink, as well as ‘Frankie Sinatra’ guests Danny Brown and Doom.