The Irish weather doesn’t care who you are or what you are doing, it just wants you to know it’s there. Thirty minutes before Guy and Howard Lawrence take to the stage tonight the heavens open, proving once again that “muddy” isn’t nearly muddy enough. Anyway, Disclosure are here to bring their pop-infused future house to those who are brave enough to struggle through the inclement sky-fall and for just two lads on a huge stage they fill it well, sonically speaking.
“We’re on a bit of a Glastonbury come down” they tell us, not quite sure if it’s a gloat or a plea for sympathy. ‘White Noise’ and ‘F For You’ hammered out make the point – the big guns out early and unapologetically so. Suffice to say that the brothers are as eager to off the newer material as they are the music that launched them, a risky tactic with a crowd that ostensibly only reacts to the hits. Visible swathes of heads lolling in and out of conversation as ‘Holding On’ from 2015s Caracal is played using a video image of Gregory Porter. Some of the crowd start turning away and the atmosphere at this point is thinning fast. Momentum is regained with some words from the boys about how great Dublin is and a greal version of ‘You & Me’ but a complete depth-charge of an instrumental completely murders the buzz. Unsure as to what it actually was and with a closing bar things look grim.
The flashes of brilliance throughout the remainder of the set, notably when one or both of the brothers are playing instruments, are thrilling. The crowd reacting wildly and vociferously to each utterance from Sam Smith’s disembodied voice shows that there is life in this gig yet.
The second half of the gig is far less interactive than the first with the brothers throwing around their considerable “super producer” weight. It feels now more like a DJ set than a live performance and the energy levels are there to be seen as much as heard. Finishing with an almighty wallop on ‘Latch’, once again featuring the only interesting thing about Sam Smith, Disclosure have turned the night in their favour. Some moments of inspiration showing us exactly why they are held in the regard they are and some moments of apathy to flesh out the set makes for some confusion. But all in all they turned up with a Glastonbury hangover and as sound as it was for them to come clean about it, it showed.
Disclosure photographed for State by Olga Kuzmenko.