It’s a rainy night in Dublin and the queue to the Button Factory is stretching round the corner onto Euston Street, with punters huddled under shared umbrellas, or not even caring about getting wet with the excitement of what awaits inside. It’s only been a month and a half since the release of his much anticipated debut album and the Norseman has brought his live show to town. Inside the place is packed to the rafters and even upstairs on the balcony people are shuffling to catch a glimpse at his set up on stage while others try and snag one last drink before he kicks off.
At the stroke of one o’ clock a familiar disco bassline grabs everyone’s attention as the Todd Terje takes over from the warm-up DJ and eases us in with one of his many remixes, ‘You Should Be Dancing’ by the Bee Gees. Wearing a t-shirt that simply reads Norse, he stands behind the helm of an APC40 midi controller and laptop, tweaking and triggering loops from an Ableton Live set up, and mixing in the first of his own tracks, ‘Strandbar’. After the spacey, bass-driven intro he quietly moves to the only keyboard on stage, a Nord Stage 2, and begins to pound out staccatoed piano chords drawing excited cheers from the crowd.
It’s refreshing to see an electronic act play live instrumentation so well, and in line with the album’s track-listing he goes straight into another big track, the ridiculously infectious ‘Delorean Dynamite’. With its arpeggiated bass and slinking hi-hats already in the mix, Terje plays the main synth pads live as the track segues into a 303 driven interval before arriving at ‘Leisure Suit Preben’ and a momentary lapse into some of the album’s more downtempo material. ‘Svensk Sas’ continues the non-disco section while downstairs the crowd grows denser in anticipation of the track that everyone’s been waiting to hear.
After an epic Euro-disco banger, complete with swishing white noise, bouncing bass and an amazing chord progression, the opening bass rhythms of ‘Inspector Norse’ appear, masked under a major chord progression, which changes its harmonic structure just enough to make everybody wonder if it’s really the same tune. When the song finally kicks off properly the place erupts, with a noticeably eclectic audience bouncing to the beat and humming the melody while delightedly struggling to keep their place on the dance floor.
A brief meander through Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ brings the closing track of the night, ‘Oh Joy’. With it’s Morodor-esque arps and lead synth glissandos, the track is a mighty send off to an amazing evening, but after only an hour long gig the crowd are left wanting more. Terje seems more than happy to provide and kicks of with another tune until a stage technician tells him to finish up. There’s a DJ waiting in the wings who has the unfortunate prospect of having to follow Terje’s set. Against vast consternation he takes the stage as the Norwegian’s fans begin to filter out of the venue. Although, as the saying goes, “always leave them wanting more”, something that will keep this crowd hungry for Todd Terje’s next visit.