There’s a lot of elements that can go wrong and ruin what would otherwise be a great gig – a poor performance, a lacklustre crowd, sound issues, some chap wearing a backpack in front who won’t stop bashing into you (seriously, who wears a backpack to a gig?). Unfortunately, when one of these things go wrong, it seems like everything has gone wrong and it’s easy to dismiss the night as a write off. This was almost the case when BICEP played The Twisted Pepper as part of their Pogo Saturday night.
It’s always been a great little pub and cafe, but The Twisted Pepper has always suffered from some basic problems as a gig venue. The recent refurbishments have certainly dolled the place up, but have failed to address these. When you show up to a gig an hour in advance but still miss the start because it’s taken that long to get through a pretty short cloak room queue, you’ve got a problem. When the paying public can’t get downstairs to see the act they wanted to see due to overcrowding, you’ve got a problem.
Despite this, the Belfast duo put on a fantastic show. If DJs feed off the energy of the crowd, this was a real give and take affair. The boisterous young crowd were in the mood for a heavy night and the 80’s inspired analogue sounds of the main act certainly provided for with spins of Visions of Love and Dusty’s remix of Do You Want Me Baby by Cloud Nine. The pair’s smoothly mixed set seemed to stretch beats forever and kept the crowd happy to dance all night in the dark, claustrophobic surroundings.
It’s a shame that the basic problems of the venue have yet to be sorted out at this point, but with so many elements that can ruin a gig, it’s nice to see that one brilliant performance can manage to salvage it.