There was a clear advantage to attending the London leg of Disclosure’s sold-out UK tour: many of the guest stars that litter the dance duo’s number one album were able to attend. The audience temperature rose when Eliza Doolittle and Sasha Keable, and especially Jessie Ware and Sam Smith, strutted down the gangway between Guy and Howard Lawrence.
While the young brothers may lack the air-punching charisma of the current generation of superstar DJs, they have made a valuable contribution in steering dance music away from brash synth overload towards a classy, minimal sound. If Stimulation still had enough bass to flatten a rhino, it was otherwise packaged with restraint.
With battered drum pads, and Howard’s occasional singing and bass playing, they avoided the trap of looking like they had nothing to do up there but press play. Even so, a frenetic light show and huge faces projected onto the Academy’s turrets provided worthwhile distraction.
The thrills in their songs came from a leap into a euphoric pop chorus, not the build-ups and breakdowns of traditional clubland favourites, which may explain their million singles sold in the UK. You & Me, with its warm keyboards and clipped garage beats, was a sweet pop song allowed to stay up late. Latch’s easy groove and Sam Smith’s high, soulful vocals had beefy men attempting shoulder rides. It was a fresh kind of high for dance — one that should keep the Lawrences on top for some time to come.