Mar
24

Wagon Christ’s album launch party at XOYO

The last time I heard Wagon Christ play was at the Electrowerkz in Islington back in 2009. That night he was calling himself Luke Vibert.

Wagon Christ is one of the many aliases Cornwall-lad Luke Vibert adopts. Which alias for what moment is something I’m yet to fathom. At XOYO on 19 March, he was Wagon Christ, the name under which he has previously released “Throbbing Pouch” and “Musipal”.

Wagon Christ doesn’t take himself too seriously, so the choice of venue for his “Toomorrow” album launch was a little baffling. At the western tip of the achingly cool Shoreditch triangle, XOYO is the latest club to have taken advantage of the recent descent central-London clubbers on the east end of town.

The layout is atrocious. The entrance, where the box office, cloakroom, smoking area and doors to the club’s two rooms converge, is about the size of my wardrobe. By far their most heinous crime, however, is the sound system. Or lack thereof. Standing at the front of the stage and being able to hold an audible conversation is not what I expect from my gig venues. Not being able to feel the bass pounding in your stomach during a Wagon Christ set is a travesty.

Despite all that, Wagon Christ was superb. Watching him sing along to his tracks with a bottle of beer in his hand and a cheeky grin on his face was recompense for the venue’s shortcomings. It’s that cheeky-chappy personality that also shines through the latest album, “Toomorrow”. Brazen vocal samples are layered over solid breakbeats, yet the tracks somehow give a definite nod to the psychedelic. The arrangement leaves you in a tailspin. “Manaylze This!” thrusts you into a dark, basement bar in Berlin, only to kick the door clean down to a light, airy summer’s day by “Ain’t He Heavy” three minutes later.

The set at XOYO amplified this effect three-fold. Wagon Christ mixed old (Luke Vibert) classics, such as “Lover’s Acid”, with tracks from the new album to delighted reception. By the end of the set, Wagon Christ had spun me in so many directions, I’d forgotten all my grievances and went home feeling dizzyingly satisfied.

Anna Codrea-Rado
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