Life & Style editor Maddie Bourne wins the exclusive chance to attend Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes' Birmingham gig, and even meet the frontman backstageWritten by Madeleine Bourne on 15th December 2017
Live Review: Chapter XIII
Greg Woodin spends Easter weekend at - where else? - the Rainbow Venues
I’ll be honest: techno isn’t normally my scene. My sonic habitat is typically bassline and bass house - gun fingers in the air, face squashed up in mock disgust as unearthly, guttural sub-bass erupts through the speakers. But the Chapter XIII line-up looked good from what I knew about techno, and where else would I rather be on Easter weekend? So I prepared an all-black wardrobe and began my techno education on YouTube, listening to the likes of Jamie Jones and Joseph Capriati to whet my appetite. Their sets were seamless, hypnotic… I was impressed, and I expected big things as I turned up on Heath Mill Lane and made my way into The Rainbow Venues.
“The sun warmed up my Stella and the summery tech-house tunes were impossible not to bounce along to
A short queue later, I was up on the Terrace and it was Francesco Del Garda’s turn in the DJ booth. Mixing robotic noise, funk and melody (yes, some of the songs even had melody), Del Garda impressed with an idiosyncratic set that - at least to this naive tech-virgin - stood out as having its own distinct style more than any other performance across the whole event. As ever, the vibes on the Terrace were chilled-out as ravers bobbed and chatted, making the most of the sun before it bid us ado for the day. At this point I decided to grab a water to stave off the inevitable hangover looming ominously beyond the sunset-tinged skyline (I’d been drinking since midday), and after a short sit-down to give my aching feet some respite, it was down the stairs and into the Warehouse.
“Energy levels escalated discernibly as Dense and Pika pumped out chunky, angular slabs of hard-hitting techno
Joseph Capriati. At first I wasn’t sure he had even come onstage, such is his small stature, but his quality was unmistakable. Picking up where Dense and Pika left off, Capriati played music that even your average EDM disciple would be forced to appreciate, defying the cries of techno cynics that such music is ‘boring’ or ‘all sounds the same’ with a set full of long, tense build-ups and pummelling drops. Hands were in the air and the technocracy really were going for it, more so than at any other point during the afternoon - and as the low-end filtered back into the mix once again, I had to ask myself: why does bass feel so good?
“Capriati played music that even your average EDM disciple would be forced to appreciate
So it was so long Chapter XIII. From the perspective of a techno agnostic, it had been a hugely successful outing and a great way to spend Easter weekend. In a live setting, this music is given a completely new lease of life: it is more aggressive, more vital, more danceable than online Mixmag and Tomorrowland streams would have you believe, and hearing it pumped out by sound systems more powerful than your average pair of Apple earphones transforms the listening experience entirely. In short, I had been converted. I guess I'll see you at Chapter XIV...