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TOUCH SENSITIVE @ Jack Rabbit Slims gets 7.5/10

Touch Sensitive @ Jack Rabbit Slims
Friday, December 22, 2017

7.5/10

Touch Sensitive made his break through in 2013 with Pizza Guy. He came way out of left field and landed on every summer playlist. The sound was so unique, so uplifting and gentle and had this estranged 80s feel to it. I was actually reminded of him every time the opening credits for Stranger Things began. That real analogue synthesizer sound, reminiscent of a retro nostalgia is just so damn palatable to your eardrum. So, after joyous celebrations on a debut album release, there was only one way to taste this age-old barrel and that was with a blinder at Jack Rabbit Slims.

The first thing about seeing the man known to his family as Michael Di Francesco on stage was that his suave turtleneck and carefully manicured moustache were no longer and instead there was a shit tonne of instruments. It was less about the shiny bell and whistles and more about what he was there to do – play damn good music. Starting out with First Slice as his intro track from his debut album Visions, it pulled parts from his most popular track and literally snapped all to attention at the front. Was he going to drop his banger this early on in the set? Surely not. Instead, it was just a nice introduction into what would become a glimmering set. Slappin’ da bass along to his self produced backing tracks he gave off a fair amount of chilled tones that saw the jam-packed dance floor of bodies slip and slide to the beat.

There was no pressure in any of his set – it felt relaxed and jazzy and didn’t ever have any stupendous crescendos or pitfalls, it just coasted along through Lose It All and No Other High before arriving at Pizza Guy, which had everybody grooving along. I guess the distinctive difference between a DJ/ producer and a live performer is that of flexibility. Francesco kept his eyes on his laptop or instruments and didn’t really adapt to what the crowd was thinking or doing – whether it was because he couldn’t or a mild obstinance he didn’t pay attention to these lulls and he just continued to present his version of art.

Ending with his most recent hit Lay Down he got a cheery little sing along that resulted in an encore. Unfortunately the encore was just a repeat of the same track but it was like a party reboot and the sing along happened again. It will only be a pleasure to see him back again after he has another few varying tracks in his collateral.

MIA CAMPBELL-FOULKES

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