Battersea Power Station
A horrible acrid feeling set in as I was sent away from the perimeter of Battersea Power station, about as far as physically possible from what turned out to be the correct venue. Being told I’d walked miles in the wrong direction and given a map, this malaise literally lifted upon stumbling on the one-of-a-kind venue, and drifted even further after a couple of sips of this golden fluid they were giving around. Tonight, it’s beer that has managed to marry disco soul sensations Jungle with the otherworldly beast that is Battersea Power Station – for free.
The venue is the outdoor Everyman Cinema, and tonight it takes a form closer to a festival with its pop up street food and ample hang-out areas. The finished result was very professional in some ways (like the insane number of staff who were constantly snaking about at around groin level looking for bottles), yet amateur in others (like not booking a proper DJ and opting instead for playlists). Beaty Heart support – presumably an homage to gutsy Southampton football legend James Beattie – and fall respectably somewhere between Vampire Weekend and Animal Collective.
The night falls and Heineken really begin to flex their muscle. Mapped projections inject an energy onto the monumentally bleak disused chimneys in what is without a doubt the biggest and one of the most impressive visual displays that we’ve witnessed at an event this scale. Those chimneys are over 100m tall and, when you put it that way, I suppose they do look a lot like a couple of bottles of beer. The cowboy whistle of Smoking Pixels totters along dramatically and soundtracks the scene like it was written for it. And here they are.
Seeing them for the first time, it’s hard to determine exactly what will appear when the lights turn. Evidently, they really are a band with two figureheads rather than an act of two members with a backing band. The Heat, Busy Earnin’, Time, Platoon all play out and all sound like hits – meticulously crafted disco infectiousness from the unlikely spring of two Shephard’s Bush lads – immaculately performed and cushioned by the quieter more twinkling moments of the debut album. The five live singers harmonising give Jungle that unique gospel-like presence. Their hour makes the night a night.