“Teed? Who the fuck is Teed?” A lot of people asking me for my evening plans on December 29th seemed confused by my homemade abbreviation for the outrageously-named Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (pseudonym for the even-more-outrageously-named Orlando Higginbottom; no really, look it up). When you’re one of the most talked-about musicians of the year, and your name has eleven syllables in it, well, time is money and sometimes comprehension is the fall guy. I apologize for taking so long to put this review up—I’d blame the whole New Year’s thing that’s been going on, but really, there’s no excuse, especially for a show as enjoyable as this one. And yes, it was enjoyable. I’ll admit I was sceptical going to see a live show from a rookie artist whose material fits squarely into the ‘laptop in a bedroom’ aesthetic. Now, though, I’m happy to admit I was wrong.
City Calm Down had the job of opening and did it well—building in intensity until culminating with a melodic cacophony that didn’t at all sound like it was coming from just three dudes on stage. Local DJs (and half-RIPE contributors) Acolyte jumped on the decks afterwards to build things up for TEED‘s arrival with some anthemic four-to-the-floor tunes, but apart from a few people spilling bags of glitter on the floor, the vibe was nervous anticipation. With all due respect to the openers, it was clear what the crowd was here for: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and also to go nuts for Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
When Higginbottom took to The Corner‘s stage, even the impressive lighting set-up didn’t distract from his peculiar kind of charisma. He’s clearly having a ball up there and it translates into an engaging performance, as opposed to a lot of electronic musicians who look like they’re checking emails. When he apologized repeatedly for some early sound problems, you just wanted to jump up and hug him (and for what it’s worth, they weren’t as bad as he was making out). And just when you were getting tired of his sparkly outfit, two TEED dancers came on stage. I’m not sure how pre-planned a lot of those moves were, but it was better to look at than another hairy bass player.
Oh yeah, the music. With TEED’s airplay on triple j and spot on the indie festival circuit, it’s easy to forget that he can pull out some serious club music chops. Some of the basslines and drops were utterly immense, bringing to mind a field full of fist-pumpers rather than the relative intimacy of the Corner. ‘Your Love‘ was an ecstatic freakout worthy of any rave, and ‘Blood Pressures‘ threw in a jungle break to big effect, as if to to demonstrate that TEED knows his way around a dancefloor.
Any scepticism I had melted away when Higginbottom announced that, rather than walk off stage and then back on for the obligatory encore, he was just going to keep going. Playing arguably his biggest tracks, ‘Tapes & Money‘ into ‘Household Goods‘, might have been a crowd-pleasing move, but oh boy did it work, with hands thrown in the air and “FEET DON’T FAIL ME NOW” bellowed by almost everyone in the venue.
Cynics, give this guy a chance. He may be the new guy on the scene, but he knows what he’s doing.
REVIEW BY MATT NIELSON
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHELSEA DENNISON