Review: Roosevelt @ Birthdays 11/12/2013

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Having been completely won over by the Elliot EP, I was eager to see if Marius Lauber, aka Roosevelt, was able to deliver his unique brand of electropop in a live, full band environment. Having played DJ sets at Fabric and opened for Crystal Fighters, BIRTHDAYS was Roosevelt’s first headlining slot in the UK and last live show for the foreseeable future.

Dance label Greco-Roman have the first couple of hours covered, DJ-ing their way through a variety of deep house remixes while people begin to trickle in, it’s a good atmosphere and it’s surprising to see just how quickly the floor fills up when Lauber and co walk on stage.

They open with current single Montreal; the lights and ambiance are as though they just stepped out of the lo-fi 90s feel of the track’s recent video. Straight off the bat everyone is moving, it’s hard not to see why when the sounds coming from the stage are a combination of washed out techno and infectious bass lines. There is little glitz to their presentation, the trio are dressed plainly, and it’s all very minimalist. The music is the focus and it is the music which has everyones attention. Elliot and Soleil receive some of the biggest responses; the sharp synth and celestial beats make for some serious dancing material, and even moments to sing along too.

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Each track glides effortlessly into the next, with barely any pause for applause or words. Lauber is utterly focused throughout, switching smoothly between synth, guitar and tambourine alike. He spends the majority of the set with his eyes closed, lost in each lyric which lingers blissfully while the music cascades around it. The most popular track by far was Sea, where Roosevelt embellishes, and elaborates on the already exquisite 2012 single into a perfect climax to the evening. It rises and falls, leaves you desperately wanting more, and after forty five high painfully short minutes it’s over, and the trio leave the stage with not so much as an encore.

A Guardian article described Roosevelt’s music as “dance music for people who don’t dance because they’re too depressed (x)” but I would have to disagree. Roosevelt have tapped into some New Order-type, modern electronica, yes, and although the lyrics can be a little on the angsty side, all I saw last night was warmth, dance and potential. My gut feeling is this is only the very beginning for Roosevelt. It was a confident, and most of all uplifting performance. However, part of me feels as though he is holding back, and that the Elliot EP is only the tip of the iceberg in Marius Lauber’s burgeoning music career.

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