Nightmares on Wax @ SWG3, Glasgow, 10 Feb
Nightmares on Wax brings a full on hands-in-the-air party to Glasgow's SWG3 with a solid mix of old and new tracks and a full live band
The last time we caught Nightmares on Wax – aka George Evelyn – was at one of his eclectic DJ sets at Glasgow's Berkeley Suite. A year later, on the back of his latest release Shape the Future, Evelyn is back in a full live band capacity, and tonight he's playing the engaging frontman to full effect.
The Leeds-born Evelyn has been living the sweet life in Ibiza for some years now, and Shape the Future sounds exactly like the blissed-out, mellow, soulful soundtrack of a man who spends his days sat in the sunshine, eating pineapple by the pool. The funk, dub and trip-hop vibes of his new album are beautifully brought to life by the incredible troupe of guest vocalists and backing musicians Evelyn has assembled for this tour. By the end of the show, all eyes are on the sticksman, whose incredible jazz-styled timekeeping against the R'n'B flow of the set earns him the biggest round of applause from a delighted audience.
Crowd pleasing from start to finish, it's hard to remember the last time a gig gave off such damn feel-good vibes. Dropping in some Nightmares on Wax classics halfway through the show – think the iconic Flip Ya Lid and You Wish – feels extra special; hearing these tracks in a club is one thing, but seeing them played out in the flesh is something else entirely. The mood is resolutely 420; there's a leather armchair on stage where Evelyn's co-vocalist reclines for a good chunk of the performance, and for a second it even looks like Evelyn is blazing up on stage (though we find out later it's merely "incense called Copal, from Mexico").
The warm and fuzzy feelings swell when Evelyn takes time out to champion Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, an Ibiza-based charity that raises funds for environmental and humanitarian causes. Heartwarming, yes, and at times ever so slightly cheesy, this gig encourages a hands-in-the-air type of solidarity that's rare to find these days – but sometimes it's nice to leave your cynicism at the door and embrace what's still good in the world.