LIVE REVIEW: RÜFÜS, Heaven London, 23/3/16

There’s always a slight worry when it come to translating dance-pop and EDM from studio to stage, and it certainly takes quite an advanced set of performers to be able to add something beyond the perfunctory knob-twiddling and expensive light show to make it truly special.

Australian trio RÜFÜS are not those advanced set of performers, something that was really rather clear at their Heaven gig in London tonight. In front of a very warm, welcoming, and three-quarter off-their-face audience (which we imagine was quite a sufficiently numbing lubricant), they began inauspiciously with Bloom track Brighter. It’s rare that we see this sort of disparity between a record we love and a show that we don’t – in studio this song crackles with bright little flourishes, on stage it’s part of a pretty nondescript amorphous whole.

Buttons are pushed, drops come with immense labour and small reward, and songs run into one another as if this weren’t a chart-topping group but a playlist of Ibiza Chillout Anthems that someone’s accidentally left running. When the time does come to shine, lead vocalist Tyrone Lindqvist can’t make the most of it as album highlight Say A Prayer For Me is shorn of its lightning verve, while Tell Me only just about passes muster in the hands of an act that seem very much complacent with all their success. The fact that they have two sold out gigs in London means that, unfortunately, a lot of their fans are too – no doubt people will be happy to soar to Heaven, but for us it all remains rather painfully grounded.

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RÜFÜS, Heaven London, 23/3/16
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