Laurie Waite reviews Sigma’s second leg of their UK album tour at the O2 Ritz in Manchester
Sigma pull out all the stops for a breath-taking performance for the Manchester leg of their album tour
– Sigma, Thursday 31st March, ‘Life’ tour 2016, at O2 Ritz, Manchester
On the second of only four UK gigs on tour of their most recent album ‘Life’, Manchester’s O2 Ritz played host to a staggering performance by drum and bass DJs collectively known as Sigma.
Having initially met during their time at Leeds University, Joe and Cameron have worked tirelessly for years to be in the position they are amongst the best in the drum and bass scene. As Joe is originally from Manchester, the two musicians felt it necessary to return to his hometown as one of their few outings on tour to exhibit their new music.
Last year saw the turning point for Sigma: as they saw their single ‘Nobody to Love’ rise to number one in the UK singles charts and rack up a staggering total of 190million views on YouTube to date, it seemed as though big things were destined for this drum and bass duo.
Sigma’s number 1 hit ‘Nobody to Love’ from their album ‘Life’:
As the masses descended upon the O2 Ritz several hours before doors had even opened alongside the fact the gig had been sold out for some time, it was evident to see this was a show people were looking forward to.
Prior to the main event of the evening, the supporting entertainment came in the form of Jus Now. Their performance consisted of a refreshing blend of drum and bass music and soca music, the native sound of group member Keshav’s native land of Trinidad.
With a sea of phone cameras rising to the sky and cries of excitement ringing around the room, Sigma took to their turntables towards the back of the stage as their fellow vocalists assumed the position in the centre, met with a rapturous response from their adoring fans down below.
As the euphoric first few notes of ‘Higher’ burst from the speakers, the singers onstage didn’t hesitate in generating the appropriate hype for the inevitable drop, which was eventually met with protrusions of pluming smoke into the crowd of flailing arms and mosh pits.
The visual appearance of Sigma’s stage setup was sublime; the lighting effects on the stage itself were magnificent and were adjusted to match each song, as well as the spectacular multi-coloured beams that reached out across the venue.
Despite having plenty of their own songs to play for the supporters, it came as somewhat of a surprise when they played their own remixed versions of Major Lazer’s ‘Lean On’ and Calvin Harris’ ‘How Deep Is Your Love’. Both provided a refreshing transformation from the original versions, as a catchy dub reggae rhythm was added to the former and the latter was amplified with a burst of energetic drum and bass.
Fans may have been hoping that tracks such ‘Changing’ and ‘Coming Home’ which feature Paloma Faith and Rita Ora respectively would be performed with the special guest replacing one of the travelling vocalists onstage, but such hopes were quashed as the original vocalists alternated to their most appropriate tracks to perform.
After relaying through the majority of their set effortlessly, the time came for their most notorious record to date from the album: as the first few piano notes of ‘Nobody to Love’ were heard, the supporters burst into life, as the recognition of the anthem that was about to be played took hold. As the ground below us began to rumble with anticipation, the almighty drop prompted mayhem amongst the crowd and the track was rightly ‘wheeled up’ three consecutive times.
If you were unfortunate enough to miss this Manchester performance, Sigma will be returning in June to perform what is hopefully another electrifying set at Parklife. Roll on summer!