(Coronavirus Update) State of that
Pioneers of techno and whizz-bang electronica, 808 State were an important part of the Madchester scene. They continue to ruffle feathers today and they’ve just hit the road for their tour.
I saw 808 State in 1990 when they supported The Happy Mondays at the G-Mex in Manchester. I had previously resisted their charms but when I walked into that cavernous arena, lazers flashing above my head, I suddenly got them. Tracks such as ‘Ancodia’ and ‘Cobra Bora’ arrowed straight to my very core, nearly lifting me off my feet. I felt like these jack-hammer beats were inside me and it was utterly exhilarating. Funnily enough, it was perma-tanned Radio One DJ Gary Davies who helped point a significant chunk of the public in their direction when he started playing their ‘Pacific State’ single on his radio show (the one with the birdsong, saxophone and swoony melody). The band were one of the very first fully live techno acts to tour and they continue to delight as evidenced on last year’s ‘Tranmission Suite’ album, which featured much fizzing experimentation. Catch them live and be prepared to have your very core interfered with.
808 State, Friday 3 April, Riverside, Newcastle, 7pm, £22. riversidencl.co.uk