When the 'Down The Road' EP was released last year we were stunned, and naturally eager to see C2C perform live. Winners of the Disco Mix Club World Team DJ Championship four years in a row and winners of the 2013 European Borders Breakers Awards, there was understandable buzz around their KOKO gig.
The stage was blank except for their decks, the lights dropped, hundreds roared and 20Syl, Greem, Atom and Pfel took to the stage. The four stood still while a siren built a beat, before pumping the air and leaping into the hunched headbanging lurch that DJs do so well. The visuals throughout the show were fantastic; each DJ had their own symbol or shape displayed on their station, each one varying with each song. This theme continued throughout the whole show and apart from showing who was playing, when they were harmonising, and how slick the transitions were, it also looked amazing.
As they started ‘Arcades’, demonstrating their scratching skills, the lights rose on the handsome music nerds, “We are C2C from France!” This classically influenced break was met with rapturous applause. Equal measures of funk and dub, the rises and falls in the tunes were meticulous, delivered with so much energy and love, and featured scratch solos the likes of which are rarely seen.
The introduction to ‘Down The Road’ was drawn out with exactly the right amount of arrogance for such an impressive and well-received mix. Considering this was the focus of their EP it was surprising that it wasn’t necessarily the highlight of the evening. The room was more eager to hear the rest of the set, hungry for whatever else they were offering from 'Tetra' (already Platinum and number one in the French charts). Next was ‘Who Are You’, a seventies soul piano mix – heavy, playful and of course completely flawless. It also featured some synchronised swaying from C2C, further endearing them to the crowd, and showing the allegiance they have with the instantly swaying along masses.
The level of audience participation throughout the entire gig was inspirational. The quartet incited call and response, “Can you scratch with your voice? Do some decks with your voice!” they divided the room in half to cheer them on during a scratch battle over ‘Someday’ between Hocus Pocus (20Syl and Greem) and Beat Torrent (Atom and Pfel). The DJs drove the crowd to a frenzy by dropping the life-affirming New Orleans sounds of ‘Happy’ out (which also featured all four of them on one set of decks) and then hovering a finger over the cue button while the crowd screamed for them to bring it back. The sound of feet on the floors and balconies was like thunder, it was an unforgettable moment.
Their encore was of course ‘The Beat’, a cross section of C2C’s blues-funk-scratch-break-pop-dub. They left their stations to jump around the stage rapping, and KOKO lost it when they mixed in the Beastie Boys classic ‘Intergalactic’, rapped a verse and then dropped the track back in, after which it was ‘F.U.Y.A’ that finished the set.
Once they had introduced and thanked each other and their entire team, the four performers - clearly humbled by the overwhelming reception - left the stage and came to the barriers to take photos with the crowd. They created an incredible atmosphere and were infinitely likeable, the visuals were consistently beautiful and varied, their interplay was absolutely mind-blowing, and it was a marvellous thing to behold.
Words by Finn D'Albert