Never too dim, never too pumping
Rocketnumbernine - Live At The Waiting Room, London

Firstly, The Waiting Room. Stoke Newington, N16. Is that North London or East London? Either way, my tiny out-of-town peepers are greeted with a gritty little love bubble boasting a delightfully drowsy downstairs venue. A perfect backdrop for a band draped in such thick mysticism as tonight’s act, Rocketnumbernine.

To offer you a sketch with my mind pencil of what’s going on here, in this half saloon, half mate's-basement, half public toilet, (yeah, that’s three halves) you have yourselves two very sexy brothers, Tom and Ben, motioning a mesmerising set of deep dub dance music with splashes of lively rolling house and pinches of techno. Never too dim, never too pumping - right here is a pair of well-oiled beat hammers that have honed a sound well unknown, but well their own.

The duo of Tom on drums and Ben on keyboards, slash samples, slash drum machines, slash I look exactly like Sven Vath’s handsome daughter; welcome a packed crowd of 200 - with plenty being turned away at the door.

Rocketnumbernine readily take everything you think you know about dance music and leave the whole nonsense in their shattered groove-groping wake. The drummer plays (and looks) like Keith Moon's son, if you left him in a room full of narcotics and an UNKLE CD. He proves the perfect catalyst to his electronic induced brother. The pair jam via eye-contact the entire evening – creeping and zipping through sonata less suited to a juvenile bedroom, more to a vivacious Sunday morning after-party.

Shall we mention the crowd? I think we should. But to be fair I doubt they even know what month it is. But who cares! Clearly the only time RN9 ever slow to a stop is to soak in a rapture of elated claps and wailing.

Warped spacey keyboards surround hazy dilated TV samples, man this sound is growing almost jazzy at times (a little ham ‘n’ eggs coming atcha people) and leaves you wondering, “Does Stoke Newington throw a party like this every Thursday?”

The remains of the show unfold beautifully into a crescendo of fizzing keyboards and banging dance beats; huge drops, and I mean huge drops, lulled middles and warped drifty intros. Just as we draw breath, the band’s singles ‘Taking Us Down’ and ‘Doing What You Do’ are unleashed audaciously among the pumped public. “Thank you. Do you want a bit more?” they mock. As sure as this is the hottest day of 2012, we most certainly do.

The night soars to its spectacular conclusion and the boiling crowd are left squinting for their friends in the dark. Rocketnumbernine is the name. If only they didn't make themselves so hard to find, you would have already found them by now.

Words by Luke Holloway
Photo by Richard Gray


Click here for a photo gallery of the gig.
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