Experiencing Imogen Heap, Beck Ted N-Ted and Tim Exile live

Imogen Heap @ Glasgow

I’d been waiting for that concert for a long time. For ages, it seems. And there it was happening for me on 8th of February in Glasgow. Imogen Heap with Back Ted N-Ted and Tim Exile arrived.

Obviously, I was waiting in the queue to the venue quite a while before they started letting people in to be as close to the stage as possible – and I was, eventually. First, Immi appeared on a stage in her casual clothes looking absolutely gorgeous and so… familiar. Her face was like a face of a friend who I see from time to time; a friend I’m always happy to see. That’s the impact of her vBlogs. I was thrilled already.

Beck Ted N-Ted @ Glasgow

She introduced Back Ted N-Ted who was about to play a few songs of his as a support. He performed a couple of airy, downtempo songs at first (I didn’t know them that well as they were not on his Hookie EP) and then he sang a more danceable version of ‘Hookie’, ‘999 Buttons’ and my favourite ‘The War Is Over’. What was so great about him – except of the songs themselves – that he was playing the quitar, looping it and his voice, controlling a couple of laptops and using some pedals (it was the looper I guess) at the same time. I was impressed. I really can’t wait for his LP that is finally coming out this year. To be honest, I guess that hardly anoyone knew Beck Ted N-Ted there as so far he realeased one EP only, so I felt kinda privilged to know him. Like if I had an advantage, you know, discovering him before everyone else (remember me writing about him for the first time?). And I also write to him from time to time, because I really want to be up-to-date with his progress on the album (it makes the waiting more bearable), and also because he’s just a nice guy.

Then Immi appeared on stage again saying a few words about Tim Exile who was playing next. I got to know his Listening Tree album in autumn (again, I was one of the very few people who knew his music) and I even included it in my album summary of 2009, so I was exited to see him as well. He came on stage, had a chat with the audience and then asked us to make a few kind of noises (i.e. screaming in various ways). Then he looped it, started mixing it, beatboxing and doing lots of magic-like stuff and he made an amazing piece of music out of it. My jaw just dropped on the floor. Wow. Then he performed ‘Don’t Think We’re One’ and ‘Family Galaxy’ from his album. However, between the songs he improvised two mindblowing pieces…

Tim Exile dancing right next to us @ Glasgow

First, he noticed an enormous disco ball at the venue while talking to audience and someone shouted that it’s second biggest in the world (later it turned out it was second biggest in Europe, but still – it was huge). Tim was like “seriously?! let’s make a song about it”. Then he put on some heavy beat, looped himself saying “disco ball” and later added another layer on top of it from words “second biggest” and created the craziest club hit ever! But that’s not the end! After the disco ball tribute song, he took his joystick with 999 buttons on it, perhaps, and jumped into the audience right next to me and my friends. He started dancing and using the joystic to control his voice and gazillion of effects. That was insane and so brilliant! I can’t remember experiencing something so fresh and innovative in a long time. Imogen herself said that she hated him first because he was so bloody amazing when se first saw him at some festival.

So as you can see, Back Ted N-Ted and Tim Exile make a lot of sense together with Imogen Heap; they are a dream team to me. After such an intense support, I was really excited to see Imogen (and both guys joining her there).

And there she was. Imogen Heap appeared out of nowhere with a glass filled with water sliding her finger round it making this sound… The audience was really loud – all the people were really excited right there from the very first minutes. It was all great, but Immi couldn’t loop this sound and start the song until it was quiet. She gave some signs that she needed us to be silent for a moment, and when she achieved it eventually, she started to loop the glass sound: 1… 2…3… “wooo!” 4… Someone couldn’t resist. So his “wooo!” shout was looped. Immi made the funny ‘angry’ look and continued looping some more sounds and adding some more layers. ‘First Train Home’ was on its way. But you could still hear the shout. Imogen started to laugh about it saying that is sounds like a ’90s house remix. That’s when my heart melted completely – that’s the lovely, witty Immi.

For the first few songs she was on the stage alone singing, controlling all these laptops and loopers, and playing all the instruments. One-person-orchestra. She had tiny microphones on her wrists so you could hear every little sound of the instrument and things she played. At the end of one song, she introduced her band – Back Ted N-Ted, Tim Exile and a guy who played the drums and did some crazy stuff too – singing their names instead of the song’s lyrics. It was all so smooth.

Immi @ Glasgow

If I was to write about each song, I could write a book. Every piece of music she performed was magical, full of emotions and excitement. Still, there were some highlights for me: Immi imitating the sound of a jaw harp that got broken before the gig (in ‘Aha!), explosion of energy in the finale of ‘Bad Body Double’, and the ‘encore’ (if you have ever seen Immi live, you know why I used apostrophes) – Imogen used the audience as a looper for ‘Just For Now’ (I was in the middle section) and ‘Hide and Seek’ (singing along with Immi to this one was deeply moving for me…). And all her chatting with the audience – I’ve never seen or heard about the artist who have a better contact with them.

After the performance, I managed to get the tracklist (the one that you can see on the floor next to Immi in the top picture in this post!) with a little help of my beloved one (thanks again!). A few minutes later, when there was hardly anyone near the stage, I was going to the merchandise point and on my way I realised that the person passing next to me was… Tim Exile! So I turned around and stopped him for a little chat that wasn’t so little after all. He’s a great guy, I’m really glad I had an opportunity to talk to him for a while. After this surprise, we were standing in the queue to get our jackets when I saw that Back Ted N-Ted, with whom I exchange some messages from time to time, is on the stage taking care of the equipment. I asked the security, who were really impatient getting everybody out from the venue, if I can approach the stage just to say ‘hi’ so Ryan (Back Ted N-Ted) knows I’m here, but no, they didn’t let me – even though I was using some decent arguments. I was so disappointed! Absolutely no respect for the fan culture (I know that ‘fan’ has bad connotations, but it’s still the right word). Anyway, Back Ted N-Ted will be touring in UK this year again on his own (his album will be realeased in April – more info soon!), so next time I will make my way through bouncers.

I regret not waiting outside the venue for Immi and company, and to be perfectly honest I don’t know why I didn’t wait. However, Imogen said she’s returning to Scotland in October (after all, she’s 9/16 Scottish!), so I keep my hopes up!

Still, seeing Imogen Heap live after all these years was like a dream coming  true.

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I’m sure you’ve noticed that my blog looks quite different now. I hope you like it, I’m really excited about all the changes! From now on, you can find Song of the Week and Album of the Week on the right – make sure you get familiar with featured material! There are some more new things out there, but I’ll let you discover them for yourselves. Explore and enjoy!

    • Golubioji
    • February 21st, 2010

    Yeah, Imogen was really lovely. And Tim was a-ma-zing. And I just love your blog more!

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