SSE Hydro, Glasgow
November 26, 2015
Tonight marks the start of Disclosure’s first UK arena tour, and you get the feeling that Guy and Howard Lawrence will take no small amount of satisfaction from the knowledge that they’re now, officially, an arena band. Disclosure, after all, are famously hands-on when it comes to live performance, at least by the hands-off standards of most modern EDM spectacles: Guy batters gamely away on percussion and keyboards, while Howard spends most of the night playing his bass at a height that’s probably quite practical for dealing with everything else he’s got to do, but also comes with the added bonus of making him appear proudly, superiorly muso. Physicality and musicality are the Lawrence’s watchwords, and by the climax of ‘Nocturnal’, when the brothers find themselves shredding shoulder-to-shoulder on a hydraulic platform, all that’s missing are a couple of monitors for them to plant their feet on.
Well, almost all that’s missing. Nobody seriously expects The Weeknd to be wheeled out on that track, let alone Lorde for ‘Magnets’, though some in the crowd evidently haven’t given up hope on Sam Smith making an appearance on ‘Latch’ – suffice to say, the eruption of hysteria that greets Guy’s promise of “one more special guest” during the encore probably isn’t in anticipation of Brendan Reilly and the dreary ‘Moving Mountains’. Something will always be lost from those songs when they’re sung by an animated effigy of the real thing projected above the stage, though the visual pomp and pageantry that accompanies them is admittedly impressive in its own right.
Over the course of the duo’s 90-minute set, however, it’s the tracks that don’t rely on the vocal talents of others – like the insistent deep-house throb of ‘F For You’, or the unreconstructed floor-filler of ‘When a Fire Starts to Burn’ – that hit hardest. Even in a room this big, Disclosure still know how to get up-close and visceral.