78-YEAR OLD GIORGIO MORODER’S FIRST EVER LIVE LONDON DATE STILL SHOWCASES HIS SOUND OF FUTURE
Upon announcement, electronic music pioneer Giorgio Moroder’s first ever live tour looked set to be one of the biggest musical events of the millenium. The three-time Oscar winner has written and produced some of the most well known tracks in history; he is to the synthesiser what Nile Rodger is to the funk guitar.
So when the lights at Hammersmith dimmed and four backing singers — wearing a cross between cabaret glitz and gypsy chic – took to the stage, later joined by a white-haired, older man stumbling his way through cheesy hula track Looky Looky, you could be forgiven for feeling anxious, or as though you yourself had stumbled through space and time into the beer hut at Winter Wonderland.
The tour is billed as A Celebration Of The ‘80s, and thankfully Looky Looky, a track released in 1969, is only there to showcase how far Giorgio has come. He also notes that it paid the rent for years, and paid for his studio, which would later be used by Elton John, Queen, The Rolling Stones and, when there was time for Giorgio and his friends to get in, Donna Summer.
Love To Love You Baby is the first of many Summer collabs sung with gusto throughout the evening, with Bad Girls providing a particularly sassy routine. Elsewhere Flashdance… What A Feeling and Take My Breath Away (“It’s a lovely song… And actually my third Oscar”) allow the three girls to take centre stage — providing the perfect tribute to the original artists while also adding their own flair. Sadly the male vocalist (a sort of Anthony Cotton lookalike who looks more Butlins Red Coat than Oscars Red Carpet) doesn’t have the same effect, with his Never Ending Story not quite a page-turner, and Together In Electric Dreams more of an AA battery version of Phil Oakey’s power-pop anthem.
Aside from the ‘80s, Giorgio showcases his most recent album, 74 Is The New 24, with the Kylie collab Right Here Right Now, while a live version of Giorgio By Moroder (Daft Punk’s 10-minute epic biographical track of Giorgio’s life and career) allows the string and percussion sections to bring some real drama to the night, with the synths constantly driving the machine.
Ahead of one of the most anticipated numbers of the evening, Giorgio takes the time to recognise Pete Bellotte, the lyricist responsible for several Moroder tracks: “I’d like to take the opportunity to recognise my friend, my co-writer, my co-producer, without him we probably wouldn’t be here tonight.” One of their most recognisable collaborations — I Feel Love — is then played, but not before Giorgio has built each element of the track up, showcasing how they created the sound of the future.
Despite the odd cabaret moment throughout the evening, and Giorgio sometimes looking lost on stage as he bashed a tambourine, this particular moment was testament to his genius, proving that he is the driver of his industrial sound. And when you can legitimately include Hot Stuff and Call Me (Blondie) in your encore, it’s difficult to argue with your genius.