Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Double act quite a spectacle at full pelt on stage

Chucks and Mr Bruce of The Correspondents
Chucks and Mr Bruce of The Correspondents

One of them works the crowd in lycra spandex, the other mixes the music. They're as different as Laurel and Hardy, Little and Large, or French and Saunders. But, put together the ingredients that are Mr Bruce and Chucks, and you get the lushest of dishes, The Correspondents.

The pair, who are being served up as OTL extra portions, to those greedy for more entertainment, are hard to pigeonhole – even they find it difficult to explain what music they make.

Chucks throws a history of dance music from blues to jazz, electro to dubstep to drum 'n' cass into the mixing pot. The sounds are spiced up and seasoned with Mr Bruce's songs of love and loss and served as a banquet for the ears.

Their live shows twists the usual DJ/MC set-up with Chucks hurling tracks at the audience and Mr Bruce (usually sporting something tight and sparkling) whipping them into a frenzy with his high-speed scatting and eye-popping dance moves. Their reputation as one of the UK's best live acts has earned them a place in the Top Ten Highlights of Glastonbury two years in a row, and has taken them across Europe's festival and club scene.

The Correspondents formed in 2007 after leaving university. At that point Chucks was more interested in jazzy hip-hop while Bruce was MCing in Edinburgh nightclubs. On their return to London they began to play together. Suddenly they were a band, and before long they were playing more gigs than they could handle. Mr Bruce describes their sound as "basically multi-genre. It's dance music of all eras", influenced by whatever pops up on the car radio.

"Chucks likes 60s beat stuff. We got really into the James Blake album. Lyrically, I really like The Black Keys," he said.

But when the pair combine forces, they're really cooking. Mr Bruce is Nigella to Chucks' Delia, the former leaping around like a lycra-clad cricket; the latter chilling on decks in the background.

Or as Mr Bruce said: "Chucks does all the hard work before the gigs, hours of editing, and making tracks that are big. Then I come on and take all the glory. I do the song and dance thing. There's a nice balance in that."

But you really had better see for yourself.

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