Blood Orange LIVE @ Converse Gigs @ The 100 Club, Oxford Street 20.2.14

On a par with that recurring nightmare of being in a public place then realising you’re naked is Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange pulling you on stage to dance – cue mixed mortification and elation. Luckily for my ego the crowd at the 100 Club are plucked one by one onto the stage for a mass dancey stage invasion and I am not left a lone flailer for ‘Time Will Tell’ – Blood Orange’s last song of the night.

Rewind to the start of the night. The overwhelmingly hipster crowd’s at the Converse Gigs, initial reluctance to move prompts Dev Hynes to confirm ‘We’re allowed to have fun, you know that right?’ His exasperation is compounded by some initial sound problems resulting in an inability to hear his own guitar. Give it five minutes though and all is soon forgotten as the packed out 100 Club heaves to get closer to Hynes and his cohort, which includes Friends vocalist and girlfriend Samantha Urbani and a man wielding an exciting looking saxophone – that’s right, a saxophone.

As a record, Cupid Deluxe is wistful and melancholy, at times presenting a bleak picture of events, but the songs from Blood Orange’s debut album take on a different form tonight. Hynes has some pretty impressive moves, and songs are introduced by way of a slut drop and continued with the mastermind behind Blood Orange smoothly shimmying his way around the stage in a way that has the audience transfixed. When Skepta takes to the stage to perform his verses on collaboration ‘High Street’ urging ‘If you’re feeling me put your Pinot Grigio high’ he isn’t greeted by the elevation of dry white wine but by an appreciative, warm reception.

The hipster underworld of the 100 Club seems humbled by Dev Hynes’ presence tonight and to be present at one of his first gigs on home shores in nearly three years. The assured way Hynes hops seamlessly from style to style and the way he pulls it off outstandingly is a testament to the quality of Blood Orange’s music, and the presence that it has live. Surprisingly it’s the moments of pure funk that the crowd go wildest for, producing a rare result in the London gig scene – actual dancing instead of fruitless pushing.

Hynes coaxes half the 100 Club on stage to dance with him for his final song of the night before weaving his way onto the floor. He finishes the song with the remainder of the crowd, assuring them there’s plenty of him to go around – which is just as well because tonight there’s plenty demand.