Live Music + Gig Reviews

S.I.Futures @ The Monarch, London

18 September 2001

In the Camden branch of the burgeoning chain of pub-venues that is Barfly was to be found one Si Begg, this evening known as S.I. Futures. He’s just this month launched his new album The Mission Statement, and this was his opportunity to show the world that he could play all that techno tomfoolery live as well as in a studio – but it wasn’t as if we doubted him. He’s been recording for some time already under various monikers, such as Bigfoot, CabbageBoy and Buckfunk 3000, he’s played and DJ’d in clubs in places as diverse as Brighton and Berlin.

His music is really a pastiche of the sort of thing you hear emerging loudly from every crack of small, old black cars driven by youths who’ve spent all their savings on big speakers. With track titles like Vending Machine, Eurostar and Freestyle Disco, Begg is laughing at corporate culture, enjoying the beats he creates in the meantime. If dance music ever has a message, this man would like you to remember his,

An Apple Mac laptop sat atop some dirty yellow upturned beer crates and alongside some analogue gadgets, a CD player and unknown other devices, behind which moved the smiling and surprisingly handsome Mr Begg. Gradually he was getting into his music on the tiny stage offered by The Monarch as the audience began to join him; before long it is apparent that he well knows how to please a crowd and get them onside fast.

The only real problem is the lack of anything to interest the eye. Where other dance acts offer stage shows (eg. Basement Jaxx, Sgt Rock) which can get scarily close to carnivals in scale, S.I. Futures is a much smaller affair. After a while you do tend not to watch the gig. And there’s the second problem; while fellow Novamute signing Richie Hawtin is offering his latest work to the drugged-up hordes of The End, a venue superbly suited to his music, Begg finds himself playing one of the smallest sweat pits in London, a place more usually showcasing the latest local guitar band.

An odd choice of venue then, but the music is well worth tuning into. Get a copy of The Mission Statement, get some big speakers in your Golf GTi and get groovin’.

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S.I.Futures @ The Monarch, London