Gig of the Week: Deck duo bring out dark side


Top drum ‘n’ bass duo The Upbeats promise a spine-tingling gig when they showcase their new album in Queenstown.

Wellington-based Dylan Jones and Jeremy Glenn have gone for a horror movie theme for their just-released third CD Big Skeleton.

And they can’t wait to blast the creepy new tracks while cranking out a sizzling DJ set at Subculture tomorrow night.

“Our last album had a bit of a fairytale-style concept going on but this one has come out a lot darker,” Jones says.

“It didn’t start out that way but then this B-movie horror feel started emerging and we just followed it.

“For the Queenstown show, we even planned to wear special full-length skeleton suits we had made for us but unfortunately they got ruined in the wash.”

The Upbeats have been making a name for themselves overseas in recent years with numerous tours of the United States, Japan, Europe and Australia.

They’ve even been flown from New Zealand to Russia to perform for a weekend.

“It’s a long way to go for such a quick turnaround but Russia is a great place to play as it’s a pretty crazy spot,” Jones explains.

“The maddest show we’ve ever done over that way was at this remote little town in Siberia. The temperature was something like minus 30 degrees and everyone there was pretty much blind drunk the whole time.

“It was a weird, former mining place which has a name that translates as Fishpit and is basically an oil refinery with a load of grim-looking accommodation blocks surrounding it.

“But it was a good gig and there was a decent crowd who went off their heads when we came on stage.”

World travel has also meant The Upbeats have got the chance to work with international acts like Grooverider, Roni Size and Pendulum.

“It’s no real drama for the two of us to move around at short notice, especially if we’re doing the DJ set and not our full live show,” Jones says.

“It means we’ve done Europe at least eight times in the last few years and been to the States about half a dozen times.
“We can also split up and perform individually so we are a pretty mobile unit.”