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‘He can only ever be a novelty act’: Steve Davis at Norwich Arts Centre review

PUBLISHED: 14:23 04 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:23 04 August 2018

Steve Davis at the Norwich Art Centre. Picture: Paul Jones

Steve Davis at the Norwich Art Centre. Picture: Paul Jones

Paul Jones

I’ve enjoyed several fantastic DJs and electronic artists at the Norwich Art Centre over the years including Nathan Fake, Rival Consoles and Luke Abbott so tonight I was looking forward to seeing how the internationally famous Steve Davis compared.

Steve Davis at the Norwich Art Centre. Picture: Paul JonesSteve Davis at the Norwich Art Centre. Picture: Paul Jones

Wait. What? Yes, Steve Davis DJing alongside Iranian multi-instrumentalist and experimental rock composer Kavus Torabi.

I had several snooker puns cued up but I thought no, that would be too easy. I want to pay the man the respect he deserves not only for what he has achieved in the world of sport, but as a genuine music fan who has foregone many highly paid speaking gigs and a lucrative snooker exhibition circuit to concentrate on these shows.

He is a lively performer behind the turntables and works well with Torabi who bounds across the stage animatedly, encouraging the crowd. Several times he was happy to go to the front of the stage and pose for selfies too. Which got me thinking; are these people here for the music, or to see Steve Davis, whether that be out of curiosity or respect? To be honest it seemed a mixture, with the majority happily dancing to Davis’s and Torabi’s highly eclectic mix of nu-skool electronica and techno, lost in the music, and others there for the sheer bizzarity of witnessing the retired multiple snooker world champion lay down some dirty beats.

As a DJ he’s not exactly A-Trak or James Zabiela and I don’t recall any beat mixing from Romfords most famous son. His interesting selection was mainly faded in and out with the music doing the talking. But that’s not necessarily a negative thing as for me 99% of the art of DJing is music selection, that is after all the job description of the disc jockey and anything else is just gravy. So the question is; can Steve Davis DJ? The answer would be a definite yes as the music was pretty good all night, albeit slightly strange at times. However I left the gig with the overwhelming feeling he can only ever be a novelty act. Kind of like seeing Nick Faldo starting up a band and playing a festival. Would you go for the great songs, or because it’s Nick Faldo playing a guitar?

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