“I can’t hear my guitar, like, at all.” This was the complaint from Dev Hynes after a rather flat opening number for Blood Orange’s Converse Gig @ 100 Club. Luckily for a packed 100 Club, the problem was fixed sharpish and, by the time Hynes and company were ready to ease into album highlight You’re Not Good Enough, guitars were well and truly set to Funky.

Not many people get Funky these days. This is the thing that’s most striking about Blood Orange. What Hynes has managed to do so expertly is create a sound that borrows from other genres and other eras without sounding like he’s ripping anyone off. Devonte Hynes wears his influences on his sleeve; but he wears them well.

Recent album Cupid Deluxe has proven somewhat of a breakthrough for Hynes’ latest project. Blood Orange is a huge jump from Lightspeed Champion’s ‘flannel-shirt indie’ and even further away from the angsty, angular dance-punk he produced with Test Icicles in the mid 00s. It is with Blood Orange where he seems most comfortable, most accomplished. Joined on stage by girlfriend Samantha Urbani, Hynes looks totally at ease as he shimmies and flutters his way across the stage. This is a young man at the peak of his career, without a care in the world.


The presence of Urbani gives me the overwhelming feeling that this whole project is simply a right load of fun for Hynes. Blood Orange seems more of a collaborative effort amongst friends than a one-man show. The chemistry amongst the musicians on stage is palpable and it transfers to the audience. You cannot help but be moved by what happens when Blood Orange are playing. The set reaches it’s height with a joyous jam session that’s borne out of Costal Grooves’ Sutphin Boulevard. Urbani and Hynes flirt around the stage; obviously enamoured. Although it’s hard to tell whether this is with each other or the music or both. Probably both. Hands are in the air. Hips swing.

It’s with a heavy heart when Hynes announces, “this is our last song.” You get the feeling he’d be up there all night if he could. It’s only fitting that members of the audience are invited on stage to join in with album closer Time Will Tell. The glee on the faces of those up there radiates across the 100 Club. Urbani and Hynes finish their evening with a kiss and warm embrace and we’re sent off into the chilly London evening with a lovely, fuzzy feeling. The Funk isn’t finished yet.