Timo Maas

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Concert Review by Kris Griffiths

The Hanover Grand, London – March 2002

Dusseldorf DJ Timo Maas has a much larger following than I expected. The doors only opened an hour ago yet the trendy Hanover Grand is suddenly swarming with random individuals: a few bomber jacket-clad German skinheads, the usual suited-and-booted media trendies, pockets of loudly dressed clubbers, the odd lone stand-around like myself and shitloads of sauntering bouncers, the most I think I’ve ever seen at a show of this size.

They’re obviously all here to enforce the zero-tolerance drug policy that screams from posters wallpapered all over the place, although it’s hardly surprising that punters want to do a lot of drugs here when they’re being charged £3.50 for a half-pint beaker of beer. But apart from the beer and bouncers, the Hanover is quite a classy venue boasting a sound system that sounds awesome even at support band levels.

The support act sounds interesting but I can’t actually see them through the smoke, strobes and a white light so blinding it could have been a giant science teacher burning a huge magnesium strip at the back of the stage. Moving closer I just about make out a guitarist and a stout fellow going mad on an electric drum kit. A sound not too dissimilar to Timo’s electro-funk rhythms, they provide an excellent warm-up for the headlining act although most of the animated crowd don’t seem to notice him wandering into the DJ booth an hour later.

launching into the stomping beats of his acclaimed LOUD album, Timo soon has the place going mental as the sound system shifts up several spine-juddering notches from loud to very loud. Random images of the young oriental girl on the album cover begin to flash erratically on big screens behind him, one second pulling her hair out and then telling everyone to sshh. The discursive set includes the techno squelches of MANGA and SHIFTER, and occasionally Timo is joined onstage by a pretty black lady (MC Chickaboo?) who steps up to holler sweetly into the microphone.

Nearly three hours later the crowd have withered but the German is still rocking. Towards the end he finally mixes in his funky debut hit TO GET DOWN and crowns an impressive show in style. Timo has only just tasted mainstream success earlier on this year with the aforesaid single, but on the merits of tonight’s pumping performance he still has a lot of deserved exposure to catch up on, and catch up he will. Music for the Maases indeed.