Hot Dub Time Machine: Reviewed

Having missed my opportunity at the Edinburgh Fringe to see DJ Tom Loud and his multimedia extravaganza that is Hot Dub Time Machine, I pounced on the tickets for the Freshers Week highlight. I eagerly awaited the event, carefully maneuvering through Freshers Week in order to still have my health and energy for Saturday’s big event. My efforts were well worth the experience and Hot Dub Time Machine surpassed my high expectations.

For the uninitiated, Hot Dub Time Machine’s main selling point is its travel through musical history, starting with the rockabilly jams of the 1960s  and ending the night with the newest global hits. The event, however, is much more than a typical DJ set. The music is accompanied by virtual time traveler (and based on her outfit, cabin attendant) LuLu Loud, who demonstrates dance moves and just generally generates buzz. Beyond DJ Tom Loud’s lovely virtual assistant, Hot Dub Time Machine is outfitted with lights and videos galore, contributing to the total immersion of the event. A personal highlight was seeing clips of original performances and music videos play in sync with the music.

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Although the eagerly-awaited DJ/VJ did not appear on stage until well after the announced start time, the crowd was immediately forgiving and excited once the time travel finally commenced. An excellent selection of music from each decade by the DJ showcased his vast musical knowledge, but also kept the crowd excited and the atmosphere positively electric. Songs of the ’60s included my personal favourite, “Twist and Shout”, while the 1970s brought songs of ABBA and more than a few disco moves were seen on the dance floor. As the ’80s began and the opening notes of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” were heard, the already-packed crowd grew, as anyone on a drink break sprinted back to the dance floor to show off their movies. A renewed energy pulsed through the crowd and remained through the ‘90s, ’00s, and present day hits. From start to finish, the entire night was an experience unlike any other.

The undeniable success of Hot Dub Time Machine is rooted in its unique concept and the DJ’s ability to energise a crowd. Flowing seamlessly from decade to decade, the event showcases music rarely heard in other sets. Beyond DJ Tom Loud’s extensive repertoire, the beauty of Hot Dub Time Machine is its marriage of retro and modern. In the music’s accompanying multimedia, original images and videos of the Beatles fit harmoniously alongside new lighting effects and modern technology. The experience of seeing a virtual cabin attendant do the twist in the style of Chubby Checker is the perfect embodiment of this marriage of new and old. Hot Dub Time Machine was the absolute highlight of Freshers Week, and enough accolades cannot be given to DOES Leon O’Rourke, as well as the entire Ents crew who worked tirelessly to pull it off.

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