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LIKE A VIRGIN: DIRTY VEGAS

Grammy award-winners tell us about their first ever gig

Electronic dance band Dirty Vegas are back with a new single and video, 'Let The Night', out now on D:Vision Records. Watch it here:

Now slimmed down to a two-piece, Steve Smith and Paul Harris have had a chequered career in the industry. Their first single, 'Days Go By', cracked the Top 30 in the UK in 2001, and then the Top 20 in 2002 on re-release with their eponymous debut album, but their career really took off when the track was chosen to front a Mitsubishi advert in the US.

The track went on to win a Grammy award for Best Dance Recording, and the guys went on to remix big acts such as Madonna and Justin Timberlake. After two albums, 'Dirty Vegas' and 'One', they split in 2005, but got back together four years later and have now readied the 'Electric Love' album for release.

We asked Dirty Vegas to tell us about their first ever gig...

“In late 2001, while we were finishing our debut album, we only played a handful of showcase dates. We were really just focused on finishing our album, so not really thinking about a live show. Although we were all previously in bands, Ben Harris (guitars), Paul Harris (keys/synths) and myself Steve Smith (vocals/guitars/percussion), we hadn't formed as a live band but from a studio session. 

“In early 2002 while still finishing our album, we got the news that our song 'Days Go By' was chosen for a Mitsubishi commercial in the USA. Our new US label, Capitol Records, told us that we needed to be 'visible' in the USA to promote the new record. We were then asked to open for electronic legend, Moby, for his US summer tour. We flew straight to Dallas the night before the first show, and turned up at the huge Bronco Bowl for our soundcheck. Seeing as this was the first night for Moby also, the band and production seemed to have some 'technical' issues. Time was ticking, and we were getting anxious as this was Dirty Vegas' first ever show in front of the paying public. 

“While we waited in our dressing room, we we're informed that there wasn't enough time to get a soundcheck before 'Doors Open' (any opening bands in the business will know, this unfortunately sometimes happens). We were quite petrified at the thought of going out on stage, with all the new electronic equipment we were using, as things can easily go wrong. So we get to stage time, and walk out to the huge crowd — not knowing if anything will work. Remember this was 2002, and running computer sequenced music wasn't what it is now (and even today there's many problems, Richie Hawtin had to cancel Coachella 2013 because of computer problems).

“So we walk over to our equipment and launch into the first song, and everything seemed to be working fine. By the time we got to 'Days Go By' which was being shown on US TV every five minutes, we had the crowd on their feet and dancing. If only they had known what had gone on before we hit the stage that night! A few stiff drinks were had by everyone after the show, including some of Moby's band who knew what was going on.”

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