Disclosure, Capital FM and the Case of a Mime

Written by Alex Veeneman

The dance music duo Disclosure have the number one album in the UK at the moment.

The dance music duo Disclosure have the number one album in the UK at the moment. They have played venues across Britain and elsewhere in support of the album and the chart placing singles which accompany it. Indeed, festival appearances are to come, including at Glastonbury, Latitude, and Reading and Leeds according to a report from the BBC. With songs that are popular and the ability to stand out in the crowd when it came to modern British dance music, many a dance music fan would eagerly anticipate a performance.

Yet, there has been some criticism of a performance recently given by them on pop music network Capital FM.

Questions arose surrounding their performance at the station’s Summerball at London’s Wembley Stadium. Fans complained on Facebook about the performance, whilst photos circulating which saw the duo’s mixers not plugged in, and no headphones on, according to a report in the Guardian, saying that they pulled a David Guetta, referring to previous incidents where it had been reported that the French DJ had been caught miming during a series of performances.

The group confirmed they did mime the performance. Yet, Disclosure member Guy Lawrence reveals how the duo pleaded with Capital to play live:

“Capital FM made us do this show with a backing track playing. They said that they had to trigger the tracks themselves to sync visuals. We pleaded with them for weeks and weeks to let us play fully live or at least let us mix but they just weren’t having it. It was incredibly frustrating and horrible for us to hear our music at Wembley and not actually be able to play it ourselves.”

Lawrence added though that they did not hide the fact of miming at all with the unplugging of the mixer, the absence of the headphones and various plugs on the floor of the venue, indicating no mixing had been taking place.

A spokesperson for Global Radio, Capital FM’s parent company, declined to comment for on the performance and the order by executives to mime. It is not clear if any action has been taken by the station following of the performance.

Lawrence said the decision to do the set with his brother Howard was to show an appreciation to Capital for playing their songs, the report added. “They play our songs roughly 400 times a week across their various networks and we wanted to thank them for all the support,” Lawrence said. “But yeah it was a very strange experience and one we will not be going through again.”

It raises the question as to what role stations have when doing these live performances. Should the act perform live as intended, or should a backing track be used, despite the thousands who came to see the acts in question?

Though it’s yet to be seen if anything has come out of this, it questions the value of music and the value of an artist, especially one that is currently enjoying popularity in the British charts.

What do you think? Was Disclosure right to mime their set at Capital? What did you think of the response from station executives? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.