One of my favourite artists, Paul Kalkbrenner and what turned out to be the best club in the world. Period. Decided to get a ticket last minute, was thinking about it for a while and then I saw they were sold out. Luckily there were a few tickets for early entry available, with a small penalty if you did come late, £5. I took the risk but fortunately no charge.
To be honest, I had no idea what I was in for, and was surprised that when I got off the tube there were staff and sign to direct you to the place, a bit like a festival. Wasn’t until I got there and saw the map that I realised, it’s pretty big.
First trip out of the UK and it’s one of the items on my bucket list checked off. Transmission, one of those events that I’ve always wanted to go to and honestly without moving here, I probably would have never gone because it’s in a pretty random time of the year.
On arrival with Jeff, it turns out that there was a pretty huge group of people from Australia (and mostly Asian!). It wasn’t until lunch that I found out that there’d be a group 40 or 50 strong of Asian Aussies (okay there were a few non Asians, but ironically they weren’t Aussie). Huge!
Anyway, heading in was okay but the crowd (not queue) for the cloakroom was insane making me miss most of Super8 and Tab. I did manage a peak from the side on entering and I wasn’t really blown away. Was it possible that it’s not as great and grand as the videos??
Absolutely not! Heading in through the back and then onto the floor, my mind was blown. The scale of the stage is really big and I think its height is what’s crazy.
First full set was Sander van Doorn pres. Purple Haze, one of my favourites and this time round blue my mind even more than the last time. Particular favourite was a new remix of Daft Punk’s within. Really loved it because the only other time I’ve heard anything from Random Access Memories out loud was at the album launch in Wee Waa and it’s really a great album out loud.
When in London and close to more music events and festivals, I didn’t take long to find my first one, Above and Beyond. Great to see them on their home turf at the O2 arena which isn’t too dissimilar to our Qudos arena in size and layout.
Having all three members there didn’t seem to be a big deal, I remember the spectacle that was made when all three came to tour in Sydney for the ABGT show.
First supporting act was Lutrell Which I only managed to catch the end off, but he did end on a banger; Stormchaser, one of my favourite Anjunadeep songs.
Two very exciting announcements out today for Sydney today which has got me pretty stoked. The first? World’s number 1 DJ Armin van Buuren has announced his Armin Only world tour for his artist album ‘Intense’. The second? World famous beach front bar in Ibiza known for its chill out music and amazing sunsets.
Photographing Defqon.1 in Sydney’s always been a fun and challenging gig, expectations are high and there’s a lot to go on making it hard to capture moments that stand out. Here’s a small collection of shots which I think demonstrate the atmosphere from the day. Still getting a full album ready to upload onto my photography page.
It’s the 5th iteration of the biggest hard dance and hard style music festival in Australia and this year I’m back to doing some photography for Q dance. Just sharing a couple of short videos I took while navigating around, nothing fancy but it shows you what the event was like.
Jimmy has enlightened me that The Thrillseekers will be on their way down for a club gig on Friday the 13th of September. To be honest, initially wasn’t immediately in (as it’s the week after Protoculture, Max Graham and Lange), however he also linked me to the following set below. Continue reading The Thillseekers – this is real trance→
7 hours north west of the Sydney CBD lies a small town called Wee Waa, Sony decided that on May 17 there would be the launch Daft Punk’s highly anticipated 4th artist album, entitled Random Access Memories.
Karyne and I would embark on the long journey in my tiny MX5
Soon after their Creamfields gig in Sydney, a few days later was a surprise announcement that Above & Beyond will be playing a club gig (cue the cheer and fanfare) especially after the woeful performance at Creamfields (terrible audio quality and production). However it was not long before more details sifted in and we find out that it would be Marquee that will be hosting these legends in Trance. I think the whole Sydney-based trance family let a collective sigh as they pondered whether or not to make the trek to Marquee, or alternatively whether or not they’d even be able to get in to see Jonno and Paavo (whether that be long queues or “selective” security and door policies).
I have been to Marquee before, and it’s no doubt a very nice venue, but the strange combination of a shiny new venue combined with an attempt to appeal to the rich creates an interesting scene when true music fans clash with this idea. It would be interesting to see the crowd that would turn up (or should I say, be allowed in), club gigs are usually best to hear what a DJ is truly capable of, there’s usually no pressure to ‘play for the masses’ and tunes which are out of the ordinary can be played.
Had a quick squizz in the Boombox and for a RnB-esque room, it’s quite nice.
Last Friday though? Despite being in a club, there was no club gig feel, first trance DJs to be on the decks were Binary Finary (big name in trance themselves) and from the crowd I hear a shout, “what is this? play more vocal trance”, this was early in the night and I already felt how bad this crowd was going to be. Not long after (with Binary Finary still playing) there is another confused punter not even realising who is playing, ignorantly there are requests for ‘Sun and Moon’ and I give myself a mental facepalm (maybe a few).
Time came and Paavo and Jonno from Above & Beyond arrive, as they step on the decks, it’s clear how many actually know what’s going on. It becomes even clearer when a few of their older tunes are dropped, like ‘On a good day’ and ‘Sirens of the Sea’, I kid you not, less than 10% of the crowd would know the words and sing-a-long. 10 fucking percent, it wasn’t too bad being front and centre, but as you step back, there’s nothing from the crowd at all.
Speaking of moving back, the majority of the crowd were the biggest wankers I have ever seen! Trying to move around with a big fuck-off DSLR and flash is usually an easy affair, either they’ll spot you and move, or a quick tap and a gap is quickly opened for you to pass, but not this time, not this venue. Everyone wants to be where they are (or closer to the front) and it takes a good shove to get through. Seriously, I’m not here to take your spot. Another time a guy behind me holds onto my back as he attempts to get on a mate’s shoulder, man, I was tempted to just give him a knock with the magnesium alloy body of my camera.
Back to A&B though, they know how to work the crowd, but this by no means made up for the lacklustre set at Creamfields. To me it’s still the same predictable cheesy Group Therapy set we’ve all heard a million times. It’s almost become a formula, Sun & Moon, Thing Called Love, Prelude, Love is not Enough, Prelude and so forth. It’s not that they’re such bad tunes, but they’ve just been overplayed and in a way that when you’ve heard one Group Therapy set, you’ve pretty much heard them all.
The highlight of the night would have been Oceanlab’s Siren by the Sea, despite the lack of knowledge from the crowd, it’s just one of them amazing songs.
Other thoughts for the night? The table service is a rather nice thing (if you’ve got the exorbant amounts of money to get one), someone appeared to have a birthday and were greeted with a girl carrying a CO2 tank and two guns to blast CO2 fog everywhere, pretty damn awesome way. There’s no doubt Marquee is a lavish place, plenty of hot girls dancing on stage in a variety of outfits, from little bras to swimsuit-esque outfits and even space-women! Interesting but over-the-top.
To be honest, I’ve been hoping for a nice club to open up in Sydney that would have their own music policy, but after this second visit two months after opening, I don’t see the place lasting at all. Lovely venue, ruined by terrible management. A good club only needs a few things, good venue and production (appropriate for the music genres you’ll support), clearly defined nights and music policy so punters know exactly what’s going on and when and finally having staff and security that aren’t there to play God.
That’s it from me, enjoy the rest of the photos by clicking below, you probably won’t see me step foot in Marquee again 😉 and my 2c, if you haven’t been, you’re not missing out on much.
Oh yeah I must be crazy.
But I believe it’s my destiny.
What am I on about? Marcel Woods is what I’m on about coming down to Australia for a short club tour. Was privileged enough to be covering this event and I must way I was impressed by what the Masif Saturdays and Genesis guys did to the venue. Quite a bit of effort into the production with LCD screens, more lasers and lights, walking into the main room, you know it’s gonna be a good night.
Marcel Woods, I know him for being a little bit dark, driving and rather electric, a few of my favourites would be Advanced, Inside Me and The bottle.
In short, I had some pretty big expectations and when he started off it was amazing, but a few songs later and I’m thinking no way… (not the good no way either). I start to hear the lyrics of something rather familiar, something rather cheesy. I hear ‘I turn the music up, I got my records on…’ and think what the fuck. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Coldplay and the remixes of Every Tear is a waterfall, but this was Marcel Woods! How does a guy that produces songs like Advanced and The bottle play this crap in his set?!
He makes up for it by dropping some killer darker and electric (note electric, not electro) and faith in humanity is restored. See the video below:
But not for long a familiar intro comes a long, it builds a lot slower than usual, I’m thinking oh no… but then it starts to shift and change and I’m thinking perhaps Funkagenda’s What The Fuck, but I’m wrong. Turns out, it was LEVELS and I’m standing there with the biggest what the fuck look on my face. Some more wtf is him dropping Warp by Steve Aoki, see video below:
We’re in a club gig here not an Aussie festival, I expect hard driving trance from this man, look at the photo on his album… that does not look like the face of a man who plays LEVELS!
Overall it was an okay night, definitely some highlights during the night, some remix of ‘hardcore vibes’ definitely brought out the kid in me, definitely never thought I’d hear that one out live.
The extra production at Space made for some nice photos and many thanks to the techs there for helping me out by adjusting the par cans pointing at the DJ from a horrible blue wash to something more neutral. Made the photos a million times better.