Tag Archives: above and beyond

Above and Beyond at the O2 with videos

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.

Continue reading Above and Beyond at the O2 with videos

Two weeks in!

Feels like I’ve made some real progress in settling down here, the majority of the admin hurdles are out of the way and it’s a waiting game for some. My Barclays app has unlocked however because I don’t have a card yet, I can’t really pay anyone.

I’ve set up a limited liability company in anticipation for contract work that hasn’t happened yet. I still find the fact that I’m a director of a company rather amusing, not to mention the things you can do as a company made my laugh. For example, I’m allowed to gift myself something of up to £50 value each with a total of £300 a year, tax free! Other things like the company being able to buy your own used  equipment off you as an expense to reduce your tax! Totally awesome! Not to mention you can basically pay yourself up to £45k pounds at 9.5% tax :O.

Anyway, been out and a bit and already onto the music scene. Above and Beyond played a gig at the O2 and I decided to go last minute, £45 a ticket, but the show opened at 7.30 and only went til 11, supported by Luttrel and Gabriel and Dresden!

Barely made it in for Luttrel because the line to get in was super slow moving, also bizzare that there was no cloakroom and the service at the bar was super shitty and slow. Venue-wise it’s quite similar to Qudos. I’ll add another post with some videos.

Also found it weird that the crowd wasn’t full of 18 year old Asian LGs but more like an average of over 30 and white.

Also went to check out Kolsch play live at fabric, a pretty well-known name in London clubbing, but apparently has lost its charm after closing and re-opening. Pretty cool place, feels a little bit underground but not exactly grungy. Kolsch has been in Sydney previously but I gave it a miss, definitely glad I made this one. Being able to ride a bicycle to the venue was also super cool.

Club was super packed packed and it’s kinda cool that it has a mezzanine that overlooks the main dancefloor.

In more music/festival related stuff, I booked flights and tickets for Transmission in Prague, one of the events on my bucket. Despite it coming to Melbourne and having made fomo over it, I decided it’s best to check out the real one.

After A&B though, I did make the mistake of ordering a kebab, which is not the same as it is back home, it’s more like a weird open sandwich but there’s no BBQ sauce! Have only found out later that I need to order a wrap.

Went to check out a World Press competition photo exhibit which was rather small but quite impactful. The nature photos were great, especially one about pandas and what China is doing to preserve them.

Some of the war-torn and impoverished photos hit pretty hard, there’s one in particular about a man who was stoned and then hung from a crane that was absolutely brutal. Amazing the time and effort (as well as chance) to make these photos happen.

Had a taste of what Sydney life was like with the visit of Bec who’s doing a mini round-the-world trip. Great to see a friendly face and have a few beers and some amazing pie! Chance pick from google and it was delicious! The gravy that went with the mash was divine. It’s a pub called The Windmill in Mayfair.

Good news – found a place to live, it’s right next to old street station so it’s super well connected and flexible lease agreement, no ridiculous notion of 6 months rent in advanced! Room is a good size and it has a living room. There are so many places here that turn the living room into an extra bedroom, leaving a tiny kitchen as a communal area, just couldn’t live like that.

Can’t wait to get out of my Airbnb! Especially when this couple decided it’d be appropriate to bring a screaming toddler along.

Job wise I had a last minute interview with a bus and transport company called Arriva for a Product Owner role, not something I was initially planning to go for, but why not? Would be pretty convenient as it’s a 25 minute walk down the road to my new place and should be an easy 10 minute ride on a bike.

While walking around I also stumbled upon Hamleys, a huge and crazy toy store! Filled with enthusiastic staff demonstrating and playing with the toys, it’s quite a spectacle!

Really cute displays out the front windows too.

Hanna’s found work at a hip bar in a somewhat questionable area, we were pleasantly surprised when we got there that it was a pretty decent establishment. A few beers and Gin and Tonics were had. I had a Nikka Coffey Gin which was pretty damn good.

A few drinks in with everyone laughing at me for holding the glass like a goblet we dreamt of innovative ways to consume G&Ts from such glasses. Scotty invented the Swan challenge whereby you hold it like a goblet but flip your grip and try to drink from the glass.

Went on a shopping trip Bicester village which was over an hour away to check out some outlets! £17 pound train ride here and I walked away with just a Superdry jacket and a pair of Chinos from Ted Baker. It’s a high end market with mostly designer brands, their target market is clearly the rich Asians. I’m not being racist, but they give Asians a 10% discount if you have a passport or UnionPay/Bank of China card.

I missed most of the Bonfire Night fireworks as they occurred on the same night as A&B but Victoria Park set up some fireworks on the Sunday, which is actually the proper date, November the 5th. Yes, the same date referenced in V for Vendetta from which the story about the treason is based on the real bonfire night, also called Guy Fawkes night.

Above & Beyond play at Marquee Sydney – photos and review

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).

Marquee Sydney

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.

Marquee

Had a quick squizz in the Boombox and for a RnB-esque room, it’s quite nice.

The BoomBox

Inside the BoomBox

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).

Binary Finary

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.

Above & Beyond

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.

Slippy Future

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.

Girls and CO2 guns

Dancers

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.

Click here for the rest
Click here for the rest

Group Therapy now featuring Mat Zo and Jaytech

Above and Beyond have just announced word of two supporting acts to their highly anticipated Group Therapy tour coming down south in September this year. As quoted from the Above and Beyond website:

Fresh from the success of their “Group Therapy” album, Above & Beyond have announced the full line-up for theirSeptember tour of Australia. Joining Jono, Tony and Paavo on the tour will be Anjunadeep’s mainstay Jaytech and the ever-innovative Mat Zo

Can’t wait for that night to come, it’s gonna be epic! Also can’t wait for some remixes and a remix album to emerge.

Read the rest here: http://www.aboveandbeyond.nu/news/Above_and_Beyond_Group_Therapy_Australia_Tour_-_Line_Up_Announced.htm

The best kind of therapy is Group Therapy

This morning something exciting happened, tickets were released to see Above and Beyond’s Group Therapy tour come down under. I’ve got mine, have you got yours?

The Group Therapy album is already shaping up to be a very fine piece of work with certain songs already released, such as ‘Sun and Moon’ which has had a massive reception across A State of Trance 500. I personally cannot wait for it to be released and the eventual remixed album. It’s one to look out for.

One of my favourite tunes at the moment is their own, ‘thing called love’, watch the video below:

For more updates and snippets of the Group Therapy album as they’re unlocked, visit the Group Therapy Hub:

http://www.aboveandbeyond.nu/grouptherapyhub/

More information about the Australian tour at the following link:

http://www.aboveandbeyond.nu/australia/

Sub Sub Subbies…

For those that haven’t heard the news (you’re not big enough fans), subbies is being shifted to the terrace once the renovations are complete, usually I don’t care too much about Sublime, but they’ve put on some very impressive Trance acts which I’ve come to enjoy massively. My first taste of live Trance was at Sublime, as a matter of fact, my first experience was seeing Ferry Corsten play in late 2007 which was a very memorable night. Sad to see such a big brand go as they really did throw some great parties.

Despite this bitter transistion occuring due the rapid influx of fluoro fags populating the dance scene, trance is again being put away despite it appearing to gain momentum and popularity. That said however, there are a couple of upcoming events at Subbies in the next few weeks that I might check out if I have nothing else to do. The first is Gatecrasher on this Friday followed by another live set from Australia’s Number 1: Tydi here to release his latest compilation Trance Nation by The Ministry of Sound along with Trance giants Above and Beyond (would have been an absolute killer if they were playing as well). Unfortunately the VSA cruise is on that nigh and depending on how things go, I may try to see what I can make of it. Finally after that is Activa which is a name I’ve heard here and there but not an act I know substantially much about, Alok seems to be excited and I guess that makes me excited too!

That’s it for now, there’s a lot to look forward too and it makes the wait for the big events even shorter and it’s a great warm up to those events.