Friday, 5 September 2008
Having the whole week in Melbourne was great.
I caught up with Nick Thayer and swapped up some music. Nick is a lovely guy, and he has some really cool music in the pipeline. I also caught up with an old friend Lynt, who was one of the real heads in Melbourne when I first went there (he’s had a bit of time out in recent years, but be warned - he is armed and ready to go again!). Another friend, Dusk (from Adelaide), was in town so I also had chance to catch up with her & had dinner with two rappers from LA called The Grouch & Eligh from the Living Legends. It's funny how you can have similar opinions on life, love, politics & music ... the only difference is the way you deliver your message. (I would like to think we all have something to say?). Anyhow something interesting may appear from this hook-up with some very talented & knowing people.
My second Melbourne show was at Brown Alley along side my mate Jamie Stevens (again), and Michael (Butter Party) who were playing in the same room, with the other room being predominantly breaks. Before the show I had dinner with Chris who was taking care of things (while Dan Darkbeat was out of town) & we discussed the politics of breakbeat and dubstep, had a moan about certain dj’s and praised others. These guys are very dedicated to breaks and it was so inspiring to hear some passionate views by some young up & coming guys. We were not just dissing anything 4X4 for the sake of it, so much so I felt the need to email Shack (Elite Force) to suggest it's time we represented a little with a breaks-only release…. (two breaks tracks not just the one we had planned, a view which was embraced!!). I enjoyed that dinner, and a quick mention of Chris our host - I have a feeling in the next few years Chris will become a real player within the Melbourne scene ... a true music lover with the best intentions and great people skills, I'm sure I will be working for him in the next few years. I really hope so, infact.
The Brown Alley show was cool. I did enjoy myself and it was nice to see a few faces from the week before. I played in that same room upstairs last year with Lee Coombs, and I felt this show was better, although I found it hard to connect with the audience the same way I did the week before at Miss Libertine, (but I did particularly like that venue - the sound and the layout). I hung out for a bit to hear Jamie’s set, which again I really enjoyed (he was playing back to back with another DJ from Perth ... and for love nor money can I remember his name unfortunately!). They worked really well off each other. I hung out with Michael and his girlfriend Nicole for most of that, then they came back to my hotel, so we could drink some more, (although the mini bar was slightly limited to alchpops) and we chatted 'till the morning about all sorts of things. I burnt a load of non dance stuff for him (which he has kindly repaid with a cranking 'back to mine' style mix a few days later).
Unfortunately time was not on my side and before I knew it, Agent Sam was on the phone saying ‘I'm on my way ... meet me downstairs in ten minutes’, shit, shit shit shit………….. another weekend of no sleep. Sam picked me up bang on time and off we went to the airport for our early flight to Brisbane.
Now to say I was nervous about playing the ‘Phunk You’ party which is run by the Ampt crew in Brisbane, is an understatement. I was shitting myself. The reason being, is for the last few years I have been playing for these guys and their shows have slowly become the highlight of touring Australia for me, and I have also become very fond of them all as people, and have had the pleasure to meet their extended famies who I've also become friends with. So, obviously I want to do my upmost for them, and keep our momentum going. On my arrival I'm informed more tickets have been sold than last year and it's looking good - this time round they decided to try a different venue to switch things up (called Bar Soma) and we headed there straight from the airport to do a quick sound check.
As I walked in it felt like this place had some real potential. The venue looked as if it could take about five hundred people, had a great outside area with a big-assed sound system (which was also an area you could smoke in (that goes a long way!)). I ran through a few tracks to get a feel of the DJ booth, and the sound as with all the Ampt parties was perfect - warm & bass heavy, and the visuals were also insane ... but this does come standard with these guys. I headed to my hotel for a few hours sleep and then Steffy and Tim (two of the promoters) came to pick me up about 6pm we went back to the venue for some tapas and a quick drink then off to a local radio station for a interview to plug the show that night.
On my arrival at the venue later that night, it was wicked to see a queue down the road outside the venue. I can best describe the feeling as if you're about to have sex with someone who you really like, and you want them to like you the same way you like them …….. Anyhow, a DJ from Byron Bay who I really admire called Si Clone was playing - I've seen Si play three times now and have never recognised a track. He plays some really twisted music & I personally rate him to the ground. As I took over from Si my nerves seem to disappear (maybe it was so many familiar faces in the crowd), but I blasted through a two-hour set which went in a blink & was really happy with reaction (I'm not good at blowing my own trumpet, so im not going to…. but it went well).
Hyperion were taking over from me, and about half way through my set (I've never done this before) but I asked Max from Hyperion if I could play one of his tracks, which he gave me the green light to do. Now just to clarify this, I am fully aware of dj etiquette, and I am a huge fan of Hyperion (I genuinely believe them to be one of the most exciting acts emerging), and the reason I wanted to play their music at this show was it was their home town and the place was kicking, and I really felt that if they played the same music earlier in the evening, they would receive an ever larger response later. Well anyhow, I played the track to the same arms in the air reaction I have been seeing all over the world, and about 10 minutes later i saw an edit of their remix for Dylan Rhymes for Lot49 in my wallet, so I grabbed it and again pointed to it Max, who made the thumbs up gesture, and again the crowd just lifted. It was, however, pointed out a few days later (on a forum) that it was not a cool thing to do, even after asking them. Now if this did offend the guys I am extremely sorry, I really meant it as mark of respect and nothing else, (and the tracks smashed it later too…).
Anyhow I finished my set and hung out, whilst Hyperion ripped the club a new one as expected. I darted outside a few times to get some air as the main room was pretty warm, and the tech house being spun out there was simply bumpin' ... in the packed courtyard the crowd were voicing their appreciation, (as was I too). Oli & Ryan Bitrock took over and smashed it till 5AM. All in all it would be hard to find a better balanced night anywhere in the world - I loved it - but……… with all the Ampt (and Logic) parties, the kick on is also an event in its self.
Steffy and Tim live in a large shared house, which has a huge balcony running round the outside (nothing like we see in the uk), massive kitchen, two fridges which were full of beers, vodka, and my personal favs, wine and whisky. My Australian tour was finished and I found myself sitting in the sunshine in what I would consider a tropical garden on a huge sofa drinking cold white wine and in their words…… 'getting loose’. I was hanging out with some of the funniest & genuine people I have come across (maybe I should mention messy too), and I was in my element. I think you can all get the picture ... I have to tone it down here to protect the (not so) innocent, but putting it into perspective, I woke up Monday morning with a bite mark on my leg a great white would be proud of - in fact, I'm laughing my arse off just thinking about it. Thank you Brisbane!
Well I did manage to make it to the airport Monday (which surprised me too). I flew up to Sydney and headed to Matty Dopamine's for a few days recording and a couple of meetings regarding label stuff, & I had a few well needed chilled few days, which I needed after that weekend. I get on well with Matt and Simon (his flatmate) ... Matt's a talented fucker. I think you will see a more of him via Lot49 in the next 12 months.
So that’s about it for my Australia adventure. I really didn’t plan on writing so much of my experience down. I left school early at 15 years old & I have always struggled with spelling and English (thank you for being my spell-check Shack). I'm what you may call 'uneducated' but I have to say I've really enjoyed sharing my experiences and thoughts with you, and I would like to leave you with this…
I've been fortunate enough somehow to have travelled the world over; I've been to some pretty cool & out there places, but I have to say I fell in love with Australia the moment I set foot there. The people, the culture, the lifestyle ... everything ... and that feeling has never waivered for me (even after Adelaide), so you will know when I've finally cracked it, because that’s where I will be living!
Right……I' m just about to board a plane to China, (another day at the office I guess!).