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The Presets, Hermitude, Nina Las Vegas

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Cell Block Theatre: 07/11/12

the Cell Block added beats to its bars as local lords of dance The Presets took over the Triple J’s super-secret Oz Music Month gig. The headliners played relatively early (although it was a school night, I guess) and with a bit more of a set-up than the theatre, and their supports, had needed: lights, cameras, a drum kit for Kim Moyes to ascend, and a synth and some other bits and pieces for Julian Hamilton to emerge from behind while delivering his beautifully understand vocals. The later also provided a handy barrier as the odd overly enthusiastic fan scaled the stage to have a little party with the boys; it was all relatively harmless (and artless), but also, clearly, not what the band were really keen on.

In their intro The Doctors (Linsay McDougall) made of point of calling The Presets’ 2008 offering Apocalypso a defining point in Australian Dance, and it was that album, and the music of newbie Pacifica, that formed the base of tonight’s set. The presets make dance music with a mongrel edge, as typified on tracks Youth In Trouble and Promises (the latter has a distinct ’80’s electro edge, almos New Order-y, and that’s meant as high praise). The older tunes were still fine, with a a slower version of This Boy’s in Love led with a sweet keys hook, and If I Know You just demanding a bop along from even the coolest of hipsters hanging up the back. Of cause, it was rounded off with My People (again, hipsters were helpless to resist), and the standard brief absence and return for a tight encore (where Hanilton threatened to hunt down those who’d lost the faith and left).

Kudos has to be given to their supports though, particularly Harmitudem who used the space with arguably more grace. Starting off with iPads around their necks and with a healthy amount of enthusiasm, there was a sense of spontaneity and engagement that was infectious. Mucjing around and including a few choice fanboy (and fangirl moments) – especially a gratuitously unnecessary but fab use of the old school Doctor Who theme – they set the tone and theme to playful. Inviting a sing-along for The lion Sleeps Tonight, before it morphed away, ad a shameless bit of Michael Jackson (again, why not?)  of cause their biggie Speak Of The Devil was a highlight. It was a vide that Nina Las Vegas in her two in-between sets also tried to channel (although always tough when there are set-ups happening around and over you).

 

 

Source: The Drum Media magazine

Writer: Liz Giuffre