Melbourne Music Week Closing Night
Usually, libraries are reserved for the stereotype of cranky librarians urging people not to be loud, not a physical stereo endorsing the exact opposite of its slightly more rambunctious than usual patrons. Melbourne Music Week provided a grand gala of conviviality at the State Library which in its production paid homage to all things ‘stereotypically Melbournian trendy’ and the closing night hit a home run.
In conjunction with Melbourne Music Week, Good Manners co-presented the night which featured a display of some of the labels finest talent; LUCIANBLOMKAMP, Gonzo Jones, Marcus Whale and Planéte all delivered sets on the night with Austrian’s HVOB headlining the evening. Also making up the cast was Dro Carey, Seekae, Luke Howard and Jennifer Loveless who brought a close to the night in the Queen’s Hall. ‘The Dome’ was definitely one of the most grandiose locations for live music, with the stage situated directly under the colossal dome which dominates the vast room home to a sprawling assortment of study desks and exposed book shelves. Naturally, however with hosting a music event in a library, the area was slightly awkward at times and far from traditional, but that was entirely overshadowed by the experience of good electronic music in a venue with equal measures of peculiarity and grandeur. Despite the crowds pouring into the library for an event not typically associated with peaceful studiousness, the after hours visitors on the night deserve mention and praise for showing a great deal of respect to the venue and its contents, with both musical and cultural harmony taking emphasis on the night, which was highlighted by the presence of ‘gender neutral toilets’ (which early in the night frightened the living bejeebers out of me thinking I had made passage into the girls toilets mistakenly) at the event.
The production value exhibited on the night almost rivalled the venue itself, with the sensational lighting, sound and modern electronic music acting as a credit and celebration of Melbourne’s rich and vibrant music culture. The whole week itself paints a stark division between Melbourne and her rival city, Sydney, with lockout laws still under protest further up the Eastern coast, Melbourne hosts dance music events in the heart of the city until the early hours of the morning, in her biggest and most grand library no less. But the closing night was far from a dichotomy between the countries two largest cities and it was made sure Sydney’s presence was still very much felt, with both ‘Sydney-siders’ Dro Carey and Seekae performing magnificent sets. Dro Carey gave the night some of its highlights and made the NSW influence felt in the 23:00 - 00:00 time slot as the crowd began to fill up, take shape and get moving around the Queens Hall. Later at the 1:00-2:00 Seekae reverberated a fine selection of tunes from all branches of the ‘electronica’ tree around the pillars and columns of the regal hall. Performing earlier in the night Rainbow Chan warrants appreciation for an incredibly energetic display of modern, electronic pop which highlighted the aforementioned themes represented in Melbourne’s vibrant music scene which continues to push boundaries. The headliners, Austrian’s HVOB, treated the crowd to an illumination into how powerful and beautiful measured doses of minimalism can be, showing just how true the statement ‘less is more’ can be. It’s surprising to think this was their debut performance in Australia, but HVOB’s beats were exceptionally well received as they have been throughout Europe for a number of years and it was no surprise to see them translated into great late night dance times in Melbourne. Planéte put on a marvellous set which began with vast strokes of relatively experimental synths and tones, but make no mistake in thinking these were probing attempts at musical exploration, each beat, tone and synth carried intention and all came to bear the fruits of an extremely enjoyable set and affirms his position in the growing pool of emerging electronic Melbourne talent.
Definitely, the night was well tipped for success, with Herald Sun writer Mikey Cahill determining that Good Manners had assembled the best ‘bill’ since Billy Bob Thornton was cast as the dentist for season one of Fargo. I’d instead propose that they’d put together a ‘bill’ closer to a mixture of Bill Clinton and Bill Murray - we all had a huge deal of naughty fun and unlike ‘Groundhog day’, we wish we could keep reliving the night as it was one of the best Melbourne’s seen in awhile and a fantastic close to the 2016 Melbourne Music Week.