2 years of Xe54
Xe54 celebrated their second birthday with style, converting their underground bunker into a ‘360-degree’ boiler room style stage, creating a refreshing experience for regular punters.
Queues were already hundreds long by 10:30 on what was a cold Saturday night, everybody eager to enter and get their dance on. Xe54’s boiler room style stage provided a new and immersive experience, with guests packed around the centred stage all night long. Handle Soundsystem proved they are top class selectors, opening up the night with a number of disco and old school house jams. Suki followed with an impressive display of dance floor groovers to get guests up and dancing for the night ahead. A top performance from the night came from SANCTUM and fütwerk, who teamed up and went back-to-back to deliver a hard-hitting industrial techno set, littered with rave classics and breakbeat thumpers. The crowd were well and truly immersed into their vibe.
Xe54 has been up and thriving for the past two years, establishing a reputable name for bringing top-class international acts to the Melbourne scene, including the likes of Marcel Dettmann, DJ Koze, George Fitzgerald and many more. Despite the changing dynamic of the crowd over the last year, Xe54 can hold their head up high for what was a night bursting with feel good energy. We chatted with Tom Caw from Untitled group to discuss the last two years of Xe54 and what ambitions they hold for the club going into the future.
When you first started Xe what was the overall goal for the club?
When we started Xe we wanted to bring a Berlin vibe club into Melbourne and start a culture exposing people to good house and techno.
Do you think you've achieved it?
I think we have managed to achieve it, however the sound and crowd at Xe is continually evolving. but we still bring in some of the biggest house and techno artists in the world and they are always well received. I also love the fashion at Xe there are always people pushing the boundaries and really expressing themselves.
Are there any clubs around the globe that Xe has drawn inspiration from?
As I mentioned earlier it wasn't a particular club we drew inspiration from but rather the clubbing culture that is in Berlin. Clubbing in Berlin is more of a lifestyle and it attracts all walks of life. It's not just one demographic that attends which I love.
How would you describe the success that Xe54 has had over the past two years?
We've had our ups and downs. We started off super strong then we had a really quiet period after about a year, This is when we realised we needed to started evolving as a club and a brand. We changed up the sound a bit bringing in local legends like Market Memories and Steve Bleas who really know how to please a crowd. It's good to see the response people have to these guys who play such uplifting house music, the vibe they create is second to none. In saying this we haven't strayed to far from our roots we still bring in cutting edge techno from Europe with acts like Matrixxman, ANNA, Carl Craig.
Most memorable night since open?
In most recent times it was Ben Bohmer a relatively small DJ from europe who managed to pack out the club and have a line of 500+ to get in all night.
Favourite set from an international and local artist?
My favourite local sets are always Market Memories & Steve Bleas it's even better when they play b2b. Also have to give a special mention to Bec Grenfell who played this 80's inspired set a few weeks ago, it literally transported me back in time, think Stranger Things season 1 sound track vibes. International artist is too hard I have to name a few; Solomun, ANNA, Carl Craig, Dj Koze, 16 BL. But the list goes on there has just been so many great sets.
What lies ahead for Xe54?
We have recently moved the decks into the middle of the room so that it's now a boiler room set up, this worked so well for our second birthday we have decided to keep it for a while. Other than that we be doing the same, keeping our eye on what's happening in Melbourne bringing in the best local artists and international DJs.
Words: Declan Dempsey