Monday, November 24, 2008

Booka Shade & Carl one night! ah!

This is my most mamoth blog to date, read on if you will;

Yeah I know, sounds like too much fun for one night! right!? Well I did it, I did that danced all night and came back albeit during morning hours of the next day.

So the night started at Enmore theatre where Booka Shade played as part of the Stereosonic festival. Before them were Japanese Pop Stars who I had never heard of before (refer to gig guide) but they pretty much blew away the half-full Enmore theatre with their live performance, which involves 2 guys on a laptop and 1 dude on keyboards banging out uh...proggy, techy, almost electro type house/techno. That's my best description, if anything imagine 10 distorted sythns all chucked in one pot and mixed around. While they finished the DJ (who I HAVE to find the name of as I really enjoyed his warm up set) got the crowd moving as the Enmore packed all the way to the back while the Booka crew set up on stage. Bookashade are duo with Arno Kammermeier on electronic drum kit and Walter Merziger playing sythns and melodies while also arranging things live through midi controllers.

As Booka Shade finally graced the stage to an enormous roar (while I was still stuck in line waiting for some bar chick to take 30min to give everyone a can of beer!!!) I raced down to be blasted by some heavy drum beats and typical Booka sounding synths and sounds (havn't heard the new album yet so no track IDs but they did play Charlotte & In White Rooms). There live stage set-up is quite surreal, theatrical and cinematic. They had all the lights responding differently to every track and LED panels on their gear cases was a nice addition to what otherwise would of being boring looking case to store the mountain of gear they tour with!

They also had lights on their faces that would flash different colors depending on the track with smoke that would blast out from behind them so you can start to see why I say its quite a theatrical live show. None the less the crowd LOVED IT! I mean when I was at the back the ENTIRE FLOOR WAS BOUNCING UP AND DOWN because everyone was going was like being on trampoline but on a dancefloor.

Anyway as their time was coming to the end what did I hear slowing rising through the layers of instruments they had going???? Thats right IN WHITE ROOMS! I seriously doubted them playing that but they did...and boy did it fucking go off!! Overall I found Booka a tad more poppy than what I had anticipated by never the less still an amazing live show. The duo have being travelling the world with this show and its one of the most surreal thing to see a whole crowd going crazy to such a mellow song like In White Rooms...
From Booka & Carl (for blog)

So I left around midnight with exactly AN HOUR to get to the Arthouse (In the city), sell my ticket, get through the door and catch Carl Cox stepping up to the decks at 1 do-able!? Yer but alas it was not meant to be.

I have one peice of advice when leaving Enmore Theatre DONT WALK TOWARDS THE CITY! If you want to catch a cab asap! It was ridiculous trying to get a cab anywhere on King St (Newtown's main strip) on a Saturday night. So anyway 20minutes later I manage to hop in cab with some photographer who wanted to go to surry hills first! Argh! So while I'm in this cab with a way to chatty Cab driver, who was basically cross examining this photographer I was counting the minutes away as he leisurely drove to Surry Hills to drop of the other passenger. When I finally make it to the Arthouse, which by the way the Cab driver had no idea of its location!, I got slapped with a double fair bill! I know! WTF!! 'Apparently if your in the cab at the time they can charge you for that as well even though the other guy paid...maybe this was just crap the cabby made up but in the midst of it all and with like 20min left until Carl Cox comes on I just paid the bastard and ran down to the Arthouse to be greeted by a nice line of patrons trying to get in...

So with 2 tickets in hand, one of which I had to sell (due to mates pulling out but that's another story) I managed to sell one of my tickets instantly as there were a lot of people looking to get in and not pay the door price for a ticket! GREAT! Tickets sold waiting in line 15min until Carl steps up and I'll be in for sure by then right! WRONG! SO FUCKING WRONG!!!

As I started to look around I realised two things, one the line I was in wasnt moving and was just getting longer and 2 the other line with people who had Moshtix was just as long and not moving as well. I thought this was just a 'organisational' hold up, you know maybe they were waiting for..something that would hold up a qeue for a concert like a computer error but after 10min and with 5min until Carl came on I started to worry and the line, that was building by the minute, also started to get a little on edge. However I was still positive we would be in just in time...again WRONG!

First thing I noticed people leaving the event that ALREADY HAVE A WRIST BAND were being refused entry and had the line up at the back. I thought that was little odd but nothing to worry about. Then come midnight, I havent moved an inch the line was double the size and the line on the other side of the entrance also had not moved an inch. NOW I was starting to worry! Another 5min nothing, then another 10 nothing, another 15min and the only respone we got from overly charged security was basically SHUT THE HELL UP and stop asking questions about when we could possilby be let in. 30min and this was getting, really unacceptable and the guys in front of me had already being there for 40 so understandably we were starting to all get a little rowdy. So the question was and still is WHY DID WE HAVE TO WAIT OUTSIDE FOR A HOUR BEFORE BEING LET IN!!!??? By that point we had all guessed that it was too full inside but if thats the case then just turn us away (it was around 70 waiting outside) and refund our money but dont let us wait in the cold AND miss the headliner for no good reason!!!!! As till now there is still official response I suspect as we were in the minority they never will be so lets just speculate and say the organisers were all dickwads for making us wait by overselling!...

Carl Cox gig causing a riot!

I'll stop whining now as what where here for is to hear how Carl Cox went down and let me tell you, it was something special. Ignoring the fact that there was no space to move (only mosh) and the bar was pretty inaccessible Carl Cox still managed to bring the house down with hands-in-the-air action at every breakdown. I seriously had trouble identifying ANY of the songs he played. It was fast, hard, banging techno. No wussy shit here. It grooved and flowed like only Carl can make it and he was as enthusiastic about it as if this was one of the few nights he got to play this hard and fast to such a small crowd. I mean this is just pure speculation but his set was COMPLETELY different to the many a recorded Space set I have of him, or when he played at WMC or some other festivals but then again this was Carl Cox at the most intimate and well everyone seemed to have loved it, especially the man himself! To put in his own words

"Sydney, your looking marverlous tonight..."

I do believe however that the crowd response and atmosphere could of being far better if just a couple of elements were different. For one thing the venue was bursting at its seems it made a hippo in school-girl tights look loose...But hey in the end I had fun and so did everyone else (except those ticket-holding few that actually did get turned away..OUCH!) . I cant wait to see this guy back in action. Next year some time, I'm sure.


  1. read the whole thing. i think you got ripped off with the taxi driver.

    so it was a 70min wait to get into the door? overselling for sure, greed greed greed.

  2. sweet thanks man, its pretty mamoth blog thats for sure..

    yeah def next time just bail from a cabby if they want that. 70min wait at door was not cool still what can you do? Prob wont go to another on of their evets, Paul Strange Presents guys that is

  3. really enjoying your blog..keep it up..great visuals

    btw the warm up dj before booka goes by the name of club junque - yeah - he's good - i call it infectious techno..anyway think he tends to play saturday nights in the cave at laundry..check it

  4. thanks for that annie! his actually playing at KINK in a weekends time, was checking some his stuff out the other night wondering if I had heard of him before lol clearly I have and prob will hear a lot more him to by the looks of things!