Club NME feat. Philadelphia Grand Jury – HiFi Bar (26.02.10)


The legendary UK party monster, Club NME, has finally found its way onto Australian shores, promising
a night of dance mayhem with a stellar line up including the Purple
Sneakers DJs
, Yacht Club DJs, a special DJ set from Andy Rourke of The
Smiths and the mighty Philadelphia Grand Jury. The scene was set for
an unforgettable night out of fantastic live music and arse-shaking
good times, right? Wrong.

Walking down the stairs at
HiFi, a sign on the wall regretted to inform us that both Yacht Club
and Purple Sneakers DJ’s had cancelled their appearance, and been
replaced by the Black Night Crash DJs and little known Melbourne Indie
group, Love Connection. Led by guitarist/vocalist Michael Caterer, Love
Connection has a big sweeping sound with the standard dance-rock se-up of 80’s style synth – loud guitars and massive bass. Their songs
were long with a meandering structure involving miscellaneous noises
occasionally thrown in for dramatic effect and some horrendous vocal
work. Caterer is in no way a singer. His vocals were off key to the
extent where it was painful to listen to. The sound was reminiscent of a pre-pubescent
child whose voice was breaking. Being a young band that only formed
last year, they may need a bit more time to refine their sound and work
on their live-set; watching everyone stand stock still with the occasional
hip shake playing their instruments whilst Caterer warbled into the
mic was really unexciting.

Enter the Black Night Crash
DJs, one of the highlights of the evening. It’s been a long time since
I’ve seen these boys behind the decks, and they were even better than
I remember. Cranking out all of your favourite Indie dance anthems from
the likes of Friendly Fires, Kings Of Leon, Interpol and The Rapture,
Black Night Crash had the room up and dancing before Andy Rourke took
over and cleared the dance floor with a bland set.

Rourke began with a lot of
heavy, beat-based music (when entertaining a bunch of Indie kids, playing
electronica meat market clubbing shit was never going to be a popular
choice), which continued for the first half of his set. Fortunately
he amped it up in the second half, cranking out hits by Joy Division
and Devo only to follow this with some mashed up dub/reggae which got
the crowd restless as we all impatiently waited for Philadelphia Grand
, who were late starting as Rourke’s set seemed to be never ending.
Rourke paid no attention to the fact that he was boring the audience
shitless, until security finally told him that his playing time was
over, he called them all pricks, took a bow and rather unceremoniously
walked off stage.

Fortunately, those pop-punk
wondersPhiladelphia Grand Juryare always a pleasure to see live. Berkfinger
and MC Bad Genius are completely insane, with Bad Genius rocking all
over the stage. His vacant staring crazy eyes are slightly disturbing,
but they did nothing to detract from the awesomeness of their mad, energetic
set. Playing a choice selection of songs from their debut record “Hope
is for Hopers”, the Philly Jays had the crowd jumping around to “Ready
To Roll”, “Growing Up Alone”, “The New Neil Young”, “I’m Gonna Kill You”,
and “Going to the Casino (tomorrow night)” before finishing up with an
extended version of “I Don’t Want To Party (Party)”, that had an even
longer outro than usual with Bad Genius knocking over mic stands with
his frenetic dancing, and their drummer cutting loose with a kick arse
solo before Berkfinger roped them in for the finale with a ripper rendition
of The Good News, complete with mandatory crowd sing along. The boys
encored with a cover song that had Berkfinger leaping into the crowd
to sing amongst his adoring fans. Thank god for Philadelphia Grand Jury
and the Black Night Crash DJs, who were the saving graces of an otherwise
abysmal party. For a first time tour of Australia, Club NME put on a
lousy show that was very disappointing, as the night could have been
a whole lot better than it was.