Category Archives: Events

Superdisco At Prince Bandroom

It’s like Studio 54, plus cats.

Location: Prince Of Wales Hotel, 93 Kerr Street, Fitzroy 3065

Something is happening at The Prince Bandroom. While you won’t find any 70-year-old Disco Sally’s snorting crack off a urinal, you will find big mirrors, lasers, a little latex and some cats (but there’s no need to call the RSPCA just yet). We’re talking about Superdisco; the new super club of Melbourne (and possibly Australia).

When you’re doing interviews with acts like Bag Raiders and they begin to lose their minds at the mere mention of their impending gig at the haunt, you know that something special is happening. Superdisco is single-handedly bringing back the cool to Saturday nights. More like a party than a club, Superdisco does not discriminate when it comes to showing the kids a good time (almost anything goes if you get our drift).

Known for having a fondness for cats, as seen in many of their purr-fectly styled promotional posters, it has the pulling power of a Saturday Night St Kilda Street Worker; soliciting artists such as Calvin Harris, Bag Raiders, Andy Murphy (a Superdisco disciple), Acid Jacks, Drop The Lime and Kid Massive on a regular basis – not to mention the venue’s superstar fans Ke$ha and Steve Aoki who go just for fun. Needless to say, this place goes off like a cat in a bag (figuratively speaking)!

Another kudos for Super-D, is that it has given the beautiful smelly kiss of life back to Prince’s Bandroom; refilling its ample dance floor and dark cosy corners with the sweet scent of sweaty satisfaction it so rightly deserves. St Kilda, in turn, is also witnessing a resurgence of popularity as a Saturday night destination, with Super-D’s classy patrons giving the beachside suburb’s sometimes grubby demeanour a little more glamour.

So if you are in town and happen to get a case of Saturday Night Fever, remember the only cure is Superdisco – but do book your tickets in advance as this place does sell out quicker than trays of hot chicken nuggets at a kids’ food fair.

Michelle Sawyer, February 2011

Sanderson Jones – Taking Liberties

If a show comes with a warning on the flyer, it’s for a good reason – so read it.

It’s refreshing to see that not all Comedians follow the unspoken censored “PC” humour rule of today. No truer is that than with Sanderson Jones. Clearly the English lad has done his research, pigeonholing us to a tee (Earl Grey, most likely). The borderline Gen Y, who still lives with his dad, is quite the connoisseur when it comes to the emoticon and is pushing social media to its limits (not to mention Venn diagrams).

So why the warning? Two reasons: Chat Roulette and Brooke Shields. If you can get past that, he’s well worth the late-night watch; and best of all, it’s free. He does stand by the door on the way out though, which makes it a bit awkward if you’re going to stiff him on a tip but with a quality performance worthy of a billing at the Town Hall you really wouldn’t want to.

Michelle Sawyer, April 2011

Future Music Festival 2011 Wash-up

An electronic music fans wet dream…

Usually visions of the future tend to come after a heavy night on some hallucinogen like peyote or LSD; for me it came after a short, oxygen-deficient train ride to Flemington Racecourse. From what appeared at first, to be a promising day of blistering heat, quickly unravelled to that of torrential downpour… turning inappropriately dressed punters (myself included) into one big wet mess. But frankly no one cared; including the Future artists.

It all starts with a damp Grant Smillie towelling down his decks in the middle of his set, turning knobs and dicing with the deck electrics seemingly unfazed by the shower blast of water washing over the main stage. Calvin Harris’ new squeeze, Ke$ha unpretentiously follows wearing her trademark torn American Flag print T-shirt and gold glitter (up the sides). With her feather-clad back up singers/dancers with matching mohawks, Ke$ha proved to be a better ambassador for America than Obama; winning the election with all her screechy pop anthems, giant penis performer and simulated sex acts with her solid set screaming, “I’m no pop princess, I’m a performer (and I rock).”

With the rain continuing to bucket, some kids choose to confine to the scattered umbrellas and undercover areas. Those lucky enough to have scored a First Class Pass enjoy the spoils of the two main stages under the dry sanctum of a roofed marquee (complete with private bar). Despite the drenching, Mark Ronson & The Business Intl effortlessly bring drowned crowds to their feet at the Flamingo stage. The unrelenting rain does not stop the stars from coming out; Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt is in form and almost steals the show with a renegade Ronson reggae-remix of their hit Animal, followed by a fitting rendition of Somebody To Love Me.

Back over at the main stage, the much-loved return of The Presets sees eager Melbourne fans flock to get Down, Down, Down with the Sydney duo. Finally the rain begins to ease off and take the hint that simple soddening showers were not going to mar this fab festival; kids already opting to get wet on their own at the Foma Rama stage. MGMT show no signs of the sound troubles that plagued their debut appearance at Meredith Music Festival in 2008. Clearly the lads have worked hard in turning their synthetically-charged sound into a solid live stage performance; their concentration visibly evident while streaming though their staple songs Weekend Wars, Kids, Time To Pretend and Flash Delirium before Electric Feel “relaxes” all and sundry.

Dizzee Rascal does not disappoint, keeping most of his set Old Skool, saving his best Holiday and You Got The Dirty Love for last. Crowds segregate to see Steve Aoki and Pendulum, before converging back at the main stage for the start of a miraculous Chemical Brothers masterpiece. Despite the slight opening slip-up with the drop down centrepiece, fans were immediately Galvanised by the stellar sound and light show; Swoon bringing the capacity crowd a little closer together.

Unlike the rest of the Future flock who swarm to see the UK’s Chem-bros, I decide to slip away and spot a little of Steve Angello’s set, making it just in time for their smash One whom one fan next to me loves so much he screams out, “Play it again Steve”. From Flamingo, it was just a short stroll to see Post Percy and his ten happy fans (four of which appeared to be Ke$ha’s feathery back-up dancers with BYO hula hoops), giving us a little canned heat in our heels to keep our almost dry selves going – and then the rain started again.

Michelle Sawyer, March 2011

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2011 – Opening Night Allstars Supershow

Reviewing comedy is no laughing matter.

It was certainly a night for star gazing as the comedy constellation shone over the Palais Theatre for the Melbourne Comedy Festival’s Opening Night Allstars Supershow (30th March 2011), because even the D-grade stars (otherwise known as TV weathermen) were out. But I wasn’t there to rubberneck the audience; I was there to review the show. Being Gen Y, I’ve annotated my feelings on the stand-ups through emoticons.

:-) (Smiley Face)
Tim Minchin: His unique darkness and penchant for twisting a sweet story about having a baby into one about accidental murder (all to music), was a clever complement to the traditional stand-up list.
Tommy Tiernan: Good, but safe opening, sticking with what he knows – jokes about Ireland and Irish people.
Fiona O’Loughlin: Her performance was solid, fresh and original. If it meant to awaken awkward repressed childhood memories, job done.
The Pajama Men: Literally two guys in PJs doing skits felt like being at a mate’s place late on a Saturday night watching them go to town with random observational physical humour.
Jeff Green: Why is it, out of his entire set, all I remember is that he was recently married and a slow driver?
The Sandman: He’s still got it, nuff said.
Carl Baron: Simple, understated brilliance.
Hannah Gadsby: She’s funny; just wish more of her relaxed, organic humour would come through on Adam Hill’s Live From Gordon Street.
Caroline Rhea: A genuinely good import who’s happy to be approached by her fans. Just don’t ask whether the cat on Sabrina is real or not.
David O’Doherty: His hips don’t lie. Very curious about what’s over the O’Doherty rainbow.
Eddie Ifft: I feel very self conscious about my driving now. Cheers Ed.
Mark Watson: Like his material. Hot, hot, hot.
Carl-Einar Häckner: All my dreams have come true – a Swede, an Elvis jumpsuit and a banana – brilliant.
Sam Simmons: Some things are better left unsaid and it’s a good thing Sam knows this.
Arj Baker: Refreshingly funny, insightful new material and if what he said is true, newly single – nothing but wins.

:-( (Frowny Face)
Paul Foot: We’ll chalk this up as a “rookie mistake”. His talent was evident (being produced by non other than the Mighty Boosh’s Noel Fielding), but he’d forgotten to consider to whom he was performing. Gay Jokes and the Melbourne Arts community don’t mix like a rum and coke.
Blue Grassy Knoll: Buster Keaton film footage timed with their 1950’s style sound was artistic, but it didn’t hit the mark for the last set of the night.
Nazeem Hussain: Being the ethnicity that Nazeem is was the only reason he got away with making fun of terrorism and call centres. You gotta be in the club to make these skits work – or it’s not really PC, felt a bit like watching the token black guy in a teen flick. Aside from that he was funny.

:-/ (Annoyed Face)
Felicity Ward: Demonstrated a cat going to town on their privates during dinner. I like cats but I don’t like seeing a grown woman try to lick the lower half. She did manage to find the one audience member who was a genuine cat lady to speak to though.
Peter Helliar: Followed Flick’s anus licking cat impression with a dog sucking on a footballer’s balls. Surprise, shock, horror, Helliar’s set was all about sport. Didn’t work on TV, doesn’t work in stand-up. Epic Fail.
Smart Casual: Two guys and a guitar. Song was ok, but all been done before, better.
Garfunkel & Oates: Their love song with lots of profanity and subtle hints of sadomasochism did not live up to the hype.
Charlie Pickering: Spoke about The 7pm Project. I know comedians take their source material from their own lives, but think this shows maybe ol’ Chuck should get one.Yawn.
Greg Fleet & Mick Moriarty: Jumper Pants. Um, yeah so where’s the joke?

Michelle Sawyer, March 2011.

Arj Baker’s Eleven @ Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2011

Two words – Honey Badger.

In what Arj himself calls one of his most ‘revealing’ shows to date, the Jogger-Americanis, a regular visitor to our sunburnt country, certainly knows his territory (that being our territory), delivering a stand up show of exactly what we Aussies want to hear. His knowledge of Melbourne’s botanic gardens alone should be enough to grant him citizenship.

Taking a massive assault on mother nature (not because he hates her but just because he can and someone needs to), his ex-girlfriend, Neapolitan ice-cream, honey badgers and a childhood pet; Eleven is not so much a reveal into the man himself but to his art for building a joke. So is Eleven worth the price of admission?

As Arj encourages his audience ‘if you liked the show, tell your friends to come see it. And if you didn’t, tell them to come see me anyway and bring them down with you.”

Michelle Sawyer, March 2011.