Some of the biggest names to come out of Sydney‘s once-great music scene descended on King’s Cross stalwart Candys Apartment last night in a tribute to the city’s former nightlife.
Alison Wonderland, What So Not, Hayden James and Golden Features – all regular faces on the international festival circuit who cut their teeth in Candys’ backroom – all played the one-off throwback gig in support of Keep Sydney Open.
“It was phenomenal,” What So Not’s Emoh – a.k.a. Chris Emerson – told PEDESTRIAN.TV. “I couldn’t believe how much all these young kids were into these songs which were so old.”
The club was stacked to its 300 person capacity last night (Alison Wonderland later tweeted that it was “the sweatiest show ever”), and it was basically one giant homage to Sydney’s 2007 era club scene.
“We were at dinner, and I have my legitimate CD wallet from 2007,” said Emoh. “I was sitting at the dinner table with everyone sorting through maybe 500 CDs, running through them with Hayden and Alison and Tom [Stell, of Golden Features], and then I did my first CD set in maybe six or seven years. I mean I was playing the original CDs that I used to play, the first ones I ever burnt. Y’know – some of them are covered in alcohol and grotty in the sleeve, but a bunch of them still worked!”
If you remember your 07 bangers, that includes: The Presents, Justice, Cut Copy, Ed Banger Records, Boys Noize, Thomas Bangalter, (plus some “real underground, deep interweb blog edits that know one would really know“) but according to Emoh, the biggest moment of the night was during Proxy‘s iconic banger ‘Raven‘
“My first show there, I was DJing with two friends in this group and we were getting paid $50 a night between three of us, which wasn’t even enough to get a cab to the bus stop to get home,” said Emoh. “But we just loved it. And that’s what was so amazing about the scene back then. This was our passion.”
Hayden James – who played a residence at Candys with Emoh for three years – told P.TV it was “incredible” to be back.
“I haven’t set foot in Candys in maybe six years,” he said, adding that while the original plan was for each act to play back-to-back half hour sets, “we all decided to go ‘yeah fuck that, let’s all go together’.”“It just goes to show why Sydney needs to be open. The artists like Alison, Emoh coming out of Candys can only mean… If that doesn’t exist now, if that opportunity doesn’t exist for young artists, it’s not gonna happen. It was really cool to have the support of all the kids there. It was great. Hopefully this makes a little dint in the lockout laws.”
All proceeds from the gig went to fund Keep Sydney Open’s next rally, organisers from which wrote on Facebook that “it’s more important than ever to support Sydney’s dance culture.”
Although the NSW lockout laws were brought in to – apparently – prevent alcohol-fuelled violence (although the ins and outs of that argument vs a shady move to appease property developers is hardly one we need to go over again), a major knock-on effect has been the devastation of Sydney’s live music scene.
Load of major Aussie players (and one New Zealand one) in the music scene have lent their support to the cause, including Lorde, Flume, Peking Duk, Flight Facilities, Jagwar Ma, Art vs Science, The Presets, and Bag Raiders.
And at last year’s ARIAs, Flume used his win to slam Sydney’s lockout laws, thanking the city’s venues for everything they’re doing and urging the policy makers and politicians to “please keep Sydney open.”
— Alison Wonderland (@awonderdj) January 5, 2017
Photo: Twitter / What So Not.