Pitch-8@Hi-Fi Bar, Melbourne (10/5/03)

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When you’re young everything looks bigger that it actually is. I experienced this on Saturday night at Pitch-8 at the Hi-Fi Bar. I used to go to that joint when it was called Wall Street about ten years ago and I’m sure it wasn’t as skanky and little as the place last night. Even though back then it was full of fat fugly Goths with persecution complexes, pimply boyfriends and horrible white flesh hanging out everywhere, it still looked better. When I walked in it was all dark and smoky, like some university student’s bong party, and everyone seemed to know each other! I felt like I should know them all too. When someone came in I felt like joining in all the kisses and hugs and how-are-you-I-haven’t-seen-you-since-Two-Tribes’s. But I didn’t. I just stood there with my raspberry water trying not to look like a sad loner type. The minute I walked through the doors I knew I was in for a hard techy night. Slieker and Gideon Max were taking turns at a rack of turntables guarded by two immense fluorescent Decepticons (which I was told folded up into cars!), pounding the shit out of the speakers with awesomely powerful beats. I was liking it already.

Next up was Will E Tell vs our own trAse. The sheer volume and pounding-ness that Will E Tell commenced to produce was astonishing. Someone commented, and I agreed, perhaps it was too early in the night for such beats? I would have liked to work my way up to that kind of intensity. Nonetheless the pair’s ‘table-manners’ were impressive, and control of the decks passed back and forth seamlessly, blending tracks and beats with style. (Well done, trAse).
I worked the room, scoping the crowd and freaking out a bit. I kept seeing people I knew. There was a bus-boy I used to see at clubs, here was a strange girl I used to know who was in a band where their whole act was basically just running a synth loop, shrieking like dying cats, stripping off their clothes, and then with much writhing and pouting, simulate (I hope…) masturbation. And then I saw an old flatmate’s ex-girlfriend. Last time I saw her, she had a fight with him, then yanked off our front door by the hinges, kicked a few holes in the wall and left. I didn’t say hello.

The crowd was funny. Not like I’m used to. There I was dancing away to Dave Pham who was, despite a missed beat once, one of the highlights of the night as he pulled out one floor-filler after another, and then I noticed that hardly anyone had really been dancing. Why is that? Except during Dave’s set, when a maximum of people was dancing, mostly people just stood around on the floor in a rough rank and file formation staring up at the dj’s with folded arms, as if to say, “And just what the f*ck do you think you’re up to eh?” I wanted to tell them, “What are you waiting for? This is it! Dance, goddamn you!”

Dave Pham and Matt J read the crowd well, anyway, pulling out the right tracks with the right bpm. And somewhere between the middle of the night and the end of their set, about three quarters of the people disappeared and management turned on the air conditioning full bore. That’s another thing. Battle of the Deejays? Perhaps it could also have been called Battle between Management and the Organisers. I heard that the organisers were told by the venue that if 300 people went through the door, then upstairs would open up. They got 300 people, but as for upstairs, no dice, so we didn’t get to hear some of the listed dj’s. Typical venue crap in other words.

So it was to a mostly cold, sparse, (and again, non-dancing) crowd, that Disko Pussy and Kat Ratcliffe played to. If there was a best act of the night for me, I would nominate these two. They picked tracks that were danceable, but not overpowering, that made me, even though I was a bit tired at that point, get up and move. Plus they looked good. Dee Dee and Gene Hoffman took us out, but by that time, I was tired, cold and ready for bed. Verdict? Not sure. I thought a lot of the music was great, especially Disko Pussy and Dave Pham. However, the venue was a bit appalling, and the crowd apart from a few, were mainly pretty apathetic. But then again, look at it this way – at least Molly Meldrum wasn’t there.

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