Mark Rae + Veba @ Minke/Skylab, Adelaide (06/06/03)

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There are, unfortunately, only a few promoters in Adelaide who take bigger risks than usual to bring us, the dance music loving public, the BEST and most ORIGINAL DJs and dance artists. When other promoters are content to bring out the same tired old acts we’ve seen so often, or beating the “old school” horse to death, the guys at Minke bring us people like DJ Krush a few weeks ago, and Mark Rae last night.

When we arrived we were greeted by a rather small crowd and a line up that said Mark and Veba were on at Midnight. They didn’t come on at midnight, but another act with a singer came on. I never caught their name, which is unfortunate, as they were quite good. They sounded much like Portishead, with those darker sounding beats over which lush cabaret style vocals are sung. There was a brief intermission where another DJ played, and due to the line up change again I wasn’t sure who this was, but he played nice, uptempo, dubby breaks. The crowd had grown quite considerably by this time, which is always a good thing.

Mark Rae’s mixing is sublime. Understated scratching and smooth as silk mixing, seamlessly integrating the funkiest hiphop styled breaks with the jazziest soul around. Combine this with the delectably soul filled voice of Veba and you have a truly wonderful performance. The main thrust of the music was more uptempo and funky than I was expecting, having previously heard a lot of Rae & Christian mixes, but the crowd lapped it up, and they had everybody on the dancefloor within minutes of starting. Not only did Mark and Veba perform impeccably, they seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves, with Veba singing and dancing amongst the crowd, and Mark Rae’s wandering around before his set handing out CDs, and happily signing them and chatting to people.

The crowd was a little smaller than might have been hoped for, but it was enough to create the warm, intimate vibe that I love about Minke / Skylab, and Mark and Veba didn’t seemed fazed at all, but rather relished the friendly atmosphere. The only downside to the night was leaving by taxi and having to endure the ridiculous pap on the radio. I think I preferred it when taxi drivers used to tell you the world’s problems and how to solve them. Going from the wonderful beats and awesome soul of Mark and Veba to the pathetic whine of Brittney clones is NOT a pleasant experience.

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