Breakup feat. Trentemoller & Booka Shade @ Family, Brisbane (29/11/07)

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Another feather in the surely bristling cap of the management at The Family – Break Up was another in a line of Thursday night events held at Family which one by one, blow away expectations. While heading out on a school night can be rather punishing for those heading to work the next day (usually me), tight touring schedules for many quality DJs and bands mean that without the occasional deployment of Thursday as an option, Brisbane often misses out entirely. Those who were at The Family some time ago on another Thursday to see Paul van Dyk will doubtless agree that a hangover at work the next day and an acute lack of sleep is definitely worth the trouble. Considering trance fans had their dose it was time for house and techno heads to get theirs, and Break Up was close to lethal.

Operating on the usual 9pm to approximately 5am opening hours (they can close earlier if it starts to empty out), Family sported the usual accoutrement of ludicrously good lighting that regulars have come to expect, and good staffing at the bars so punters aren’t kept waiting. The cocktail lounge also had the ever popular live audio feed from the main room for the headline acts, which is a huge plus when a break is in order but the action can’t be missed.

It expectedly took a good couple of hours from opening time for the club and main room in particular to begin to fill, but as per normal Lektrolux did a good job of attempting to motivate the early birds with the first warm up set of the night for the main room. It would have been nicer to see them in a later time slot where they could unleash but as the saying goes, beggars can’t be choosers.

For a glimpse of the action in Unkle (and maybe a relaxed brew or two) a bit of We Are You was the call. Not having seen the man behind the decks before, there were no preconceived expectations of what would grace the ears which resulted in a pleasant surprise. We Are You was handy on the mixer and played clean and tight throughout with a set that crossed copious amounts of Digitalism with a spot of Scenario Rock and a little of the classier ends of electro house; very entertaining. Having been somewhat sidetracked by We Are You, it was only the last fifteen minutes or so of Giv’s set in the main room which has made it to review. To all accounts it was storming, a statement which the packed dance floor could quite easily back.

The real treat lay but a short wait away as the unsurpassed Booka Shade readied the machines for what was to be one of the most amazing sets seen at The Family. At the fairly early hour of around 11:30 they opened up with Unhealthy Pleasures and didn’t let up for a moment from there on. With only a little over an hour to play it was all killer, no filler as Walter and Arno ripped through anthem after anthem which could not have left anyone wanting.

“Did they play Karma Car and Tickle?” Of course.
“What about Oh Superman?” Heads were caved!
“Surely they didn’t miss out In White Rooms, Body Language or Night Falls? Tell me they played Night Falls!” Would I be as excited about having seen them if they hadn’t? Geez . . . .

On a slightly more serious note though, when Booka Shade next tour Australia, you the reader owe yourself the opportunity to do whatever is necessary in order that you might see Walter and Arno play. Especially if you like house and techno and especially if you want to see the really cool neon stands that they have their gear set up on (sorry, geek moment).

With only a fairly small stage to work with, there had to be a break before Trentemoller and his band, one which was aptly filled by Audun who played a really good set considering the how difficult it would have been to maintain momentum after Booka Shade. Gui Boratto’s remix of Silverlake Pills from Adam Freeland did the major damage a tune typical of his tech house sound which suited the main room brilliantly.

Trentemoller opened his set at around 1:30 with the acappella of Moan before smashing into the full album version, a haunting and truly memorable opening song. The musicality of Trentemoller’s set exceeded expectations. Having a guitarist and live drummer on an acoustic drum kit was always going to make a difference but given the very electronic nature of Trentemoller compositions the value of live musicians initially seemed doubtful. No assumption could be more wrong as tunes like Take Me Into Your Skin, Evil Dub and Snowflake were given a dancefloor re-rub without losing any of their poignant beauty. Similarly Trentemoller’s own remix of Always Something Better was turned to yet more energetic extremes whilst the melancholic Miss You was played just as you’d hear it on the album. In short this was a performance nothing short of spectacular.

However, given the more cerebral nature of Trentemoller’s performance it would have been a better idea to put him into an earlier time slot. Booka Shade set a standard or an expectation which was much more physical than Trentemoller was suited to provide. Small potatoes maybe, but in the greater scheme of things the evening would have unfolded in even more dramatic fashion had the headliner’s time slots been swapped; an argument supported by the majority of the Family crowd who found it difficult to maintain interest and the manner in which Scott Walker and Magoo managed to rally fairly immediate response in picking up the pace.

Having caught the beginning of Scott Walker and Magoo’s set (Magoo being a rare sight in Brisbane clubs today), the realisation of the late hour finally dawned and a school night’s a school night so it was time to call it quits and greet the night air with a well earned stumble and a big smile not to fade for a good day or two. ‘Till next time!

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