Dyed Soundorom and Matthias Tanzmann @ Universal Bar Terrace, Perth (27/10/2011)

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The promoters at The Likes of You have put a fresh spin on the “secret gig” concept, which can be traced back to the early days of dance music and even further back to the rock music tradition of artists performing under a pseudonym to road test new material. Loyal TLOY punters are the first to be informed of an upcoming secret gig, with the chance to buy tickets before it is announced to the general public. Ticket numbers are strictly limited, giving the gigs an intimate and friendly vibe. The location of the gig is kept secret until the day before, when attendees must text to find out where it will be held. The promoters have gone to a lot of effort to find venues outside the usual sphere of clubs, and speculation about where it might be held only adds to the anticipation for the event.

The most recent secret gig featured Dyed Soundorom and Matthias Tanzmann, and was held on the terrace balcony upstairs at the Universal Bar. Like many people, I had been there previously but was completely unaware of the existence of the upstairs area. My first impression was that it was too brightly lit, but when the bar signs were switched off and the volume pumped up my opinion quickly changed. Whilst the area was completely walled in, part of the roof was open to the night sky, taking perfect advantage of a lovely spring evening.

At this point I should confess that what I know about the techno scene could be written on the back of a postage stamp, but I’ve always had fun at TLOY gigs and so I keep returning. This night proved no exception, and people instantly took to the dance floor as soon as Dyed Soundorom stepped up to the decks. With a couple of $10 cocktails under my belt, I was quick to join in the fun. Everyone in the crowd was obviously enjoying themselves as much as I was; people were dancing and smiling, with no snobby attitude or aggression to be found. It was like being at a really fantastic house party, albeit with international DJs spinning awesome tunes.

A friend commented that he found it quite surreal that he had seen both DJs playing to massive crowds at the superclubs in Ibiza, and yet here they were playing to an intimate crowd in Perth, still banging out the tunes and obviously having a good time. They were both happy to mingle when they weren’t playing, chatting to people over a beer & cigarette and posing for photos.

The headliners started at 10pm, with each playing a two hour set – the early set times were due to licensing restrictions, which included a midnight lock out thanks to the CHOGM long weekend. Soundorom packed out the dance floor with the first set seeming to fly past, and then Tanzmann upped the intensity, with the beats becoming just a little bit harder much to everyone’s delight. The only track I could name for you that was played was Green Velvet’s La La Land which garnered a huge reaction from the crowd. The second set also flew by, and everyone was obviously disappointed when everything wound up at 2am because it felt like one of those gigs where you could have partied all night. Unfortunately there was no chance to beg the DJ for “just one more track”.

Once again I left a TLOY secret gig with a huge smile on my face. It speaks volumes to me about the calibre of artists that they are booking when I can rock up having no idea about the DJs and then spend the evening dancing my arse off. I guess this means I like techno. Ssssh, don’t tell anyone.

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