The night of Marcellus Pittman's debut in Sydney also brought a host of elements uncommon in the city. For a start, it was pouring rain, and the dark, deserted streets of the CBD, usually offensively loud and busy, made the evening's proceedings seem that much more underground. Ducking out of a cab onto a desolate, black street, the only activity evident was a couple of dark shadows sheltered under an awning, the red tips of their cigarettes drawing attention and pointing the way to Tone, the night's host club.
Also debuting on this long weekend was a new promoter, Karim Presents, who had pulled Pittman to our Antipodean shores for the first time, and also compiled trio of well-liked warm-up acts. Sadly, I didn't make it in time for Daniel Lupica, but caught the latter half of Sydney stalwart Simon Caldwell's set as he pushed "Love Can't Turn Around," which was a fitting track considering vocalist Darryl Pandy's reported passing the week prior.
With a minute to spare before his 1 AM start, the Detroit native appeared on stage next to Caldwell, looking dazed and as though he'd just woken up. He quickly took control of the decks, and kept up the steady stream of smooth deepness that preceded his arrival. The beginning of his set was tight, and he took the room on a journey from deep Detroit, peaking with his own "Razz 09," to dirty disco, which was where things remained for the latter half of his set.
Over the course of three hours, the club went from being nicely full to half empty, but considering it was a late set on a Sunday night, I'd be more inclined to believe this was due to a lack of staying power over the quality of the performance. While I didn't glance up at him too much on the night, it was difficult not to notice the solid stream of tequila shots Pittman enjoyed, which may go some way towards explaining the looseness of his set as the night progressed. However, considering his 30-hour journey to Australia and a frenzied schedule from the moment of his arrival (a six-hour set in Melbourne on Friday and a turn in Adelaide on Saturday), it was easy to forgive. Besides, it was a fun night and the overall mood in the room was good, so who cares about solid technique?
Those still in the club as it pushed 3 AM appeared to be having a good time, even the guy napping in a cosy corner. Calls and requests for "deeper, more acid!" from the crew up the front of the dance floor were heeded, and Pittman took it back into heady techno for another half hour, after which Andee Frost manned the decks and brought the evening to a close. It was a night of firsts that ended in overall success, overcoming even the annual hibernation Australia's clubbing scene undergoes while the Northern summer lights up.