I had been looking forward to this gig ever since I booked my Melbourne visit to coincide with this Global Underground world wide launch. It wasn’t to be the normal night out for me, I was partying with a few people I hardly knew, it was my QBH debut and my first GU launch. Intrigued by the GU launch concept I had asked an abundance of people about QBH as a venue, I heard it held approx 2500 people and the DJ was up on a stage in full view of all 3 levels. I was pleased to find that nobody had taken the micky out of the Sydney lad and indeed all that was stated regarding size, levels and dance floor surface (marble-granite) was correct. I was intialy captivated by the size of ‘the biggest club in the Southern Hemisphere’ and it’s ease of crowd movement throughout. A number of well placed bars, staircases and wide corridors meant for an easy walk from one end of the club to the other as opposed to an hour long struggle rubbing up against sweaty bodies of strangers saying excuse me countless times. Enough about the venue lets get into the music, the DJ’s, the people and the much over hyped term ‘the Vibe’.
Kasey Taylor was up on stage as I arrived, eyes gazing over the crowd soaking up the smiling faces and excitement that his tunes were creating amongst those on the dance floor, I however after 30mins was left looking at my watch eagerly awaiting Australia’s best live act Infusion. I’m not sure if I was expecting too much from Kasey, due to the fact that he was just returning from Bedrock, but his set was certainly on the much harder edge of progressive, lacking inspiration and direction. After seeing Kasey in Sydney a few times, I was always impressed, his Balance CD left me with a feeling of excitement that Australia’s progressive boys can indeed mix it with and often excel our over priced international stars. Perhaps this night was not to be for Kasey, but I certainly look forward to seeing him again shortly as I think he is one of Australia’s best.
Another Australian act doing great things overseas Infusion took over from Kasey and although they kept the pace up, I always feel with Infusion it’s the subtle samples, and sounds that intrigue those listening. The not overdone driving bass-line coupled with some amazingly well crafted pieces of music had myself and the rest of the crowd in owe. The energy on stage from Jamie, Frank and Manuel bouncing around, clapping hands and dancing about shows a love for performing and surely must be some kind of release for all those long hours, cramped in a small studio working on their latest productions of which two ‘Legacy’ and ‘Starwater have both made it onto Dave Seaman’s GU:022. It’s no wonder these guys made such a splash at places like New York, Fabric in London and Spundae in LA.
Before I chat about the main attraction, the people are often an integral part of a nights make up. I frequently think the ‘vibe’ of a party is a term thrown around too loosely in reviews and thus I try not to harp on it or even mention it, but it must be said that this GU party had a New Years Eve air of excitement about it. Now, not having partied in Melbourne often I’m not sure if it’s a regular occurrence that a crowd is this ‘up for it’, but I can say that I haven’t been to a party with this amazing vibe (cringes as I type that four letter word) in a very long time. Friendly faces everywhere, an appreciation for the music and a real sense of delight at been part of a GU launch was apparent throughout the crowd.
The MC thanked Infusion, as did the crowd with loud cheers and an abundance of hand clapping. It was now time for the Main Event to be introduced, not many people had noticed Dave quietly sorting through his various vinyl and CDR’s as his stage was about 20metres left of audience captivating Infusion, but once the MC began to speak, the lights shone on Dave’s stage it was time. 4 hours to be precise.
Dave ‘banged it out early’ as one Melbourne punter remarked, but not once was it overdone. I thought he would start a little more down tempo, but it would have being difficult after Kasey and Infusion had built the pace up to such a level. I was then worried about he wouldn’t keep the crowd interested for the full 4 hours of his set, but alas I should have never feared, clever track selection including the Cass & slide mix of Sander Kleinenberg’s classic ‘My Lexicon’ was an absolute delight, as was a few other tunes spotted on the night Head Honcho – ‘Walls Of Jehrico’, Kosheen – ‘Hungry’ (Satoshi Tomiie Remix) and Interflow – “Storyreel” (Satoshi Tomiie Mix). Varying vastly from his Sydney performance this Melbourne set had a much greater feel of his GU; it was deeper, darker and more underground. I enjoyed both nights, but must say his Melbourne gig was a much fairer reflection of Dave’s fantastic ability as a complete DJ and a vast cry from his ‘half-cheese’ nick name. It was progressive house at its best, elements of tech, funk, deepness and of course vocals made for a stella night of tunes that made it difficult for anyone to leave the dancefloor. By the time a small percentage of the crowd recognized Cosmos – ‘Take me with you’ a glance up at Dave would see him smirk at the thought of a packed QBH going crazy to one of the tunes of the last 6 months. Cosmos was followed by a number of nice driving dark tunes and Dave’s set ended as in Sydney with a classic from 1996, Blast – ‘Crazy Man’. This epic tune was the perfect finale to the most impressive performance I have seen from Dave Seaman. Although Planet Funk’s ‘Chase the Sun’ wasn’t played as many predicted nobody was left feeling underdone, by what is surely one of the best DJ’ing displays of 2002.
Sean Quinn, who I was told ‘loves to bang it out’ kept with the sense of occasion and played a clever set of deep progressive house, whilst even throwing in some tasty filthy breaks to keep all those still standing on their toes. A quality set, giving the night a well rounded feel.
Overall, it was a night I’m sure those who had the pleasure of attending will not forget in a hurry. Dave Seaman took center stage for the Global Underground:022 world wide launch and did not disappoint with a night of pure quality. Transforming the brilliance of a Global Underground CD into a live performance is not easy, but on ANZAC Eve 2002 in Melbourne Dave Seaman did it.
Thu / 25 Apr 2002