Welcome, ladies and gentleman, to the fashionista party of the year. A night when the the hottest, richest, best looking people in Sydney gather together to celebrate their uber-hip status and investment in this year’s biggest hype bands. For the uninitiated, this huge Christmas party combines the best of both worlds; the cooler-than-thou fashion of Ksubi (formerly known as ‘Tsubi’ before some ridiculous lawsuit) and ‘next big thing’ magnets Modular, an Australian indie label with an international prescence. And that’s a guranteed combination for a sell-out, with literally thousands of indie kids descending on Sydney’s Fox Studios, clad in some of the most ridiculous clothes ever witnessed by man. Be it fluro-green hot pants, painted tshirts or overalls, the DIY aesthetic was in full force.
Modular is truly a success story of the new music millenium. Founded by Sydney concert promoter Steven Pavlovic, this small label gained national respect when it began to pick-up bands using a grassroots approach and transform them into stars, a la The Avalanches. The label has since signed many impressive acts, from dance-rock pioneers The Presets and 80s revivalists Van She, to (arguably) the biggest band Australia has produced in the last five years, Wolfmother. In 2005, Modular opened an office in London, and have since signed a swag of the hottest artists, many of whom were on display tonight, including new-ravers, The Klaxons.
Right now, where were we? The night began with a live DJ set from Cut Copy, who, along with the Presets and The Avalanches have redefined the nature of electronic music in Australiaon the same scale that MSTRKRFT have internationally. Basically spinning their own tracks and interdispersing punk-funk favourites, they warmed up the crowd suitably for whothehell’s hot pick, The Ghosts. With their screaming take on indie, these teenagers(!) were far from transparent, winning over legions of new fans. As The Avlanches dropped the bomb outside, this reviewer stuck indoors to see what all the fuss about Van She was.
Often cited as the best looking outfit to come out of the Sydney rock scene, the Van She boys have carved themselves a niche in the market of 80s imitators, by being better, tighter and more talented than the rest. Tonight was no exception, the synths were full-on, disco beats cracking and lots of pedal basslines. I await their album with high expectations.
Since this blog is about Australian acts, I’m not going to go into huge detail about the UK acts. But needless to say, New Young Pony Club deserve more credit than their psycho counterparts the Klaxons, who incited a near riot despite a sheer lack of musicality. There. I said it. Feel free to let fly with anti-anti-new-rave comments. The night petered out with sets from the legendary Bang Gang DJs who are a cultural insititution in this city, playing every party that matters in the last decade. There were lots of drunk kids; wasted pretty girls in denim shorts and their bleach-blond boyfrieds, tired yet utterly content.
What else can I say? Welcome to the revolution….