December 08 2008
Saturday 30th November and the sun decided to shine over Sydney on the big GG date - something that must surely wee-off some of the other states but had Sydney-siders exhaling collectively since ALL of Saturday had been nothing but rain, humidity hair and wet-hem-of-jean syndrome. Had it rained, the wardrobe crises Sydney-wide would have been enough to make international headlines.
On arriving at the venue (the Hordern and surroundings) sand started to make itself known in the lady bits of this admittedly hair-triggered and easily-irked VIP as the line for VIPs was exclusive in length only. Fellow reporter, Miss A, and I took turns being sarcastic (quietly, as some VIPs were sent away to purgatory for insolence) as the ticket-bleeping personnel seemed to be taking ages with an obviously obfuscated-by-modern-technology ticket-checking process. Seriously, government, or whoever - just tattoo a barcode on our foreheads and be done with it - whatever facilitates the quickest and easiest issuing of us through the party gates and alcohol into our bloodstreams.
Inside (and this will be the final quibble) it was clear the memo to leave shirts on in public (unless you are about to jump into a large body of water, are part of an all-male revue headed by Jamie Drury, or are Johnny Castle teaching us how to do the lift in a lake) must have been filtered into the Spam folder of many. At least the torsos spied by this shirt-preferrer were worthy of being spied on, something Miss A was also quick to point out. That aside, we still think it’s only proper to be shirted and nicely attired at events like dances, blue-light discos, dinners and dates - plus it keeps the sweat where it belongs: not on us.
Speaking of hot bods, which we kind of were, Mark Ronson in his zoot suit and Wayfarers seemed to be the drawcard for the afternoon. The crowd went mental - a little too literally in the case of some young guys who started fighting right in center stage and actually KNOCKED ASUNDER this reviewer who was phone videoing MR and Daniel Bedingfield for YouTube purposes and therefore not watching the tsunanarama of testosterone as it flowed her way. Luckily no damage was done to phone, reporter or beer. The set could have been more Ronson-oriented for our tastes, but to be honest had he personally serenaded us for the entire evening it still wouldn't have been enough. Sigh
ANYWAY, the Forum - this was exciting, and not just because it had clean, mostly undiscovered toilets, but because it really was pumping every time we needed to use the ladies'. The Forum music was hard and heavy and while we didn’t pay attention to who was playing at what time, Miss A’s eagle eye caught a certain Hoodrat lurking in the background who was - as always - happy to oblige us with some air kisses and other pleasantries. More than can be said for some - like Daniel Johns, for instance - who dared hide from us behind a flurry of paparazzi and eyeliner as he whooshed past the queue to see the Gorillaz set.
At some point between swanning from one bar to the next, the artist we shall refer to only as The Journey was seen wandering about. The Journey took charge and lead Miss A and I through the stream of people heading into the Hordern to see Fischerspooner. Like some guardian angel or the Ghost of Rave Parties Past appearing to us as a portent of something momentous, he delivered us to the Hordern, then vapourised into the crowd, his purpose fulfilled. Or we just forgot about him because we were drunk and trying to call and text friends -some not even in the same state or country - to come and join us. Miss A and I danced our feet off to FS - almost literally as the ground felt as though it had been entirely covered with Uhu; we saw many a rubber thong sole stuck to the ground sans strap - or owner - during the course of the night.
By the time FS wrapped up, A and I had drunk at least a hundred dollars’ worth of Smirnoff between us (at $10 a pop over several hours it was not really a challenge) and FORGOT that Kraftwerk was on next. When they appeared it was akin to finding a fifty dollar note in a pair of skinny jeans after a humiliating struggle to put them on after wash day. In other words: especially rewarding.
Kraftwerk exceeded expectations, especially after having been less than overwrought by them in the Boiler Room in two-thousand-and-something. (Parenthetically, this was no fault of the KW boys, it was just that they were followed by Underworld who dropped like nuen-und-nuenzig thousand luft balloons on everyone from the roof of the dome when they played ‘Born Slippy’ which was nigh on a religious experience and nothing and no one can compete with that not now or ever.)
This time it was KW’s turn to give us visions - they were there, all four of them, they were real, they were robots, they were lasers, they were analogue videos, they were green LED suits, they were gone - it was exactly as if we had earlier ingested a small amount of hallucinogenic paper courtesy of The Journey and that this had begun to kick in, but since that is illegal, irresponsible and we would never do it, it was obviously just the werk of Kraft bending our brains.
After two encores and a half-dozen more trips to the bar/toilet/left rear door to try and meet up with friends who couldn't understand simple effing instructions to wait in one spot, it was over and some sadistic light technician hit the floodlights. Our shoes were shadows of their former selves, the Hordern looked like Dunkirk during that ten-minute tracking shot from Atonement and since Miss A and I both had to work the next day we forgot all about Felix and fled into the darkness of Moore Park. For what it’s worth, all reports of Felix have it that he rocked ass, too, which we believe wholeheartedly.
In summary: Sydney was blessed again with fortuitous circumstance: good weather, good vibes (assuming we can say that without copyright infringement), a pleasant crowd, props from Mark Ronson who said we were a better crowd than all the other states combined and then asked Miss A and I if he could come home with us and scratch our backs until we fell asleep (minus the last part) and we were both at home in bed before midnight. As our hot Japanese surfer boyfriend would say if he existed: fesutabaru wa totemo awesomu-deshta!!