Only the bravest souls traversed a chilling Sydney last Saturday night. It seemed the city had fallen hostage to the White Walkers themselves. If Sydney was the mythical Westeros, than Newtown Social Club was surely Castle Black. Albeit a little less betraying of Lord Commanders and more of the good stuff. That good stuff consisted of Melbourne based Indie Electronic/DJ trio Black Cab with the support of solo act Buzz Kull. Unfortunately, sisters of the Nights Watch, MEZKO, had to pull out for the night as one of the members Kat, was recovering from a fractured hand (reports say she had got into a fight with a Wilding). Despite the conditions, the night delivered on most aspects with a squadron of experimental beats backed up by an overly enthusiastic crowd.
Without the knowledge of the missing MEZKO, some early birds were left fluttering around the floor but the wiser of us went back downstairs to catch a few drinks and see the Swannies begin a failing second half comeback against the Tigers in the AFL. Buzz Kull, aka Marc Whyler, eventually got his turn on stage and got stuck into his 80’s darkwave pop. Nevertheless, a combination of low octave microphone effects and alternative synth hooks dominated what was heard which found the listener less concerned with the content of the apathetic lyric in comparison to its curious reaction with the turntables. The chunkier part of his set remained loyal to a unique line of mixings that kept the flame alive however some of the repetitive drum snares tapped away at what can only be defined as patience. Buzz Kull ticked off enough of the boxes as the only support for the night without stealing the show considering the following act reaped the fruits of a hydrated crowd.
Buzz Kull could learn a thing or two from Black Cab. Firstly, BC cooked a contagious energy that mimicked the beats of their tracks which amped a now full venue. In hindsight, a little more interaction with the crowd would have gone a long way especially at NSC where the setting is closer to the cleared out pool room of your cool, rich, unmarried uncle than a concert hall. The Bladerunner beats mixed with a tempo you could bump to was evidence of the simple cohesion this veteran trio has formed over the last decade. At times, it reminded me of an Eskimo Joes line “Black Fingernails, Red Wiiiiine” but at a constantly oscillating tempo and wild synth and bass. The standout for the night wasn’t the music but rather the visual show BC had created to accompany their music. A frenetic display of colours similar to a Japanese cartoon commercial transfixed the crowd which climaxed at shows end.
Sometimes you have to make the best with what you’ve got. When three acts had been cut down by one it was the self-belief of both Buzz Kull and Black Cab that picked up the slack for the passionate music goers. Just like Jon Snow did on the Wall….expect no one stabbed Marc Whyler in the gut five times.