Isn’t it funny how time flies? How in just 15 years something truly great can be made? The year was 2001, and Remote Control Records was just starting to take its first steps. Brought into the world by Harvey Saward and Steve Cross, the record label and publicity company has proved to be one of the hardest working independent labels in the country. Don’t believe us? Just let their impressive catalogue of artists do the talking. Acts like Dorsal Fins, Milwaukee Banks and Teeth & Tongue are just a few of the exciting artists that the label boast. But if that isn’t enough for you, than you might also be surprised to hear that Remote Control also works in partnership with some of Australia’s most well-known labels, including Milk!, Flightless and Barely Dressed.
Let it be known that Remote Control Records know how to throw a party. Celebrating such an exciting milestone was always going to be tough, but one look at the line-up for the night was enough to assure anyone that this would not be just another disappointing 15th birthday (minus the piñata unfortunately). Leading the charge at the Abbotsford Convent’s Shadow Electric was Jim Lawrie, the first of many considered singer/songwriters of the night, including Gabriella Cohen and Leah Senior. Delving deeper into the line-up, Dorsal Fins and Sunbeam Sound Machine made sure there was plenty to boogie to, as it started to get later, and the night started to get colder.
Not content with leaving it there, Remote Control Records had prepared something extra special for the night. Besides, what would a party be without a good old fashioned game of pass the parcel? In the weeks leading up to the party, fans were told that there were a number of ‘Very Special Secret Guests’ to be announced. After it was announced that the hip-hop duo Milwaukee Banks would be one of the night’s special guests, fans were left to peel back the layers of the parcel with only a few clues to guide them. With the information that “one secret act is practically royalty and the other will leave you feeling pretty sweet”, it wasn’t too hard to conclude that pop sweetheart Banoffee and garage psych legends King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard were the night’s last secret guests.
With such a diverse selection of acts at hand, spread over almost 10 hours, the need for a break was always going to be necessary. With the opportunity to explore the maze-like grounds of the convent, I slipped away for a stroll, enjoying the beautiful gardens and architecture which made for an excellent backdrop to enjoy a pork roll from the night’s caterers Diggin’ For Fire. With not a moment to spare we arrived back just in time to see what may have been the standout performance of the night from Teeth & Tongue. Led by the charming Jess Cornelius, the Melbourne locals gracefully flowed through their set of eclectic pop, vocally stunning the crowd into a sort of trance. The last act of the night was surrounded by a shroud of mystery, having not been officially announced on the line-up. But by the time King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard hit the stage, the crowd knew exactly what was coming. The garage rock 7-piece are well renowned for their electric live shows and blistering riffs, making them the perfect addition to an already stellar line-up.
It’s safe to say that Remote Control Records through a better 15th birthday party than the usual bowling affair (sorry mum, it was a good effort). But they deserve it don’t they? This one night of celebration goes to show just how hard Remote Control works, and just why they’ve been one of the most prominent independent labels in Australia over the last few years. I think it’s fair to say that we can look forward to many more great moments and