Gig review: Seekae, Manning Bar, 16/4/2011


There’s a fire alarm going off. At first it seems like it’s part of the song – ok, that’s a bit weird but I can handle it. Then the song ends, and we all start to notice the amber lights flashing in the corners of Manning Bar. The alarm goes on screeching for another ten to fifteen minutes, but bless Seekae if they don’t just play louder, more aggressively, the music giving the giant middle finger to the malfunctioning wail that’s impossible to drown out.

So there were technical difficulties throughout the evening. Bardeya was an intriguing DJ to listen to from the less thumping confines of the outer hallway, as he melded everything from Lil Wayne to Seekae’s own tunes. It was definitely the perfect way to kick off an evening where two of Sydney’s finest electronic acts would be playing to a sold out room.

Ghoul get better each time I see them, though this time they were missing guitarist Pavle Vizintin. As they whirled through 3Mark and The Slip there was the unmistakable blasting sound of a mic losing sound. With no choice but to cut their set short, singer Ivan Vizintin took to the middle of the stage and a spare mic to sing a new tune that left my gig buddy crushing on Vizintin a little bit.

Smoke billows across the audience, enough to shroud the stage completely and leave most in the audience hidden. The stage is backlit green as Seekae arrive and immediately launch into song, bringing with it a flurry of cheers and pounding feet. I must admit, considering the hipper-than-thou audience that had gathered in all their weather-inappropriate attire, people weren’t ashamed to have a good time. As 3 thumped through the speakers and Blood Bank sent us all into a frenzy, there was a sea of nodding heads, convulsing bodies and flailing limbs enjoying the tunes on offer.

Middway through the show, the band announced a cover (which I am still uncertain of, but it sounded a lot like Everything But The Girl), but their opening was shrouded by the fire alarm’s shrill warning. Ignoring it didn’t do much good, but the guy who climbed onto a chair to pull the alarm cord out received a resounding cheer, just as Seekae pulled out Void, a song which I thought conjured an unexpectedly loud response.

It might be expected that a Sydney electronic trio be dull on stage, but although there was no spectacle besides the fire-alarm inducing smoke, the show was absolutely electrifying. Not only thanks to watching the performance of these three dudes on stage, but because the sheer noise being created was in every way amazing.

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