Remote Control Records 15th Birthday at Shadow Electric (Melbourne)

Jim Lawrie kicked off the celebrations with his alternative-folk sound, joined by his delightful band. The angst filled songs pervaded the room where it lacked humans, although, I don’t think it entirely mattered; I’ve seen Jim play intimate gigs before and I think they suit him, it’s nice to not be distracted and pay attention to the raw-ness and fragility of his music.

Next up was the first of many ladies of the night, Gabriella Cohen. I had heard the name around Melbourne before, but this was the first time I had the pleasure. Words fail me here; I can’t even begin to do her justice when describing how novel and charming the performance was. “You guys are very attentive; do you have gardens?”. Yep, that pretty much sums it up for me, what a gorgeous gal!

Keeping with the trend of female singer/songwriters, Leah Senior took to the stage. By this time the room had filled up somewhat. It was enough to feel the warmth of others, as it was pretty chilly outside. Just like the room temperature, Leah’s songs brought a seasonal consciousness to the crowd, it was as though I hadn’t realised it was autumn until now. Her Joni Mitchell-esque tones and classic song structure really took me by surprise, how is this girl not huge? I immediately purchased her record. If you need an album to listen to while sitting on a Melbourne rooftop, drinking tinnies and smoking durries with your best mate, watching the sunset and having a self reflection session, this is it.

The acts up until now had soothed my hangover from the night before, they were the music epitome of a hug and a cup of tea, and I felt ready. Looking back, I really must commend the individual who’s behind the lineup, Sunbeam Sound Machine gradually eased me from the delicate songs to the more up-beat, seamlessly. The classic Aussie/psych/indie sound was all too familiar; it was like a Last Dinosaurs record in slow motion. The dynamic of the band was incredible to watch. With so much chemistry, they really suited each other and overall the performance was undeniably pleasing to witness.

Having only heard one song on the Dorsal Fins record, that being ‘Escape Me’, I was rendered speechless by the enormity of the band, all NINE of them! To this day, I have no idea how they fit them all onto the stage, the precision that goes into that arrangement alone is admirable – without even hearing their music. Nothing could have prepared me for this. The band work so well together, with the friendship and energy they translate through their tunes undeniable. The crowd dynamic changed completely, people were dancing, the room was full and children were smiling. Their music is truly universal.

The wonderful and aptly named Banoffee managed to maintain the mood and completely held her own on the stage. Her Formula 1 style suit was definitely a head turner; she was simply amazing to watch as she changed between instruments. Multi-tasking at its finest, a class act.

Other Remote Control artists that performed included the likes of, Milwaukee Banks, Client Liaison, Lost Animal, Teeth & Tongue, friendships and a swathe of DJ’s, all keeping the energy up between sets.

The last act of the night were the infamous psych rockers King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. They were the very secret and special guests; and we were lucky enough to see them before they perform their three sold out Melbourne shows as part of their national tour in July. Needless to say they went above and beyond my expectations, ultimately a very hectic and intense set, it was a fantastic end to a very jam-packed day!

When leaving the venue I was fortunately unable to feel the cold because of the huge adrenaline rush, although I was incredibly relieved to be heading home. Such an array of different musicians, all with huge talent; it’s so refreshing to see not a single bad act on the line up. Remote Control Records should be immensely proud of the show they put on, everyone had a great time and the RCR team is made up of such fantastic and passionate humans. I must say though, my highlight of the night was the magical Leah Senior.



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