As a hot day turned into a balmy night, Pirie and Co. Social Club was the perfect intimate refuge from the hustle and bustle of Fringe festivities and the lingering smell of burning rubber. With Yeo in town playing the first show of his ‘Ganbaru’ album tour and bringing a few friends along for the ride, the night couldn’t have been a better antithesis to the manic burning petrol less than a kilometer away.
As Healthy Tapes DJs wound back (literally) the clock to deliver some ethereal tape-deck jams while punters amassed in the intimate confines of the basement, unassuming Adelaide two-piece Hummingbird took to the stage. While only having a minimal stage set up – Miles operating an electric guitar, pedal board and keyboard to provide the colour behind singer Elena's vocals – Hummingbird showed their versatility. Paying homage to the early 90s Brixton sound with their warm floating guitar sounds and airy vocals, the band exuded an atmosphere close to The XX with inflections of grittier Darkside-style production. Hummingbird’s sound enveloped the filling basement and welcomed incoming punters to what the night was to bring. Finishing off the set with a smile and a Massive Attack cover, Hummingbird showed they are certainly a band to keep an ear and eye out for.
With Healthy Tapes working through a substantial collection of both underground gems and cult classics, the crowd bobbed and grooved until Tracey Chen took to the stage with an air of understatement. With only a keyboard, laptop and two microphones, Chen pushed each of her instruments to their limits. Intertwining a mixture of pre-recorded vocal and instrumental loops as well as live vocals and instrumentation, the minimalistic nature of her sound was intoxicating. As the set continued, members of the crowd slowly moved closer to the stage as Yeo and Hummingbirds stood on and watched intently. A fantastic set in the perfect setting.
As the stage lights dimmed, the drum kit which had sat dormant on stage for the entire night finally went to work, as Yeo and his drummer Andrew took to the stage. Yeo’s album ‘Ganbaru’ is full of funk-pop jams laden with booty-shaking hooks and live, the songs jump from the speakers. With Yeo moving between his laptop, keytar and bass guitar throughout the night, his musical versatility was clear for all to see. Throwing himself around the small stage, his energy is infectious as the simple-yet-spectacular light show bounces black and white lines and smatterings of technicolour around the room. Numbers like ‘Icarus’ and ‘Quiet Achiever’ get the bodies moving but it is songs like ‘VCR Play’ that exemplify the true talents of Yeo – mixing Prince like guitar work with a generous bass trap sample is made for the live setting. As Tracey Chen, Hummingbirds and Healthy Tapes cut serious shapes on the dancefloor with the rest of the audience, Yeo continues to seamlessly roll through his set with ‘Got No Game’ and ‘One For The Team’ bringing beaming smiles to the fans. 2013 breakthrough single ‘Girl’ rounds out his set and with a big smile and friendly wave to the crowd Yeo leaves the stage exhausted and happy.
Friday night saw three phenomenal acts provide some of the best audio refuge this city had to offer. In the intimate surrounding of Pirie and Co. Social Club, Yeo and friends proved that clever delicate dance music will always fill empty dancefloors.