Words by Patrick Martin
Photos by Harry Allwood
There is something so utterly enjoyable about the 1980s. The haircuts, the double denim, the fluoro colours. Even if you say you hate the eighties, chances are your feet will start to tap and your hips start to shake when you hear the open bars of any number of those iconic wobbling synth lines. And Saturday night was no exception as Sydney’s Client Liaison rolled into town courtesy of Fat Controller, with mullets and turtle necks in-tow to prove that we haven’t quite escaped the eighties' pop grasp. As if we ever wanted to leave the eighties behind anyway.
Warming up the Fat Controller stage were Adelaide locals World Wild. After developing a mean live reputation with regular shows around Adelaide, this show saw the live incarnation of multi-instrumentalist-wunderkid Jarrad Lee Jackson come to life. Within thirty seconds of the opening number, Jackson was front and centre of the quickly forming mosh, throwing his weight around amongst the growing crowd. Playing songs off his debut EP and soon-to-be-released debut album, there is something undeniable about his sound. It is drenched in nostalgia but it is not a token gesture. These are quality pop songs drenched in a time which was, well, undeniably wild. A mid-set cover of The Weeknd’s Can’t Feel My Face brought the punters out from the seated terraces and on to the dance floor. World Wild are bringing the eighties back for us all to enjoy and if the last track of the night is anything to go by, the new album will be a funky eighties trip-out session of which we will all greatly indulge.
Triple J darlings Client Liaison are every bit the eighties kids we all secretly want to be. Lead singer Monte Morgan rocks an enormous curly mullet which rivals some of the most famous mullets ever seen, while Triple J’s own Tom Tilley bounces onto the stage in a seriously tight mustard and white tracksuit. Client Liaison has a sound which turns the Fat Controller into a heaving late eighties house party. As the band bounce away the crowd obliges, with arms flailing in the air as the band shape shifts their way through a set of quality house pop. The temperature rose as the band moved quickly through crowd favourites Feeling, That’s Desire and Free of Fear before removing their turtle necks and tight suits to finish with a flurry of dance moves. Client Liaison are the perfect band for a foot-loose Saturday night, bringing even the most inept punters to the dance-floor for a night of sweaty pop goodness.
To round out the night, deep house producer and local boy come good, Motez brought his Award winning production to the stage. Packing out the dance floor, he kept the venue that was surely at capacity by that point dancing into the night, dropping signature house tunes including a sneaky spin of his upcoming single with fellow Adelaide hero Tkay Maidza.
Fat Controller is a quality venue and a sorely needed addition to the live music fold in Adelaide. Saturday night showed that you can run a night based solely on live music when care and attention is paid to the local music scene. Although it is early days, Fat Controller has the potential to grow into a cult music venue upon which Adelaide’s scene can launch from. Well played Fat Controller, please direct us toward your next night of live music frivolity. We’ll be first through the turnstiles.