Live Review :: The Presets @ The Enmore

February 13th 2013

Weren’t gigs a helluva lot more exciting as a teenager?

Each show preceded by months of excitement and counting down, while the night itself mostly consisted of even more waiting; standing in a stagnant line, then slightly shuffling along in a moving line to grip the barricade for hours. Support bands you’d never heard of emptied their hearts onto the audience, but you sure as hell weren’t emptying your bladder if it meant moving. It was always the “greatest night ever“, thanks to your favourite, kewl band’s eventual performance.

A few years on, a gig can warrant about as much preparation and anticipation as going to the shops for a cheap loaf.

“Should I shave? Nah who’s gonna care.”

And that’s it.

Monday’s trip to the Enmore managed to sneak up on me without much anticipation, but in spite of all my gig saturation blues, there was something about seeing The Presets’ name above those doors that stirred up my guts in a very rare way.

I got there just in time to be pleasantly surprised by the back end of Parachute Youth’s set. They’ve hardened up their sound since the last time I saw them. It was all a little darker, edgier, and really a little more techno than I expected. So much so, that when getting a drink, I overheard the following heartbreaking conversation.

“Oi is that Presets now Saz?”

“Dunno ay. Sounds like ‘em.”

“Jeeeeesus I needs mah drinks though!”

“Danwarry ‘bout drinks ay, PRE – SETSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!”

They awkwardly tottered off to see Parachute Youth as quickly as they could in ill-fitting heels, and I happily stepped into the now-express aisle, created by people leaving on account of not wanting to miss the main event.

While I walked back towards the front of the theatre, Light Year began to manufacture a set that would let the crowd simmer away at a level just agonisingly less than boiling point. After the perfect amount of groove time, the very ready-to-dance crowd erupted as the house lights dimmed and Sydney’s finest took the stage.

Things got pretty large pretty quickly.

Tom Middleton’s throbbing remix of ‘If I Know You’ had my chest teasingly close to bursting point, before the really quite unsafe pairing of ‘Youth In Trouble’ and ‘My People’ made me lose my hat – (actually, though). I know the Enmore’s floors are always up for a bit of bouncing, but I swear I saw a splinter or two fly past my face.

It wasn’t me doing all the work, though. A nearby, barely-legal girl intensely booty-dropped when she wasn’t checking her makeup in her mobile’s camera mid-song, while a man definitely very familiar with his pensioner’s card stood front and centre in the mezzanine, rocking a constant double fist pump. Muck yeah. In fact, there was a fantastic mix of ages in the whole venue.

The Presets’ wide appeal definitely made this show a true event – something to really remember, even if you’re one of those people who has more gigs to their name than hours of sleep. They’re pushing an underground sound to the masses, working in tandem with imprints such as Motorik who bring a deeper version of that sound to clubs around Australia. To be both experimental and massively influential nationwide is not an easy task, and it’s sadly not one carried out by many Australian bands at the moment. But while The Presets might not be a ‘band’ per se, seeing one of their shows might convince you that what they’re doing is nothing but worthy of your ears and your mind.

Read more from Alessandro Dallarmi here.



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