Recent Sydney ex-pat Lucy Phelan has landed in Melbourne and on Saturday night her debut solo release ‘Drain Down’ was launched at Boney, you know the ex-Pony which is pretty much the same as Pony. If you are unfamiliar with her Lucy Cliche moniker, I am sure that you are aware of her previous outings as part of Naked On The Vague and Half High amongst other projects.
Arriving at the venue Jonnine Standish (HTRK) was DJing a mix of electronic soundscapes to a slightly confounded group that had obviously had the venue earlier in the night. It was rather entertaining to see this group of mostly young women trying to dance to the eclectic selections, but a heavy dose of fog machine and the relentless mix of sounds managed to clear things up.
The first live act of the evening was Nicky Crane, the pseudonym used by James Vinciguerra, of local acts Total Control and Lace Curtain. If there were any stragglers from the early evening still hanging around they may well have been confronted by the twisted electronic drumbeats shifting and searching for a place that opened his set. Once they settled we were in for a lively set of the current wave of Melbourne electronic music seems to have it’s pedigree in harsher and often guitar based sounds. Nicky Crane seems to have found a home with local leftfield label Future Archaic and his music matches that label’s aesthetic in character. The room was filling up as Vinciguerra played and the dancefloor started to move to his rhythms. I was impressed with what I heard and will be keeping an ear out for more.
The upstairs dancefloor was quite packed when Lucy Cliche took the stage. Over the next hour or so she took us on a journey through her new EP ‘Drain Down’ (released by NIMH Records). ‘Drain Down’ is a very tasty slab of modern techno, again coming from a more avant aspect. Tracks from this release were mixed with new tracks, all seamlessly blended in a set ready to please the people who had come to dance. The tracks from the EP were presented in a new light, shifting from the constraints of the studio into constantly evolving movements, working perfectly in the live arena. This is music designed for the dancefloor and it was great to see so many people moving to the music. Unfortunately the mix was a little polite, and some sounds weren’t punching through as clearly as would have been ideal, particularly the snares. I’m not sure if the venue PA had been tuned weirdly but there wasn’t nearly enough bottom end to propel the sonics, to me it didn’t sound big enough. This is of course no fault of Phelan, who shifted through tracks, effortlessly presenting a generous body of work that should with any luck see the light of day soon.
I must admit that I am happy that Lucy Cliche has relocated to Melbourne, as I look forward to seeing her progress with this project. Believe me, you will be hearing more of Lucy Cliche, and I strongly suggest tracking down the EP before it disappears and you have to buy a copy from Discogs for collectors prices. Having enjoyed Phelan’s musical output over the years I am happy to have finally caught this particular act live for the first time. Australia is absolutely teeming with amazing talent in the live techno/electronic world, and Lucy Cliche is right up there with the best. Ignore at your peril.
*Disclaimer. I am a fan.