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Review - Future Music Festival - Perth

Author: Brett Dias
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
The night ended with a giant sinister clown telling us in an evil voice "Now you are all my children.'

But let's rewind the clock back a few hours because the Future Music Festival began rather differently to that.

Thousands and thousands of people crammed into a big green park in Wellington Square, Perth city, no doubt to catch the Chemical Brothers and see who else may be on the bill.

Shapeshifters played early on in the hot afternoon to a small crowd gathered around the Famous Tent. Horn infused House dominated their sound and 'Love Song' by Layo and Bushwacka lured a larger crowd out from under the shady spots to dance in the sun and they stayed for the rest of the set that included old school remixes of 'Show Me Love' by Robin S. A majority of the set was mellow and electro-infused as the DJs took turns remixing on-stage, singing along to the tracks and dancing with the crowd.

Laidback Luke moved the house and broke the house down with heavy beats and giant picture screens featuring graphics reminiscent of a nineties dance party. Robin's 'Heartbeat' was also featured in his set as monsters and snarling faces flashed across the megascreens.

Datarock began their set with House, Trance elements, strobe lights and colourful graphics that hemorrhaged onto giant screens in the shapes of robots that flanked the small stage in the humid tent, meanwhile outside, Laidback Luke was remixing Everything but the Girl.

There was little time to rest before John Digweed took the main stage and people swarmed from all over the venue to catch the pioneer in action. He played deep, dirty house with sweeping beats mixed on two sets of turntables. Peter Griffin danced along while rollerskating on the nearby cinema screens.

At the Funk Tent between two giant yellow mushrooms covered in red dots, Aesop Rock took the stage and separated the hip-hop fans from the rest of the pack as flocks of people left to find out what else what happening at the festival.

Eddie Halliwell performed at the Famous Tent as two giant beach balls with 'Sportsgirl' written on them was thrown into the crowd. It was an interesting publicity stunt and I began to wonder if the toilet rolls being thrown around were sponsored by Sorbent.

Probably not.

Equally unnecessary were the graphic images of pills and lines of chopped white powder on the screens. Drug connotations like that should be banned for the sheer fact they look ridiculous.

The Krumping images on the other hand were great - cue Roger Sanchez and Sven Vath. As they played across the park from each other to receptive crowds and the afternoon crept into night, everyone was itching to only see one act and a 'Salmon Dance' tribute reminded everyone that the Chemical Brothers were about to play. Blue lights and smoke filled the Future Music Tent adding a sense of drama which made for an interesting atmosphere and the massive crowd erupted in cheers as the boys played a set that went through much of their collection.

They were generous in their performance and meticulous with their mixing. The Chemical Brothers were a class act, so maybe the giant evil clown guy was right - we were all their children that night.