Northeast Party House @ The Corner Hotel Melbourne, 13/7/2012
One sure way to fend off the cold (and it was a rather chilly night in Melbourne tonight) is to squeeze into a packed room of agog party goers and completely lose your inhibitions on the dance floor. Under the adept guidance of Melbourne’s Northeast Party House, tonight the Corner Hotel was a pulsating pool of limbs flaying in exquisite communicative patterns.
The show begun with the band on stage dancing to 90s Eurodance hit ‘Coco Jamboo’. This enthusiastic display introduced the high energy levels that would permeate the Corner Hotel for the next hour or so. Northeast Party House live up to the party promise of their name, but they do it while retaining such musical integrity.
During the handful of newer tunes that kicked off the show, each member of the collective demonstrated their contribution to the frivolous fanfare. Zach Hamilton-Reeves’ voice has a good measure of both warmth and nonchalance – he wants you to know what he’s saying but still keep himself to himself; the prominent sounds coming from the synth station were a huge element in the rousing atmosphere that the band created; the dual guitarists manage to give the visual impression that they’re simply cartwheeling all over the stage, while they’re actually playing some fairly intricate trebly stabs and shimmies; the rhythm section is crucial to elevating the overall ebullience – the mix neglected the bass for the first few songs, but once it was raised to it’s properly bodacious level, the room could not refrain from becoming a frenzied dance hall.
Northeast Party House is by no means an Andrew WK-like exercise in machismo, nor do the Melbourne 6-piece indulge in overbearing dance floor bombast, a la Bloody Beetroots.There is a genuine sense that they feel that their show is your show too. Their music is very ‘now’; it sits nicely in the shared bedroom of indie & dance, playing cards with Franz Ferdinand, stealing some of Foals‘ milk and pestering Cut Copy to clean the dishes. However, their songs, such as ‘Embezzler’ and new single ‘Pascal Cavalier’, come across in a considerably more natural manner than most other interpretations of this style in contemporary Australian music. Tonight’s show gave the impression that NPH are not checking the rulebook to see what will place them under the appropriate fluoro lighting sequence. Rather, they employ the necessary lights and mirrors to satisfy their supercharged constitution and meld this with a substantial songwriting elegance.