Naboo DJ Set + Los Huevos @ The Zoo 16.05.2010

A depressing evening all ’round.

Tonight is the second show of two shows to be announced but the first to take place, the Sunday before the original show next Saturday. This show is taking place because the first show sold out so quickly. Tonight isn’t a sell out but The Zoo has a reasonably sized crowd. It’s depressing because the people here tonight have paid $45 (these days about 30 quid) to spend an evening with a celebrity DJ-ing. That same $45 is more or less what you would see an overseas touring band at The Zoo. It’s depressing because the people could have spent the money they’ve paid out tonight to have seen some really good live music rather than being caught up in the cult of celebrity.

After a set from Los Huevos and DJ sets from Fans before and after the band, “Naboo” hits the stage. Except it isn’t “Naboo” in character but the actor who plays him in the show, Michael Fielding. I don’t bemoan Fielding for that; he’s obviously here in Australia on holiday and playing a few shows to pay for his trip. It’s much more the deceit of the promoter for billing and advertising it as a “Naboo DJ Set”, but then again, if he’d advertised it as a “Michael Fielding DJ Set” he wouldn’t be able to sell out shows and get $45 a ticket. It’s depressing though as I was sold on the fact that it would be something out of the ordinary – essentially a Mighty Boosh themed party – and worthwhile photographing. I was even prepared to break my usual self-imposed, non-festival social photo ban although very few are dressed up tonight and even fewer want to have their photo taken. Maybe they are as disappointed as me at how the evening has turned out, maybe they are embarrassed at having gone to the effort and being in the minority. I’m not sure if the show the following Saturday went any better. Saturday night would have been the obvious night, rather than this Sunday night show.

What’s probably most depressing of all is that Fielding can’t really DJ. He can push a button to start and stop a track but that’s about it and is shown up by the Fans DJ sets earlier in the evening by someone who can actually mash up tracks and seamlessly move between songs. The low point of the night is when Fielding knocks a cable out and white noise is emitted through the PA at extreme volume. The look of sheer panic on his face is something to behold as he waits for someone to run on stage and fix it for him.

If it had been a Saturday night down at the Camden Barfly and you’d paid a tenner for a band or two and the post-gig club you would have said “fair enough”. There are very few positives to take from tonight although having spent their well earnt money on the promise, or at least assumption, of something different from what actually eventuates, the majority of people seem intent on making the best of a bad situation and try to enjoy themselves as much as they can. It’s about all they can do to rescue the night.

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