We knew the warehouse party for our No. 34 all-digital edition was going to be big. That’s why we asked DJ Sean M. Whelan to cast his omnipresent eye over the night and record the proceedings for your nostalgic pleasure. Here are his notes from a truly spectacular night.
So here we go again. Last year’s Going Down Swinging warehouse party was of such epic biblical proportions they’re still searching for the roof somewhere in East Brunswick, so it’s easy to approach this one with some trepidation. Will it be as big? Will wine be spilt all over my turntables again (my slipmat still bears the stains). Will I get so overserved I forget how it ends? Will something happen? Well, der, of course.
I always get a little nervous before any gig, be it as a poet or as a DJ. And this is no exception. My junior football coach called it the Best Befores. As in, better before a game than during. And he was right. When I arrive to set up my gear I initially put myself up against the wall where I think the dance floor will be, but Grand Poobah Geoff Lemon suggests that maybe I should have a little protection this time (see wine-stained slipmats). So instead I am placed in this strange little pit between the front of the stage and the sound system. I kinda feel like Captain Kirk at the bridge of the Enterprise; boldly going where no DJ has gone before. I play one of my favourite tunes of the year to get things going in the form of Solange’s ‘Losing You’ (Beyonce’s sister). Madonna never sounded so good.
The proceedings open with the spoken word talents of Zoe Norton Lodge. It’s not an easy gig to read a story to a warehouse full of punters jonesing to get their dance on but Zoe easily commands their attention right from the start. Soundscape and foley are supplied by digital editor Vanessa Hughes as she temporarily occupies my DJ den. It’s a freaking brilliant and hilarious story by ZNL detailing her time with the Sydney 2000 Olympic Marching Band, comprising of 2000 musicians! You can hear it in full with Vanessa’s accompaniment on the digital version of GDS No. 34. Which of course you already own, don’t you?
After Zoe I play a couple of old favourites by New Order and Echo & the Bunnymen. This is only supposed to be filler music between sets but people are already starting to dance – a promising indicator of the night ahead.
Florelie Escano and her smoking hot band grace the stage next with a thumping set of soul/funk numbers. The hips of the room are getting well and truly oiled. These literart kids sure know how to have good time. (‘Literart’ was a typo from ‘literary’ but hey it works! Did I just coin a phrase? I’m sure the stupid internet will tell me I haven’t so I’m not looking it up.)
I follow Florelie with Death in Vegas’s ‘Hands Around My Throat’, with some old skool chasers by The Clash and Kim Wilde. And suddenly it’s getting hot in here.
After playing for a bit I get the tap on the shoulder from Joelistics that they’re ready to start and I slip out of the pit again to get a little loose with the punters.
Joel and Soup have just driven two hours from a previous all-ages gig but you certainly wouldn’t know it as they are bang out the gate and another roof goes missing from a GDS warehouse gig. Joel gets a little frustrated with the gap between the stage and the audience and decides to leap onto the stage system and address the audience from high on the pulpit. I watch a little anxiously as this causes my needle to jump across the deck, which I later discover does actually damage it. (Joel you owe me a new stylus punk! But hey, it’s all in the game yo.)
Knowing I was to write this previously I was taking notes on what tracks I was playing but with all that Bulmers and Buckley’s Beer flowing so freely this kind of goes by the wayside. The rest of the evening is a bit of a blur as to what I actually play but I do remember highlights in the form of M.I.A.’s ‘Bad Girls’, Montell Jordan’s ‘This Is How We Do It’ and Azealia Banks’s scorching banger 212. “Ima ruin you c***.” I’m a DJ who is definitely a little guilty of getting high on their own supply and I’m a little embarrassed by my dancing antics behind the decks, but I just can’t seem to help myself. Monkey’s amazing solar powered sound system is so banging that, whenever somebody places a drink down, they start jumping around so violently that it isn’t very long until I have some new stains to add to my slipmats from last year. In the future I imagine myself chronicling different GDS events from these assorted booze-coloured patches.
At one stage I get a tap on the shoulder from DJ Lazer Ferrari AKA Tom Tom asking if I need a break. There’s not a lot of DJs I would allow to play through but this man is definitely one of them and his capable hands take us all the way home, gratefully giving me a chance to dance with the literartsy and not just to them.
After lights go up I discover a handwritten note that somebody had flung onto my desk just saying, “Womack & Womack or Hall & Oates.” Damn, I definitely would have played those! Next time, just ask. I’m one of the most accommodating DJs you will ever meet. I aim to please. Thanks Going Down Swinging for another epic night to remember, or at least vaguely recall depending on your cider consumption. Can’t wait to do it all again next year.
Sean M Whelan AKA DJ Border Lion
Photography by Damian Stephens at DDT