Do you remember when you were still a little primary school cherub, and for whatever reason you got to go to school after hours – maybe a parent teacher interview night, a sleep-over at school, a school disco. There was kind of a feeling of being up to something bad, and you act a little bit outrageously silly, even though there’s not really anything wrong with what you’re doing? That’s kind of the vibe that I got from Nocturnal at Melbourne Museum on Friday night. Except with some of Melbourne’s best bands. And wine.
Arriving, we milled through museum exhibitions while Millú spun records (yes, actual DJ-ing), and tried to defrost from the frigid Melbourne evening. RVG (Romy Vager Group) started without preamble, in the red-lit atrium of the museum.
There’s a reason why RVG are one of the most outstanding Melbourne bands around; something effortless in being on stage, something magical in frontwoman Romy’s voice. Guitars shimmer behind powerful vocals, surging with the urgency of 80’s new wave. Dreamy Melbourne-tinged music mixed with that distinctly 80s Australian vibe (think The Triffids, The Go-Betweens), a mesmerising open to the evening.
Oh, and a dinosaur walked past, so I was a little distracted. Some poor soul was roped into wandering the museum in a dinosaur suit. I guess there aren’t many bands who can say that they had a dinosaur in the crowd.
Millú continued the evening flowing as we meandered through more exhibitions, and adults proceeded to act even more like misbehaved children. One of the best juxtapositions I’ve seen in a while.
What was truly the most hypnotic part of the evening was Gold Class taking the stage. Every time I see these guys, they amaze me in a completely new way. They opened with “Get Yours”, set to be the third track off their upcoming album, Drum. Damn, they are sounding good.
The set continued across new tracks (“Rose Blind”, “Twist in the Dark”), and favourites off 2015’s It’s You. It’s amazing how noticeably vocalist Adam Curley’s singing has developed since their debut album, and the ranges and depths he is achieving in the new material. If the live renditions are anything to go by, Drum is going to be their most powerful release to date. Adam really is captivating as a front man; there’s something reserved about him, yet commanding. He drops to the ground, leers at the crowd, and spends half the set with a lead entangled around his neck (which never ceases to stress me out).
Mishaps ensued, including starting “Michael” in the wrong key (which they happily apologised for), a broken string; Adam even commented on ‘how well they were playing’. I know he was being sarcastic, but they really were playing an amazing set, rounded out with “Furlong”.
The one real detractor from an incredible evening in the museum (who doesn’t love being a nerd and running around museum exhibitions!?) was the crowd. For most of the set, the group in front of me chattered and perpetuated that ‘adults acting like children’ observation. Even during “Kids on Fire”, which is a bloody amazing tune. Seriously, don’t stand in the middle of a crowd and talk the whole time. It took a lot of self control to not tell them to go eff themselves. Which it seems like was their main priority for the evening.
Handy hint: if you want to yell over the music, drink excessively, grind on people and make an all-round tit out of yourself, go to a club. Don’t do it at the museum. During Gold Class and RVG, and people roaming around in dinosaur costumes.
The reviewer attended this show on Friday, August 4th.