Perth DJs Reminisce On 15 Great Years At Ambar Before Anniversary

10 February 2016 | 2:12 pm | Ambar DJs

"Ambar is home."

WA institution Ambar turns 15 this Saturday night and they’re throwing an epic party to celebrate. Affectionately dubbed Home Of The Underground, there have been a few DJs that have had their fair share of big nights there. We catch up with a few long-running resident artists leading up to the big event.


Where to start! It’s been my home for 14 years now. Starting a Friday night there all those years ago called Autophon, then becoming a Saturday resident 12 months later. From warming up for some of my favourite acts in the world to playing back-to-back with guys like Zeds Dead, Krafty Kuts, Elite Force and Plump DJs. Now having the opportunity to curate the music, help build and develop the culture of the club and give so many other young DJs their chance to show people their passion and love of music.

It’s been an amazing journey. I think the thing that’s left the greatest mark on my life is the people. I’ve met my closest friends through Ambar, people who have become my brothers and sisters. We’ve been so fortunate to have a culture of inclusion and acceptance at the club. No one is above anyone else in status, not even the touring DJs. We’re all in it together in that dark, sweaty dungeon and you can feel that. I have so many shared memories with those people from my years in that room but the individual nights have blurred into one long wonderful story of amazing music, ridiculous stories and excellent friends. I care so much about that bunker, because Ambar is home.

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I remember first going there, and definitely the first time I got to play there. So many warm up sets for so many amazing artists. So many incredible residents; past, present and future.

The two-hour closing sets til 6am with the club still packed. The chants for "one more" after the lights have come on. The back-to-back sets. The yarns at the bar and beside the booth with mates, staff and friends I hadn’t yet met. The pool table. The dance floor. The booth!

The anxiety I felt putting on my first show there. The anxiety I feel when I put on a show there now, eight years later. The relief when a couple of hours in, the place is pumping and I know it’s going to be another great night.

The feeling of the sun in my eyes, walking up that alleyway after being underground for eight hours. The feeling of family when i’m back there the very next night. The feeling of family in there every night. The feeling.

Those memories will stick with me for the rest of my life.


A good portion of my weekends since 2007 has been spent at Ambar. When I think of Ambar, these memories stand out: 

Major Break 5 in 2008 – this was my first intro to the sort of good nights that Boomtick Events can host. International acts along with Perth locals split between two separate venues on the same street with access to both as you please.
My first set at a Japan 4 in 2009, the first club set I had ever played. Also the night I discovered the booth volume knob on the mixer. Something a bedroom DJ may not know about.
Watching a heap of my favourite artists, both local and touring, whom had also influenced me smash out sets downstairs underground.

The countless dress up parties that Ambar has hosted. The one that sticks in my mind was Halloween 2012 when my girl, Bec, wore a zipper on her face and we both had fully black contact lenses. No one could recognize her and I think she also freaked some people out.

And lastly, the time Ambar was looking like it was going to be forced to relocate around the corner to Barrack Street due to a property development.  When the move was off, the place was 100% renovated including the toilets. It was a massive sigh of relief. Ambar is our home.


My favourite memory from the club would have been a few years ago, I had a bit of a break from going out and partying.

I was playing it safe, staying indoors for at least a good three months. One night, I was having a few drinks with friends when I got a text saying "come to Ambar". I thought, you know what? I am ready to step out again.

I grabbed my mate, dragged her along with me and we hit Ambar for what seemed like the first time in years. 

The place was absolutely rockin’ with a solid Japan 4 line-up setting the vibe for the night. I don't ever remember dancing as much as I did that night. 

Wish was on the closer and, as he does, tore the club with the most solid breaks I had heard to date.

I was quite (very) merry so I wasn't shy to let him know how much I was digging his set, again and again, track after track. I think I asked him for track names after every drop, somehow not realising how irritating this could be. 

Wish played his last track (encore of course) and as expected, there I was next to the booth asking what track he had played *face palm*. He turned around and said with a smile, "Look, mate, just take the CD," and handed me this magical disc filled with goodness (which I still have to this day). I fucking love Ambar! PS. Sorry, Wish. I love you. Sincerely, the annoying girl from the side of the booth.


I think when people say "I don’t like clubs" it’s probably because every time they’ve walked into one they feel alienated - whether it be from the staff, the crowd or the excessive price they paid for a beer. But Ambar isn’t like other clubs. It greets you with a sweaty hug, and a crazed grin from ear-to-ear - you walk in, and you feel at home.

Some of my favourite memories would have to be Black & Blunt’s Halloween set in 2012 - one of the most fun sets I’ve experienced - they opened with a breaks edit of the Ghostbusters theme song that just set the whole night off. J.Phlip & Justin Martin tore the roof off Ambar for their Dirtybird showcase despite Clause Vonstroke having cancelled, and Bezwun’s high intensity two-plus hour set at Japan 4, that had us all completely gobsmacked. But I think one of the most magical moments at Ambar was Micah & Genga’s closing set about a year ago. The place had been heaving with some pretty serious ravers until the unmistakable opening sounds of The Lion King’s Circle Of Life dropped. No not a remix, - the original. And as the entirety of the track played out, instead of clearing the dancefloor, full grown men were serenading each other and waving their phone lights in the air. It was one of the most hilarious displays I’ve ever seen. A perfect end to an awesome night!


I’ve had some pretty unforgettable nights at the home of the underground. One would have to be The XL with AC Slater. His set was amazing, along with the atmosphere and crowd partying until close. Ambar continuously brings new and exciting acts through the club, catering to a wide variety of musical tastes. I also had my first gig at Fresh Produce, which is Ambar’s night for up and coming DJs around Perth. Fresh Produce is an awesome night because it gives people a chance to prove themselves. It is always exciting because everyone brings their unique style through the club. Another great night is always the Breakfest after parties, where Ambar has provided unforgettable nights with countless international artists going back-to-back. I think Ambar is important to the scene because it provides forward thinking underground music, and always brings in a wide variety of artists. The accepting atmosphere where anyone can feel welcome is an added bonus, and everyone feels like family.

Ambar’s 15th anniversary party goes down this Saturday 13 February. For more info, see theGuide or The Music App.