Live Review: Dam Funk, Niche, The Operatives, Crown Ruler

25 January 2016 | 2:53 pm | Bradley Armstrong

"'s a bit of a letdown. In saying that, no one here really cares as Riddick is treated like a god coming off stage."

Baby, do you know da funk? Hmmm. Well being a late eager beaver to the doors of Roxanne Parlour, it seems that turning up late is not too bad as da funk goin' allllll night.

To be clear, tonight's show is structured as a club environment with the stage being populated by a standalone set of decks and each of the acts seamlessly flowing into one another. The general consensus is that we are here fo da funk, as in tonight's headliner Dam-Funk, and the audience during the opening acts favour getting more beer or checking out other local venues. Crown Ruler delivers a nice set but it sounds a little like Dam. The Operatives do almost exactly the same and Niche almost certainly does a set like Dam. It is this lack of variation that turns people off and though stylistically it is in line with how things happen within the genre for everyone here to see the headliner, it fails to translate into anything more than some guys DJing some modernised funk.

Coming on at about 1am, Dam Funk (aka Damon Riddick) slinks his way onto the stage while Niche continues to play and the room begins to fill up with both people and jazz cigarette smoke. A couple of microphones and a synth are added to accommodate Riddick but nothing really changes stage-wise and unfortunately the same occurs with the sound, which is tinny and high end to the point of literally hurting your ears, with none of the low-end smoothness of Funk coming through.

Riddick's set seems to be a mixture of him behind the decks mixing and him doing renditions of his own tracks, letting a backing track play and coming out to sing with the odd bit of keyboard noodling. At times his set really works, with the classic hip hop drum sounds, spiralling keytar solos and that bow bow bow '80s synth bass taking you to the neon lights of Vice City. Other times, namely when Riddick attempts to sing (single We Continue being a prime example) the atmosphere feels a little lost as Riddick's vocals are a combination of inaudible and out of tune.

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What this show needed was most certainly a different venue and a little more structure to it — the way this sideshow stands it's a bit of a letdown. In saying that, no one here really cares as Riddick is treated like a god coming off stage at around 3am and everyone had a good getdown to some modernised funk. Props to the guy doing black metal karaoke on the floor below after the show too.