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Melbourne Music Week: ‘Valve Sounds’ [Review]

words by Kara Bertoncini

I could get used to weeknight gigs, even if they do end at 2am and you have a full time job that requires you to be there at 9am. YOLO. On Tuesday night, local record label and management group ‘Valve Sounds’ presented a killer line-up of artists to get us dancing all night, and morning long.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again; I am frothing the State Library Hub for Melbourne Music Week  this year, and the outdoor forecourt area is so damn good. Considering I wanted to see the three headliners, a late start was necessary, and a nanna nap was in order. #ImABigKidNow

As I arrived with a Nutella crepe in hand, I caught the end of Big Words set which was a really nice surprise and groovy start to the night. But inside was where all the madness, and magic, happened.

As I entered, I clocked Tkay Maidza just to the side of the door and I mustered up to the courage to say hello! I normally wouldn’t go up to an artist but I am legit her #1 fan. She was the nicest gal, and so little. Great start to the night I must say. As the hip-hop and trap beats filled the library I knew I was in for one hell of a night.

Yeo was the first artist to really kick my night off and holy moly was I impressed. Shredding on the keytar, bass and beat pads made for an energetic set, and allowed him to really dazzle the crowd. In fact, Yeo had the biggest crowd of the night. Go you good thing! He played plenty of bass-heavy dancing tunes including personal favourite ‘Icarus’ and his latest ‘Like A Version’ of Japanese Wallpaper’s ‘Forces’, with the man himself in the crowd clearly enjoying the rendition. This young artist is such delight and a real showman. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for him.

Now, let’s discuss UV boi. I’ve seen this guy a fair few times now and he’s always delivered on the grimey, trap beats but Tuesday night, I was not feeling it. Instead, he brought on the yawns, like really? Following Yeo he really needed to keep me lifted, especially as the opener for my girl Elliphant. I’ve also never heard him ‘sing’ before, if we can call it that, and while he did play with auto tune at the start, he needed more. I feel bad for saying this but I think he should just stick to making beats.

Elliphant was who I was dying to see after meeting her last year and seeing her first ever Australian show. My God the woman is incredible and Tuesday night was no exception. She’s so outrageous in everything she does but what I respect most is her ability to give her all to each and every person there to see her. Making comment on the fact she was performing in a library really melted my heart too as she explained, “One thing I’ll always stand up for is literature.” She continued by saying, “I feel like I’m singing to you guys and the books, all those writers who put in so much hard work.” #BabeTown

Tune after tune was a banger with heavy drops, reggae vibes and on point dance moves from the woman herself. She sang all her hits including ‘Where Is Home’, ‘One More’, ‘Love Me Badder’ (to which she cut half way through because she hates it lol), ‘Blame’, ‘Revolusion’, a cover of ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ and of course ‘Stranger’. The best part of the night was no joke when Reuben and Adam of Peking Duk actually came out on stage during the song. The State Library went off, including myself. We didn’t know what to do, where to look, how to act! All we know is the boys hyped my early morning up so much. Elliphant even confessed, “You can always trust this fucker” all the while hugging Reuben. The best.

This wasn’t even the finale. We probably had another 20 minutes of her set which we were frothing, but the boys did come out again for another performance of ‘Stranger’ as the finale. I have no words to describe the euphoria we were all feeling and at 2am in the morning I really didn’t want to go to bed, but alas, real life must go on.

Melbourne Music Week you have been stellar but this ‘Valve Sounds’ event was insane. Bring it back next year please!

Rating: ★★★★

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