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SweetChilli - 15.2.2003

Author: Phil Jones
Wednesday, 19 February 2003
With guests including Canberra's Nash T and Melbourne's Jono Fernandez on the lineup, this Canberra lad took the trek up to the big smoke to not only find out what all this Sweetchilli fuss was about, but also, as it turned out, to have one of the best clubbing experiences of his life.

Counting both the main guests (Nash T and Jono) among my friends, I was coaxed into heading up to Sydney to show my support for the lads. Now, after a huge night back home in Canberra the night before, and only 5 hours sleep since, I jumped in the car with a few mates for the short three hour drive to Sydney. Arriving at the Dendy Bar some 30 mins before the night was set to night, I quickly settled down, beer in hand, and soaked up the venue where the next 8 hours were to enrich my life as a punter in a way I had no idea existed before. But more on that later.

10pm quickly rolled around and Daniel took the decks in the back room, playing some uplifting and melodic progressive, the likes of which I hadn't heard for quite some time. It was a welcome change from the almost overplayed "plod plod" prog that seems to dominate progressive nights these days and set the night up well. The atmosphere was very chilled as the club started to slowly fill up and it seemed the perfect way to start the evening.

The first of the main guests took to the decks at 11pm, Canberra boy, and our groups' hero, Nash T. Now, I've heard Nash in Canberra many times before and thought I knew what to expect from him. My idea of what Nash would play couldn't have been further from the reality. Nash played what I and many others, including some bemused Sydney-siders, believe was the set of the night. From dark, brooding prog, through to melodic and uplifting, like Chris Fortier's "Losing Wait", Nashie had the crowd in the palm of his hand for the duration of his two hour set. Comments like "I've gotta get my arse to Canberra more often" we're common place and when Nashie dropped the Quest remix of his own tune "What is Music-" (under the moniker Bluephaze) to end his set, we all knew we'd been witness to something one can only describe as "special".

Crispin took to the decks at 1pm and immediately got the crowds attention by starting with the massive Junkie XL remix of Infusion's "Legacy". From there the relatively short 1 ½ hour set built with the crowd totally enraptured throughout. The only dampener for this punter was the heat in the back room. It was bloody hot. So much so that it felt that I was having a shower with my clothes on every five minutes. Quick retreats into the front room, and even outside, for a quick cool off were very much the order of the night.

Former Canberra lad and now Melbournite Jono Fernandez took over from Crispin at 2:30 and it made me realise just how lucky Melbourne punters are for the chance to see this guy almost every weekend. In short, Jono is one of the most amazing DJs that your likely to see, and this set was no exception. From run-of-the-mill prog through to breaks, house and everything in between, this set easily showcased how diverse Jono is. Seamless mixing and faultless track selection made this set a very welcome reminder of why Phil K once said Jono Fernandez is Australia's answer to Sasha.

One of Sydney's more well known DJs, Ben Korbell, finished up the proceedings. Admittedly, by this stage the heat was getting to me far to much and for the most part I spent the majority of his set outside the club in an effort to cool off. But what I heard only reminded my why Ben is one of my favourite Sydney DJs.

I didn't really spend too much time in the front room at all, but I have vivid recollections of shaking my little booty off to Will Styles in the middle of the evening. There was definitely a vibe in there and the fusion of breaks, house and funk seemed to work well with everyone showcasing their mile-wide smiles. It was a worthy escape from the heat of the back room occasionally and the two crowds that w
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