Way Out West - 14.10.2004
Way Out West, if you don't know, consist of Jody Wistenoff and Nick Warren and easily head the crop of premier dance music artists performing around the world.
With a reputation of consistently well produced music mainly in the progressive and breaks genre, Way Out West have concreted themselves as one of the foremost producers in dance music. Armed with a new vocalist, Omi, and the drummer from Echo and the Bunnymen, whose name escapes me now, this was always going to be a good show, especially with the group riding on the recent release of their new album
As well as having Way Out West on the bill, my personal favourite Melbourne artist of the moment, Andy Page was also playing his live show after coming off from a stormer at Broken Home last month. It seemed that he definitely managed to carry the same vibe that rocked that party into this one, it was just a shame that he played an earlier set. You must see Andy Page do his thing. With a very particular and exquisitely produced fusion of breaks and 4/4 house with the now concrete Melbourne toughness, my ears really enjoyed it, especially when the live guitar came through on the basslines and melodies, but the rest you will have to see for yourself.
In the end, everyone was out on a Thursday night for one reason only. After Mark James came on for his warm up set, the main room at the Prince upstairs was relatively empty which was a big surprise considering the level of talent that was being put on. As Way Out West were announced, it was amazing - it was as if there were a whole crew of people hiding under the chairs and tables, because suddenly the place was relatively full! All good if you ask me. I have always been a bit here and there about fusing live instruments with electronic music. I guess since seeing Nu Breed successfully pull it off at their album launch a while back with Andy Page on guitar and their drummer changed my mind so I was interested to see what one of the world's most famous groups would do with this fusion.
Omi, their new vocalist, had a great stage presence and I have to say I almost feel that Way Out West are sounding the better than ever, which, given their audiography is a fairly big call! With 'The Gift' bringing back a lot of memories of smiles gone by, and my personal favourite off the new album 'Anything but you', they really did rock the house.
It was great to see both industry types and normal music lovers come together to pay their dues to the two guys who have stuck with the breaks sound for quite a while now and in my opinion refined it to the point where it really does sound quite breathtaking, both live and in album form.
The live show though was not all for the night, with Nick Warren coming on for an hour after their live show to make sure that his DJ skills were not left un-utilised. To be fairly honest with you, I thought the old and more true sound of progressive house had essentially left the majority of DJ boxes since the explosion of the more deeper and darker sound that is more popular now. That is exactly why Nick Warren's sound was so refreshing, because it proved to me that no music is dead when it is played well!
It seems that I have written a mini essay about this gig but for me, it really was one of the best this year. Melbourne just seems to keep getting better!