Mad Racket Feat. Jamie Lidell + Mad Racket DJs

Nick Gunn
Photos by Charisse Hodgeman

Yep, you read right. This party went down in a bowling alley. And not the youth-oriented, ten-pin kind of bowling, either...

Jamie Lidell

Mad Racket Feat. Jamie Lidell + Mad Racket DJs

City: Sydney, AUS
Venue: Marrickville Bowling Club
Date: 2006-12-31

Yep, you read right. This party went down in a bowling alley. And not the youth-oriented, ten-pin kind of bowling, either. We’re talking the “played on a village green by an old-aged pensioner wearing nothing but white while cursing the youth of today” variety. But don’t worry -- the place was on loan for the night. The Mad Racket crew have cottoned onto the fact that you can hire out a bowling club -- even one usually reserved for people with Zimmer frames -- and throw an undisturbed all-night party in an inner-city industrial wasteland. They’ve also realized that if you do it with alcohol at genuine ‘70s prices, things tend to get pretty wild. Sheer bloody genius! The Mad Racket parties have been running for about eight years and are famous for serving the best in tech and house without doing too much damage to the hip pocket. Of course, these days, Mad Racket is also where late-20s/early-30s ex-clubbers and ravers go to age disgracefully. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, as the lack of Glamazons and image-conscious scenesters meant that everyone could just let go, get down, and enjoy the Mad Racket crew’s heavy grooves. We arrived close to midnight, walking in to the sound of heavy beats. It was the first whiff of the Minimal influence that pervaded the night’s proceedings, complemented by a healthy dose of house-friendly hip-hop a la Spank Rock. The whole New Year’s angle was downplayed, and midnight was marked somewhat cursorily. At a few minutes past 12, the tearing beats stopped for a few seconds, and a voice came over the PA and announced, “Umm, yeah, it’s 2007.” And then the tearing beats started right back up again.

Jamie Lidell

Shortly after, the music stopped, and the crowd started screaming at an affable English guy in a disco-ball shirt. Jamie Lidell had taken the stage and was greeting the crowd, his shirt refracting light into a few hundred dilated pupils. This isn’t the first time Lidell has played a Mad Racket party, and his performances have been routinely described as nothing short of amazing. Of course, having only heard cuts from Multiply, I wasn’t expecting the hard, techy onslaught that made up the bulk of his set. Lidell is a master of his craft, feeding vocal samples back on themselves and punctuating the mix with hard, crunchy beats. It wasn’t until he came back for an encore that we caught a glimpse of the neo-soul we expected. Lidell looked every bit as loved-up as the crowd as he brought it all to a close with a singalong of “Multiply.” The rest of the night faded into a montage sequence of dimly remembered moments: cigarettes in the parking lot and twisted conversations with strangers in the queue for the bathroom. The Mad Racketeers kept the beats flowing until dawn, when the crowd was finally turfed out into the eerily deserted street to face up to a new year. Later that day, as I was forcing myself to sleep, I remembered that a friend had turned to me midway through Lidell’s performance, in one of the more soulful stages of the show, and asked me, “Is this guy just the new Jamiroquai?” Like Jay Kay, Lidell is a consummate all-around performer, but musically, Lidell he has a whole lot more to offer than recycled soul and a fucked-up hat. And, he’ll rock a bowling alley.

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.