Well, that was an agonising hangover. After sufficiently lubing myself up (with grog, not Vaseline you animals) it was time to hit up the newly rebranded Max Watt’s for what was surely to be a classic night with DJ Tom Loud aka Hot Dub Time Machine. A hyperactive party-thrower hailing from Sydney, Australia, Hot Dub has been smashing out sets around the country to an increasingly large fan-base of young and old alike since 2011. Having had seen him a couple of times in the past at Falls and recently at St. Kilda Fest, I was pretty familiar with what to expect from him – a good old cocktail of genre spanning tracks, confetti in quantities rivalling that of a Flaming Lips gig and lots of sweaty, smiling drunken fools.
Leading into his set, a giant clock on the projector behind the decks counted down the seconds to the start of the machine, putting the pressure on the crowd to buy as many tins as they could hold and chain as many durries as they could chain. As soon as Tom hit the stage, the ‘fuck yeah, it’s Friday’ feeling really kicked in and so began what we were assured was going to be the ‘Best. Party. EVER.’ Those unfamiliar with the way Hot Dub works, Tom starts of in the mid-50s and plays one or two tracks from each year to the present, using video DJ software and time-coded vinyls to synch up a projector with live mixing. Think Sampology but more like journey through time. Time machine. Get it?
The 50s and 60s covered from Jerry Lee Lewis, to The Beatles’ ‘Twist and Shout’ to a bit of ‘Born to be Wild’ accompanied by visuals from Easy Rider. As much as it sounds as if you could just chuck on iTunes and a movie, it’s really not the same thing. The energy radiating from the stage and crowd was pretty awesome. Moving into the 70s, Tom brought the funk with ‘Superstition’ as well as some Jackson 5, all the while confetti cannons were exploding and strobes were flashing. 99 Luftballons (The version in German, word) was accompanied by the release of 99 red balloons from the ceiling – obviously subtlety isn’t really Tom’s style but that’s what makes him awesome. By the time we moved through the 80s and ‘Jump Around’ came on for 1992, it was clear that he could have played anything and people would have rocked out to it. And they did, right up to 2015.
Despite how much fun the night was, it was a little bit disappointing to see that the time machine has revisited so many of the same tracks it’s hit on in the past. Like, it was virtually the same set-list as at St. Kilda Fest. As much as I can appreciate that what he does straight-up works, it’s definitely time to mix it up a bit more in terms of track choices. However, for a Hot Dub first-timer it would have definitely been awesome and I can’t blame him for keeping it much the same, it does work. He’s certainly a party king and it’s always going to be about the combined experience he provides. Besides, who doesn’t want to hear the Eurhythmics at every possible opportunity?
If you’re not going to catch him on this tour, fear not, Hot Dub is probably going to be around forever. I can see him as an old man still doing the same thing and honestly, that’s pretty fucking cool.
Hometown: Sydney, Australia.
Sounds like: A journey through time.
Say what? Tom played Coachella as his first ever gig in the States. What.
Deaf, cold and drunk, Leo signing off.