Knowing and loving all the hits by Peking Duk doesn’t prepare you for the spectacle of their live shows.
I made the rookie error of going in blind for Peking Duk’s gig at Odeon Theatre in Hobart. You can never be sure what to expect but, having seen The Aston Shuffle and Flight Facilities live before, I was imagining two guys on the decks doing their thing with some vocal supports to help with their hits. I knew there’d be bangers, for sure, but I was thinking it might stop somewhere short of a rave. Instead, what I got was one of the loudest and most mind-blowing DJ sets I’ve ever experienced.
Things started strangely with the Channel 9 Cricket intro playing, video and all, and then a video appearance of Shane Warne. You want to hype up a crowd? Shane Warne telling you to make some noise for Peking Duk is a bloody good way to do it. Out came the boys from Canberra and the dancefloor was moving straight away.
It was a flawless DJ set with Peking Duk mixes of hugely popular hits like Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, Kanye’s ‘Bound 2’ and ‘Niggas in Paris’, The Prodigy’s ‘Breathe’, Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name’, and Flume’s ‘Say It’, mixed in, of course, with their own hit singles. Cool visuals akin to those in SAFIA’s recent shows, along with bright lights, heavy beats, and big drops made for an overwhelming sensory experience.
It wasn’t just your typical DJ and clubbing songs that made the set. Peking Duk threw some curveballs with The Killers’ ‘Mr. Brightside’ and everyone’s favourite: ‘Wonderwall’. “Sing it. SING IT!” The capacity crowd sang at the top of their lungs in a moment that really brought us all together.
Of course, everyone was there for Peking Duk’s own big hits and we weren’t disappointed. ‘High’ and ‘Say My Name’ started things off but it was ‘Stranger’ that stirred the first big reaction. The boys made sure to hype up their recent hit with Elliphant and capped it off with a filthy, filthy drop. The crowd never stopped moving and, when told “our brother Ben from SAFIA is actually banned from Hobart so he couldn’t be here to sing this”, they sang along loudly (and surprisingly well) to ‘Take Me Over’. ‘Stranger’ returned for one last bang before the finish and ‘High’ made the final appearance in an epic encore.
With the tunes almost non-stop, there weren’t many opportunities for crowd interactions but the boys still managed to keep us entertained. Adam was really pushing the semi-nudity theme, telling us “If anybody’s getting real sweaty, don’t hesitate to take your clothes off.” It wasn’t long before his own shirt was off and, later in the set, he pleaded again: “We need more shirts off. Don’t make me feel like a fuck boi.” Other highlights included stopping to introduce their brand new single with AlunaGeorge (keep your ears out for this one – it’s pretty funky and definitely another hit) and my favourite quote of the night, “If everybody takes care of everybody, it can be a fun fucking party.” Good form, Peking Duk.
Hometown: Canberra, ACT
Latest Single: ‘Stranger’ (feat. Elliphant), released 21 October 2016
Sounds like: SAFIA, Flight Facilities, The Aston Shuffle
Say what? The Clowntown tour was aptly named as Craig the Clown joined the boys on stage for their encore. A creepy looking, giant-headed clown dancing to ‘High’ was something I never knew I wanted to see.