Live, Music, Reviews

Repressed Records 15th Anniversary Concert Vivid LIVE (Sydney Opera House)

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The Repressed Records website proudly proclaims: “Repressed Records is located in Newtown, Sydney and has been running for 13 years and independent for 100% of that time. We are best known for being the home of Australian independent music specialising in DIY, punk, alternative and whatever is good that deserves to be heard. We also import vinyl, buy and sell second hand vinyl, CDs, books, DVDs and sell rad t-shirts”.

Doubtless the website needs updating as music fans gathered on Thursday night (June 1) for Vivid’s coolest event, celebrating the 15th anniversary of arguably Sydney’s coolest music shop. Repressed Records picked up the baton dropped by Waterfront Records in the ’90s and marches into an uncertain future dealing in indie records and related merchandise in a messed up marketplace. It was a great coup getting this event happening at Vivid and its curators should be congratulated for putting it on.



I walked around the Northern Broadwalk from the entry gate to the spectacular event setting on what is essentially the Sydney Opera House patio. The night was clear and very crisp and Vivid light displays were on everything from the Harbour Bridge to the regularly passing ferries. The sounds produced by the twin synths of Skyline reminded me of a slickly produced accompaniment to a high-end mindfulness App. A musical equivalent for Skyline’s set could perhaps be drawn with Radiohead’s Treefingers or Bowie’s Warszawa, but Skyline were even more minimalistic.

Francis Plagne

The mindfulness feel continued somewhat with the jangly folk rock of Francis Plagne. My research tells me that there are more strings to Plagne’s bow than what was on show, but there was little experimentation here. The set came across a bit Donovan, but there was no Mellow Yellow moment tonight, at least not for me. Kudos to Plagne’s drummer though. She was magnificent.

Severed Heads

Severed Heads’ performance began with some pop techno, but only for 30 seconds or so (thank God!), before they got going with the Goth tinged synth pop of their early years that they’re best known for. Severed Heads are a seminal band, up there with Cabaret Voltaire and New Order. And, not a glow stick in sight! The final song was quite noisy with a sample calling out ‘paranoid’ over and over. Good times.


Fake produced a set of hip hop vocals over avant garde electronica. Apparently this is what he does. It was appealing to start with, then it palled. Not a great deal more to say when the set was so short. Fake does present something different though.

Miss Destiny

The biggest response from the audience was drawn from Miss Destiny and rightfully so. The billing described their sound as, “Post-hippie, pre-punk era rock ‘n’ roll meets the origins of New Wave of British Heavy Metal, with a glimmer of Sunset Strip feel-good excess”. For me, the best comparison to make would be with riot girrl bands such as Bikini Kill and L7. There is a Ramones style punk element to their sound as well. They certainly play short and sharpish and very tight. Maybe fashion has passed this posse by somewhat, because I think in an earlier era they could’ve shifted quite a few units. They were amazing. My highlight was set closer, Law and Order, with its rousing chorus, “the only thing worse than law is order!”. Hehe


The piano led rock of Angie is something again! What an eclectic evening. Surely no one was bored. Only chilled to the bone! Bloody freezing it was. Angie is promoting a new album called, Shyness, and her music does invoke the melancholy of an isolated shy person. There is a nice feel to her music with a voice that fits it well. However, for me the set got a bit samey.

Kitchen’s Floor

These guys do atonal ‘shoe-gaze’. Many fine bands have trodden this path before. Not a bad performance, but the guitar tunings and perhaps bum notes did jar a bit at times. They were privileged with a slightly longer set, which I am not sure they deserved.

Lucy Cliche

I loved Lucy Cliché’s set! So much so that I purchased a copy of her recent EP, Drain Down, afterwards, over the ether. It’s good to have the public reminded at a major event that electronic music is not just for teeny boppers or film scores. Ms Cliché mixes newer electronic sounds with retro techno with more than a hint of industrial club, for lack of better word. Goths might find a tinge of Leather Strip in her work. I hope she doesn’t find the comparison offensive. I also enjoyed her dance moves. Excellent!

Total Control

I discovered three great Australian musical acts this night. I am pleased that only one of these bands, Miss Destiny, uses the guitar, bass and drums formula that Australian music is famous for – tha,t and the pop of Kylie and Co. As with Miss Destiny, I think Total Control could’ve been much bigger in another era. Perhaps, these guys may yet strike it rich, as there is an X-factor about them. They were billed as ‘post-punk’, and are clearly influenced by ’80s post-punk, but they have a heap of ’80s electronic music in their sound as well. Examples of which were heard at times throughout the whole evening. Total Control closed the night in fine fashion.

[box]Main image via Repressed Records Facebook[/box]

One response to “Repressed Records 15th Anniversary Concert Vivid LIVE (Sydney Opera House)

  1. the most meaningless and banal review of an (otherwise quite important) event i think i’ve ever read. if Daily Review wants to champion “proper” journalism and critical culture then perhaps it shouldn’t be publishing things which are the calibre of an adolescent blog…

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