Aarght Records farewelled their Copacabana takeover in glorious fashion

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Aarght Records farewelled their Copacabana takeover in glorious fashion


With its timber wood floors and disco balls the Copacabana didn’t feel too dissimilar to your high school gym. Breaking down this association was Aarght Records who have been putting on a show at the venue once a year for the last five years, bringing some of Melbourne’s best rock and dance music-makers to the space. With this year toted as the final year of the event, this was one last opportunity to appreciate what it has done for the local independent music scene over the years.

Up first was Hot Topic who eased the crowd into the day with their delicate indie pop gems. Each song was distinctly catchy, with their repeated hooks worming their way into your head before you know it. Lead singer Julia McFarlane’s mellow vocals are always a delight to hear, their understated quality added to the band’s dynamic.

You never know what to expect when it comes to a Drug Sweat set, this time round there was a staged boxing match at the front of the crowd. Antics aside the band make seriously good synth punk, aided by Ausmuteants mastermind Jake Robertson at the helm. The band were joined by Nun vocalist Jenny Branagan who added her menacing vocal to Pingu, along with a cover of Straightjacket Nation’s Get In The Boot.  

Dancehall duo Bahdoesa brought their hybrid of hip hop, RNB and rap to the stage to mix things up. “Everyone get up, you didn’t come here to sit down”, commanded Muma Doesa seconds after making her way onto the stage. While the crowd initially showed some reluctance, it wasn’t long before people are busting a move. Bahdoesa have been making a name for themselves with their clever mash ups, the duo showing off inventive versions of Livin’ It Up and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

Power were up next and stormed through their highly charged set, opening with the classic Electric Glitter Boogie to shake everyone out of their hangover. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in Melbourne’s music scene who isn’t completely enamored with RVG. Rightfully so given that the band’s live show is one to behold. The band gave fans a selection of some of their best tracks, including the bold Primadonna and the eccentric IBM, both of which are now live rarities in their set.

Closing out the day was electronic duo SHOUSE who transformed the Copacabana into a late night nightclub with their pulsating tracks. The band was joined by a live saxophonist who took each song to the next level, leaving the audience entirely satisfied.  

While this might be the end of Aarght Records’ run of shows at the Copacabana, it’s clear that the label have paved the way for other groups to take over. While there’s something uniquely Melbourne about reinventing a performance space to suit your purposes, it’s something that has brought a lot of bands and punters memorable shows over the last five years.

Highlight: RVG.

Lowlight: The wait on Bloody Mary’s.

Crowd favourite: Children wearing ear muffs. It never gets old.