For a select period of time throughout November, Melbourne Music Week took over a significant part of our city, our airwaves, our television sets and, for some, even our lives. As part of this annual event, our good friends at ACMI utilised their facilities to the best of their abilities, holding events which coincide with the event.
On Friday November 25, the night before we were preparing to wave goodbye to yet another Music Week, one Melbourne trio entertained and mesmerised onlookers at ACMI’s Cinema 2 as part of their Look At Life program. That trio, dear friends, was Midnight Juggernauts.
Vincent Vendetta, Andrew Szekeres and Daniel Stricker, along with a couple of their friends, spent an hour of that night performing music which they had composed to counteract with what was being shown on the screen. Needless to say, the synth-pop/electronic gold that was blasting the ACMI cinema that night was unlike anything composed by the band before. Rather than another Road To Recovery or Lara Vs. The Savage Pack, the trio used their multi-faceted talents to accompany selections of the rare British newsreel series, Look At Life. From 1959-1969, British entertainment company, the Rank Organisation, commissioned dozens of newsreels to reflect life of the time. Traversing the jet age, new advances in science and the swinging 60s, the films shown represented an intriguing snapshot of that moment in time, but with also a firm eye on the future. Portraying imagery which one generally wouldn’t associate with that time period, the Juggernauts featured their live score which consisted of samples, loops and inspired improvisation.
Viewing the films on the screen wasn’t enough. Rather, every war drum beat was brought to life with a live drumming sample, every beep from heartbeat monitors would be integrated into the sampling, and every sombre moment displayed on screen would only be enhanced by the haunting yet sensual “ooh’s” coming from Vincent’s mouth. In an abstract way, despite the films being shown in 2D, they were brought to the audience in 3D through the use of the bands accompaniment.
As always, despite not being in their normal surroundings, Midnight Juggernauts both entranced and entertained their audience. The hardest part for me on the night, though? Trying to decide whether to watch the screen or look at the band. It’s not easy trying to pay attention to a film when one of your favourite live acts is playing four metres away from you.
LOVED: Vincent Vendetta’s suit and Nikes combo.
HATED: The couple that wouldn’t shut up next to me.
DRANK: Water. The beer came later…