Review: Techno Bingo might be Melbourne Music Week’s most adventurous event yet

Review: Techno Bingo might be Melbourne Music Week’s most adventurous event yet

Words by Arielle Richards

We went along to Melbourne Music Week’s Techno Bingo night and this is how it went down.

The words “techno” and “bingo” couldn’t imply more different ideas. But what happens when you put the two together?

As I found out on Thursday, it’s a rollicking great time.

Melbourne Music Week has valiantly pushed forth amidst COVID’s capacity limits, spacing restraints and the now-infamous seated table mandate.

And so, we’ve seen the conjuring of some intriguingly-creative solutions to the party problem. Techno Bingo at Colour Club was the most outrageous of the lot.

How to hold a dance party when the patrons must be seated? Whatever would they do with their hands? Binge drink? Terrible idea. Cards? Too naff. Trivia? Too complex.

Bingo? Bingo.

I knew I had to go.

The night kicked off with a pumping selection from DJ Tanzer, whose dirty disco classics instantaneously reminded me I’d forgotten how to dance. I might have been getting a little sentimental on my first return to the club since lockdown, but there was something about the ultraviolet lighting downstairs, reminiscent of a shimmering underwater seascape. It was stunning.

I almost passed out from ecstasy then and there, but I was there for one thing. To win Bingo.

Amidst the sensory overload of flashing lights and juicy disco our icons for the evening arrived – hosts Gabriella Bortonova and Jandruze, all sequins and glitter. Dressed up in their first fine look of the evening, they were the elderly bingo callers you might have expected to see, and then so much more. Very strong Kath Day vibes in this one – it was bingo Down Under in full force.

Our hosts wasted no time with introductions and went straight to the gorgeous prizes on offer for the evening, including but not limited to a glittery “LIVE” ornament – “to remind us what to do after 2020” – a ceramic thong, three soft coat hangers, a dirty op shop bunny and a two pack of matching “best friend” emblazoned phone cases, for everyone’s favourite android, the Galaxy 3.

The piece de resistance was a wall thermometer, delicately emblazoned with porcelain roses and mounted on what felt like soft brown velvet. I had to have it.

Not a soul in the building knew how to play bingo, but that didn’t faze our dazzling, hilarious hosts.

Encouraging us to use many more than one bingo card per round to maximise our chances of winning, Bortonova and Jandruze launched into our first game.

“Pineapple stew, number two… Shave my knees, it’s number, threes?”

Bingo at 110BPM was truly something to experience. Our hosts were everything.

“Nice and thrifty, it’s number 50… I have a high sex drive it’s 75, our friend Clive has a high sex drive and he’s 75… Flick the bean it’s 18, clogged pore – number four!”

You don’t really feel like you’re bad at things until you manage to lose six rounds of a game based completely on chance, despite technically cheating the whole time. By round three I was managing seven bingo cards at once.

“Can’t think of a pun, 51, you try doing this!”

In between each round, Jandruze and Bortonova would exit for a costume change, Tanzer would kick up the tunes, and everyone would hop on the dancefloor. It was so nice to have a dance, I almost forgot about the porcelain thermometer.

Highlight: Upon the inevitable scream of “BINGO” Bortonova and Jandruze would launch into a raucous chorus on everyone’s favourite primary school instruments, a triangle and what I think was a gazoo, provoking side splitting laughs and merriment amongst all.

Lowlight: I could have bloody played all night long, especially for that porcelain thermometer. Bring back 24-hour bingo!

Crowd favourite: During a disco intermission, a table launched into ‘Happy Birthday’. Tanzer, ever astute, killed the music and the whole club joined in. The whole thing brought a tear to my eye. Damn, it’s good to be alive sometimes.

Techno Bingo is taking place as part of Melbourne Music Week on Thursday January 14 and Thursday January 21 (both sold out). To find out about the rest of the festival program, head to the MMW website

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