There are few things in this life that I know for sure. One of them is that Oprah Winfrey gives the best hugs ever*. The other is that there ain’t no party like a SOSUEME party. True purveyors of the term ‘party’, for their fifth birthday the SOSUEME crew transformed The Beresford into a children’s playpen fit for adult mayhem. Free popcorn and party-hats in tow to help celebrate in style, the live entertainment for the evening was covered by part-time broadcaster and ukulele enthusiast Brendan Maclean; quirky electro popper Elizabeth Rose; emerging Brisbane duo YesYou; and the best cover band in the history of the universe, Furnace and the Fundamentals. To keep the dance floor fresh, the decks were manned by spin specialists: Alison Wonderland; Joyride; F.R.I.E.N.D/s DJs; Block Ness Monsters; Starjumps; and of course the birthday kids themselves, SOSUEME DJs.
First cab off the rank was veteran hipster broadcaster, Brendan Maclean. He had the crowd swooning with his supreme ukulele skills and infectious tunes. Or so I heard. Unfortunately, I arrived fashionably late and failed to witness his awesomeness first hand. I know, I’m the worst. On the up side, I managed to score the best parking spot in the world, so the night wasn’t completely ruined.
Next act to take the stage was the enchanting Elizabeth Rose. Ms. Rose is a perfect example of what I like to call, The Madeline Theory. She may be very small but don’t be fooled, she can belt out a tune well beyond her stature. Her honeyed tones and eerie synth vibes emanated throughout the venue, sending the audience into a tantalizing electronic trance. It’s hard to pick a standout, but her minimum-dub version of Flight Facilities’ Foreign Language was pretty spectacular. She ended her set on a high note with icy electro-pop favourite, Ready, which had everyone dancing up a storm.
Sufficiently lubricated by Joyride’s smooth mixes, the audience were comfortably transitioned to the anticipated live debut of Brisbane lads YesYou. Displaying SOSUEME’s penchant for supporting authentic Australian talent for their first ever set, these kids were bursting with playful pop-driven confidence. Their genuine excitement and onstage chemistry was infectious, and the crowd ate it up. They were led by multi-instrumentalists Jono Kirkham and Gav Parry, with vocal guest stars Tara Simmons on synth and tamborine duties, and Sterling Silver on guitar.
The boys’ percussive background was clearly evident, forming the backbone of their set. Layered with textured vocals, cheeky synth work and one very charming piano riff, the audience raised their glasses to crowd favourite, Half of It. My personal pick was fifth track, Friends. The jungle vibes inspired a Where the Wild Things Are dream adventure. By the time final song Do It Again came around, it became clear just how thoughtfully constructed their songs are, following a solid formula of refined lows and bouncy highs. Although their overall sound is not that original, highly reminiscent of the likes of Friendly Fires and Passion Pit, their tunes are injected with personal flair, and it’s safe to say I dig it.
Keeping the dance floor satisfied, Alison Wonderland took to the decks with her unique blend of party mix-ups. If you’ve been impressed by her recent slew of skilled remixes, her live version is just as mind blowing. Her sets consistently seem to turn the dance floor into a ‘Save The Last Dance-esque’ dance off. As if the night couldn’t get any better, cover band connoisseurs Furnace and the Fundamentals had the crowd going Beatles wild for their classic renditions. Judging from their perfect cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, it is my personal belief that frontman Furnace is the ginger reincarnate of Freddie Mercury. I realise that’s a pretty out-there statement to make, but anyone who’s seen these guys live can attest to his vocal brilliance.
The event ended with the SOSUEME DJs decked out in Mexican gear hyping the crowd with their slick party jams and mischievous mixes. I wish I could say more, but the rest of the night is a blur – the true mark of a solid evening. Bravo SOSUEME, bravo.
*I have actually hugged Oprah. True story.