Hayden James, Mickey Kojak: Gig Review
By Tanya Rae
Thursday March 12, Oxford Art Factory
Local Sydney producer Mickey Kojak (Michael Dable) warmed up the crowd from 9pm, dabbling in popular electronic, house and deep house tracks. He played for almost 90 minutes ahead of showcasing his debut single Feel My Pain, before it was cut short in preparation for the following light show. Shame though, Kojak gives off a really positive, enjoyable stage presence and oozes a kind of promising potential you’d probably want to keep your eye on.
Hayden James walks on stage just after 10.30pm and though the walls have already started to drip with sweat, the crowd goes wild. He plays tracks of his new self-titled EP (signed with Future Classic), the kaleidoscopic cover art serving as a visual backdrop behind him. James plays a mix of old tracks and new, including the last song off his EP, Embrace, and unreleased tracks that he admittedly finished producing last week (which the crowd love).
Close to midway through his set he drops his dreamy iconic debut single Permission To Love, and though released in 2013, it still inspires fans to sing along to the lyrics. Which brings me to my next point of call, and perhaps the one thing I did not enjoy – the crowd. Fresh-faced eighteen year old guppies falling over one another while simultaneously spilling drinks on their peers, stepping on toes and elbowing them in the face. At one point I was convinced the guy in front of me was giving me a lap dance.
In a tribute to Odesza, an American electronic duo act he previously supported at Oxford Art Factory, Hayden James played his remix of Say My Name. Not unlike his other remixes, he elegantly combines elements of disco, funk and house to create a balance of something delicate, intricate and harmonious.
Rounding up the set with the awaited Something About You, he invited all members of the crowd to jump on stage for his last track, before adding, “I probably shouldn’t have said that” as the stage was packed in under a minute and filled with enthusiastically dancing fans singing along to the track that’s racked up over 1.9 million plays on SoundCloud since it’s release.