THE PRESETS @ Ice Cream Factory gets 9/10

The Presets @ The Ice Cream Factory
w/ Eves Karydas, Priscilla
Thursday, December 20, 2018


Oh what a night, locked up with all of my people. The Ice Cream Factory pop-up venue on the corner of Roe and Lake St is an incredible, playground wonderland – after debuting last year, Bar Pop, along with some other Perth establishments, are back this year with a better design, more defined spaces, and one that focuses the old warehouse as the main stage. For three weeks this December it’s been an almost non-stop party, that will climax New Year’s Eve. Though the highlight of this season was last Thursday night featuring Aussie electro legends The Presets, who are touring their new album Hi Viz. Selling out in advance, the Sydney two-piece did not disappoint, with an explosive retrospective set that turned the rammed warehouse into a heavy, sweaty rave cave.

Entering through a giant arched hall of lights set the tone for the grand, indulgent atmosphere that had been created in this sprawling megaplex. With the amount of effort that’s gone into setting this up, it seems a shame it’s only till the end of the year. There’s so many nooks and crannies to explore, you really need several nights to get a feel for the place. But it’s a great place to get down early with a crew and camp out in an area, and there’s no shortage of food or drink options with the myriad bars and stalls.

As well as the main warehouse, outside set up around it are five distinct themed areas within the factory grounds. There was a whole lot going on with a huge range of DJs spinning different styles all across the venue from early on – it’s really like a micro-festival – but the warehouse hosts the main attraction, and tonight it was certainly all about The Presets.


It would be fair to say the duo of Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes are Australia’s best live electronic act, and have been for some time now. The pioneering producers have consistently been putting out solid, unique albums in their distinct style, since bursting onto the scene with their debut Beams in 2005, followed by classic breakthrough Apocalypso in 2008, released on the influential Modular Records label, that spearheaded the Aussie electro wave of the mid noughties.

Eves Karydas

After local electro-pop duo Priscilla played early and rising pop princess Eves Karydas warmed up the vast warehouse with her sweet sounds that are somewhere between Lorde and Lana Del Rey, the stage was set.

The Presets

The crowd started to surge into the warehouse from all directions for the billed start time of 9pm, however The Presets didn’t take the stage till after 9.30pm, by which time the huge room, flanked by raised platforms was packed, and the atmosphere at fever pitch. Despite there seeming to be air conditioning ducting above – on this hot and humid night it was an absolute sauna up the front.

It was a cavernous space with the high tin roof above like a giant shed. To the left and right were raised platforms with bars and a stage setup at the front backed by a video screen, surrounded by an impressive lighting rig.

The Presets

The veterans that they are, the boys know how to construct a set. Now armed with a swag of bangers from the new album, along with their deep back catalogue, this was a Presets show for the ages. They jumped straight in with the epic Talk Like That that saw the room blow up with its huge drop after the rising synth crescendo and big “Uh-Oh!”.

Hamilton’s vocals are still strong and were mixed perfectly, packing as much punch as any rock singer. One of the best examples of that is Ghosts – a dramatic, shimmering track that sounds like some futuristic sea shanty. Martini a real heavy house banger off new album Hi Viz, and first single Do What You Want is another instant classic in The Presets’ repertoire, to be filed alongside My People.

The Presets

One of the best and most interesting tracks off the new album Downtown Shutdown is quite unlike anything the group have done before, with its funky bassline and guitars, and African gospel choir. The lyrics are an obvious reference to the draconian Sydney lockout laws that has stifled the great city’s once thriving nightlife. The only thing that could have made the performance better would have been Michael Di Francesco aka Touch Sensitive playing the awesome bassline live, like in the video.

The great thing about The Presets is despite keeping it to the two of them onstage, they are a dynamic live act. Hamilton is a focal point as front man, whether roaming the stage or standing behind his keyboards. While Moyes keeps the rhythm pumping with live drums, or standing beside Hamilton, playing electric pads.

The Presets

This Boy’s In Love was a euphoric rush of melodic pop, before they broke out the big guns, absolute anthems My People and Are You The One? which brought the house down. The front of the crowd was a sweaty heaving mass by this point, with arms pumping the air and people on shoulders everywhere. It really was a great venue for the gig and the crowd was well and truly up for it.

They took it harder and darker towards the end, and finished with the closing two tracks on the new album – the massive 14U+14ME featuring Hamilton’s vocals effects and very cool visuals referencing the song’s globalist themes, followed by the banging old school rave vibes of Until The Dark.

An absolute barnstormer of a gig, full of reckless mayhem and good sweaty fun, that those there will remember for a long time. Make the most of the Ice Cream Factory while it’s still around.


Photos by Karen Lowe


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