words: Jess Sommerfeld // photos: @rcstills
'...Expo Liaison was overall an extravaganza of joy rolled into a lavish party.'
Having the capacity to nearly sell out your very own (and first) festival on a hideously cold, blustery and wet Melbourne’s Winter day definitely speaks volumes about the band and the loyal fans rallying behind said band. The one, the only, disco groove dream team, Client Liaison oozes total luxury and their Expo Liaison was nothing short of pre-assumed lavishness.
Walking into the festival, despite the dreary wreathed conditions, 90's colourful wind breakers, lycra and luxe sunglasses were in abundance. Looking around, Expo Liaison radiated embellished ‘Australiana’ - from the woodchopping arena, to the flora and fauna arrangements found in gigantic Fosters beer cans. Aesthetically - this festival was a mesh of high class living with an edge traditional Australian culture creating an ultimate Melbourne hipster paradise (no surprises there).
Walking into the tent, my ears and eyes was graced with the sounds of sexy sax, cowbells and slick 90’s fashions - On stage No Zu opened the festival with a huge stage presence of 10 band members, slinging around a total groove vibe preparing the crowd for what was to come.
The next set of the day, the tent is almost at full capacity as the rain pours down but the energy inside isn't representative of the damp surrounds. Luke Million brings the light and rhythm to the party with special guest KLP. Sharing with the now pulsating sea of bodies, KLP and Luke Million bring us audible delights inclusive of an Amnesia remix, first heard at the Expo, Stranger things, the classic Arnold and 2010 banger, Shooting Stars (Bag Raiders).
Following on from driving the crowd headfirst into nostalgia with Luke Million’s & KLP's rendition of Shooting Stars, it was time for Alice Ivy to grace us next, dancing/jumping around on stage while coming across all pleasant and cool, hyping the crowd while enthusiastically sharing her get down bangers.
By now it is clear that the expo goers are nothing short of keen to keep the momentum up and fall further into a state of luxe' oblivion. Taking us there was Total Giovanni who bought us an aesthetically pleasing presence, as they made their way on stage dressed in white and pastel blue tracksuits and visors, accompanied by gyrating hips, synth-filled, lucidity, funk and soul.
We are getting close, there’s something bigger to come and after DJ set by Kon, it was time for us all experience the true indulgence that is Client Liaison.
Under a haze of red lighting, the grass field that we have all gathered on has become one giant dance floor and the vibe is aviator disco. The crowd looses their minds and the ability to control their arms and legs from pulling shapes and everyone is falling into a discothèque trance. Further into CL’s set we have the pleasure of witnessing them delight us with past and present treasures such as Feed the Rhythm off their EP released in 2014 and then seamlessly sliding into Survival In The City (2018). There is no skimping on this production, mini fireworks, coloured smoke, confetti and a dance troupe that exudes expensive taste (after all, isn’t this what Client Liaison is all about?).
Suddenly, the one, the only, Australian Legend, Johnny Farnham walks on stage and lets us all know that he’s still got it (he definitely does). Starting with Pressure Down the crowd turns into an ocean of lit up phone screens making sure to capture this special moment. It would be rude to end this JF and CL collaboration without treating the crowd to the warming melody that is You’re the voice. Without needing too much of an introduction, the classic tune started and soon enough the crowd was electric.
Even with wet feet, aching bones/limbs from the freezing cold and a full bladder due to the lack of toilets Expo Liaison was overall an extravaganza of joy rolled into a lavish party for people who didn’t let the Melbourne elements stop them from getting down.
Also a special mention goes to an impeccably dressed Ken Davies, who provided absolute tranquility through his synth'ed out sounds complimented by the multiple stories he shared. He would have also won the best dressed competition, sporting a fluorescent orange suit, topped off with a delightful fedora. This guy sure knew how party.