Imagine the most excellent house party you’ve ever been to and times that by seven billion, and you might come close to how brilliant Mark Ronson and the Business Intl. were in Melbourne. In front of a sweaty crowd at the sold out gig at the Palace, Ronson and gang appeared in identical blue suits on raised Rubik’s cube-esque platforms and proceeded to lead a dance party for an hour and a half. MarkRo (as always) was the epitome of cool, cutting sick with his electric drums and guitars and reminding everyone that he is actually ultimate (at one particularly sweaty point, he removed his suit jacket to the audible swoons of the females in the audience).
With the help of guests such as Spank Rock, Andrew Wyatt and MNDR, the crew thrilled audiences with hits like 'Ooh Wee' and 'Somebody to Love Me', with the highlight unsurprisingly being the infectious 'The Bike Song'. Spank Rock in particular provided most of the entertainment of the night, twitching and leaping around the stage like some sort of James Brown/Andre 3000/Muppet hybrid. But perhaps one of the most extraordinary moments was Alex Greenwald, Ronson’s frequent writing partner and lead singer of Phantom Planet, played a very synth-y version of ‘California’, causing everyone who had been playing it cool up to that point to absolutely lose their shit. (If Mark Ronson is known for anything, it’s his excellent taste in the company he keeps.)
Although the crowd was easily more interested in the 'Bang Bang Bang' line of popular songs than more obscure titles, there was still no shortage of group jumping or singing. Even MarkRo, fresh from an excellent set at Future Music Festival, seemed pleasantly surprised by the reaction, smiling to himself as he dropped a ten minute DJ set in the middle of the act. “Act like you’re on ecstasy!” he yelled to the crowd. “Just ask the person next to you what it’s like!” However this crowd needed no encouragement.
Words by Sinead Stubbins. Photos by Tom Blachford.