Irish DJ legend Phil Kieran is gearing up for a huge Melbourne show

Irish DJ legend Phil Kieran is gearing up for a huge Melbourne show

Words by Anna Rose

The organisation has brought the best electronic music to the masses.

This weekend, iconic electronic music institution Thick as Thieves caps off its ten-year anniversary celebrations with three huge shows. From humble beginnings to providing a platform for up-and-coming and international artists alike, the organisation has become known for its approachable nature and philanthropic efforts as well as its ability to throw epic parties – this weekend will be no different.

Longtime friend and collaborator, Irish techno mastermind Phil Kieran makes his mark at the Xe54 event this Saturday, and not only that, he’ll perform as part of a huge lineup at Revolver Upstairs on Sunday, too. “I’m stood in the [TAT] office and I’m blown away,” says Kieran. “There’re so many people here, so much stuff going on. I’m sure you’re aware of the amount of positive stuff they do for the Fred Hollows Foundation, it’s incredible.”

In their time, Thick as Thieves have raised $500,000 for the Fred Hollows Foundation, a charity who help combat avoidable blindness in some of the world’s poorest communities – all the proceeds from Sunday’s event at Revolver will go to the cause. Not only are TAT raising charitable awareness, but they’ve given so many underground artists an important platform to showcase their talents, something Kieran, having seen TAT grow over the last decade, is in awe of.

“I suppose what I love about these guys is, Mike [Toner, TAT co-founder] is one of the most positive people I’ve ever met, and that really seeps through to everyone else around here. I know lots of people in music, some really successful people who are promoters and most of them are very cutthroat.

“Greed sets in, money becomes tempting, and people change – I think that’s why so many people lose themselves in lieu of something not there.

The aforementioned sentiment is certainly not one you can attribute to Kieran, particularly when you listen to his new single, ‘Fall Rise’, a collaboration with Douglas McCarthy. He’s given passive hope a great soundtrack. “There’s a bit of anger in there, but for me, the music behind it is influenced by a band called D.A.F. – ’80s techno drum machine from things like Michael Jackson tracks.

“That New York disco sound, rim shots and bells, you hear it in post-punk records where it’s just stripped back to the raw elements, and I’m trying to make that sound good in a club, too.”

Kieran has a pretty down-to-earth perspective on the world, and it’s refreshing to hear someone so grounded not only in conversation, but their craft, too. That’s something Kieran says he’s hoping will come across in his set this weekend.

“I like to play music that’s about to drop off the edge, that’s when it’s the most challenging – I like feeling like it’s a bit like, ‘What is that?’, when it’s too recognisable, too functional, I can get bored.

“I like to try and find things that are a wee bit challenging. If people get it and are in on it, that’s when people’s minds can really go somewhere.”

Sunday’s anniversary finale at Revolver Upstairs will see versus sets fill the bill from start to finish. The likes of Patrice Baumel and Mike Callander will go head to head alongside other matchups such as Rebuke and Radiator, Phil Kieran and T-Rek and Boogs and Brian Fantana.

Phil Kieran comes to Xe54 on Saturday June 15 with tickets on the door. This coincides with Patrick Topping and Patrice Baumel’s sold-out appearance at Shed 14 on the same day while tickets to Thick as Thieves’ Sunday June 16 finale event are still available and can be purchased via the Facebook event.