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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


The tour marks the bands final run of shows in Australia, whilst celebrating their 25th anniversary

For many of us there are certain songs, certain acts, certain creatives that make an impact and define moments in our lives. Electronic duo Groove Armada fit into that category. Defining a period in the lives of the greater number of house and dance music fans, beats that from first listen grabs hold of you and carries through for the rest of your life. Andy Cato and Tom Findlay put forth a stellar compilation of Groove Armada tracks that created an unforgettable spectacular show for their Australian tour. Throughout the night the duo brought their collection of hits, many of which appear on their compilation album GA25, to an adoring Sydney crowd who danced from start to finish. The British duo brought their full live band to our shores for their 25th anniversary farewell tour.

Capturing the classic style of what makes electronic music as dynamic as it is, Groove Armada were at the forefront of what makes this genre as popular as it is today. They ushered in a new, fresh foundation and to this day it still resonates with audiences. The show could be likened to a tapestry, one that presents us with their rich history of sound, delving from influences of rock, to reggae, dancehall, dub, disco and jazz. Each track in the set had us looking into our memories, exploring times where we first heard a song, the first time you danced to a specific track, all the while creating a whole new memory in experiencing the music in the flesh. Feeling that energy pulsating around you, the beat driving deep and touching your heart, you’re met with a feast for the eyes too.

The lighting design is one of the best, complimenting each piece perfectly, especially the beats and drops. The implementation of lasers that beamed across the Hordern Pavillion to create colourful geometric shapes brought another engaging aspect to the show, emulating that festival feel that harnessed the passion of the crowd. Pivoting LED strip panels filled the room with mesmerising tones and shadows in a way no artist has achieved in shows attended by this reviewer. Blue, red, green, purple and aureate flooded into spaces within the crowd, also enhancing the emotion and feel of each track.

Playing through hit tracks and fan favourites including Look Me In The Eye Sister, Paper Romance, Easy, I See You Baby, At The River and more, the carefully curated setlist came to life in front of us, literally creating the elements of the track before our very eyes. Experiencing the horn element live was also a moment that highlights how extraordinary these shows are. Bringing three vocal artists along added another level to the live element of the songs was absolute perfection. Each artist brought that little something that made them unique and a joy to experience, their interactions with the audience enhanced the show, whilst maintaining the energy levels throughout each song.

The evenings standout moment arrived as soon as the iconic horn line in Superstylin propelled throughout the room the audience lifted in response to the familiar tune. The lighting work within the track made it all the more enthralling, lines pointing directly above the mosh, working in simpatico with the beats and movement of the song. The song was just too good to only perform once, with Groove Armada reprising the song as the closing number of their set, leaving us wanting more.

GA25 is out now! Read our interview with Tom Findlay of Groove Armada here.


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