Groove City // The Night Cat, Melbourne // Saturday, February 1 // Interview + Live Review

Resident disco favourites Groove City turned the funk up once again at Melbourne’s Night Cat on Saturday night. Cal Mawson and Dan Andoloro have made some name for themselves as groove specialists. The duo dominated the live scene in 2019 as they broke their way into the billing of some of Australia’s biggest festivals to go with a few sweet libido lifting releases of their own.

Prior to their soundcheck the T-Rex team was able to chat to Groove City about the past year, their upcoming show and the year ahead.

In signature Groove City fashion, the boys had dressed to impress. Cal arrived in an oversized retro suit as if he was prepared for both tonight’s occasion and a mafia meeting whilst Dan was beaming with colour.

When asked about the outfits the two claimed it was a lifestyle. It comes with the genre Cal shares.

“The 70s had a lot of steez and I think disco showed that off the most.”

They even go as far as wear pre-show suits!

“It helps with the attitude” Dan affirmed. “If you rock up and you’re wearing nice clothes you’re going to act accordingly. So, it’s nice rocking up with something and then when you get changed, that’s show time.”

Professionalism like this has seen the disco revivers go from strength to strength. Last year Groove City burst into the festival circuit featuring at By The Bay and Lost Paradise, but Cal said it was the call up to Spilt Milk that capped off their year.

Spilt Milk was definitely the best part of the year. Closing out the year playing to a way bigger crowd than we thought we would has made it really easy to get through the summer and really motivated us to make a bunch of music for this year and direct the kind of sound and show we want to create.”

It won’t take long for these new sounds to greet our ears with their latest single If I Knew set to be released on Valentine’s Day.

“It’s out ironically on Valentine’s Day cause it’s a break-up song” Dan announced. “It’s got that sad lyric, but it’s pretty upbeat and makes you feel good! It’s a break-up song but you’re looking at it in a certain way. In a positive light instead of a negative. It’s super relatable to a lot of people.”

“It’s bittersweet” Cal added. “We’ve been calling it melancholy disco.”

Asked to return for another show at the Night Cat after selling out last year’s Disco Deluxe II, this new melancholy disco track along with a spanking new set would take on the 360-degree arena later in the evening.

“We’re playing our new single” Cal says. “We’re bringing back songs we’ve played before but in a better way.”

Before ducking out to pre’s for the night’s show, the boys went above and beyond providing us with three juicy tracks to prepare for our deep dive into The Boogie Lounge.

  • Time For Love – Mayer Hawthorne

  • Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)– ABBA

  • Lay All Your Love On Me – ABBA

Three prime selections that are a winner at any pre-drinks. A hint of what was to come.

As we arrived, we had that instant impression you only receive on the best nights out. As soon as you walked through the door the vibe was there.

Mirror balls were everywhere with a humongous one placed deliberately on the floor at the centre of the stage as stage lights reflected to glitter the ceiling and walls. Disco fans came out in full force with outrageously good outfits spreading across the space. Sections even transformed into a roller disco with people arriving in light-up rollerblades!

Dan and Cal liaised with patrons on the floor, building a rapport with them as we were treated to some set by Bobby Gray. The man could do no wrong seamlessly firing track after track including Can You Feel It, Inspector Norse and September.

With the crowd well and truly buttered up, in came Groove City with a fresh wardrobe change. Matching leopard print. It was show time.

The smooth operators handled the buzz coolly starting off with a fierce toing and froing of classics Got To Be Real, I’m Every Woman and In Your Eyes with Groove City favourites Shape Up and Gold Chevrolet. From then we all knew we were about to be taken on a fine excursion to the funk.

What followed was a set of pure pandemonium. Fans were treated to a live show that gelled the hits of Groove City’s discography and disco classics.

Having seen the two perform less than a year before you could see how much they’ve raised themselves. There were familiar songs, but everything had an extra level of gloss and polish to it.

When chatting earlier about their show Dan added, “It’s more refined. The set every time gets tighter and tighter. The flow of it feels sick.”

This flow gave the crowd little time to rest, encouraging us to find our groove. Often between Cal’s lead guitar solos and vocals and Dan’s fine mixing the pair would pop the tools down and join in the boogie. Fans were captivated by their choreographed dance moves either recording them or attempting to mimic what was happening on stage.

This is just an example of the impressive energy Groove City bring to their live shows. Looking further into it what you’ll find is that this doesn’t just start on stage.

With Groove City everything is meticulously planned out to make sure it’s perfectly executed. In the lead up to all their shows, the two market themselves superbly showing real comfort in front of the camera with fun videos and a certain aesthetic that catches the attention of the public.

This aesthetic is met in person with the dancing, the emceeing, the costumes and the blend of modern and old disco. It’s more than a brand, this is their lifestyle. When you see these two live, you’re locked in to have a good time because they know exactly what you want to see.

2020 shapes up to be a big year for Groove City. With their own studio, expect more activity to pop-up on your streaming devices as they look to uncover further depths of the dancefloor. With their upcoming release If I Knew coming out on February 14, the two have honed down on their sound becoming more distinctive within their genre. This is exciting for people who love a good time as it will result in more live shows meaning more wicked nights like Saturday.

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