Vivid Sydney is back for 2014, and so is curator of the 2011 Vivid LIVE program, Stephen Pavlovic. He's unveiling the first year of Modulations, a multi-platform, four-day celebration of music and light at Carriageworks over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
“It’s kind of rooted in music, but for us it’s a cultural, lifestyle thing,” Pavlovic explains. Taking inspiration from his array of interests, the program promises to provide ample spectacle for all sensibilities, with award-winning pop duo Pet Shop Boys (produced by creative director Es Devlin); a supporting line-up of local and international musical talent that includes Brooklyn’s experimental rock/electronic three-piece, Liars and a DJ set by The Presets. All the while, Argentinean institution Porteño will be running the BBQ.
“We’re going to have our charcoal grills going. It’ll be pretty meat heavy. Then on the Monday, we are doing a whole wood-fired lamb on the cross,” says Ben Milgate, one half of the tattooed and brill-creamed team behind Porteño. Attendees should expect an open-air BBQ serving favourites from the restaurant menu, but this pop-up is much more than just a meat stand. “It’s more of a Porteño live experience,” explains Pavlovic. “Porteño isn’t one dimensional; it brings the whole experience to the table.” Its presence at Modulations will include a bar serving Gardel’s Bar's signature drinks; local DJs (including Tim Rogers and La Mancha Negra), and; the high-energy rock’n’roll Wild Porteño event on Monday June 9.
Far from a collaboration designed simply to feed fans of Pet Shop Boys, Porteño and Pavlovic have come together to present a selection of bands from Porteño’s favourite label, Wild Records. “We just totally froth over their music,” says Milgate. “So, when Pav asked what we wanted to do, they were the first bands we thought of.” Wild Records is an LA-based, indie-rock record label that represents largely hispanic musicians who are also the subjects of the award-winning documentary Los Wild Ones. The Wild Porteño line-up features Luis and the Wildfires (lead singer Luis Arriaga is also the frontman for Hive’s off-shoot The Dragtones), The Delta Bombers and Gizelle. The names do suggest hot-rollers and polka-dots, but Milgate promises more than a ‘50s side-show. “These guys aren’t just straight rockabilly, they’re just rock’n’roll. Gizelle has this great, bluesy voice; Luis and The Wildfires is amazing live – so much energy on stage … It’s proper rock.”
Modulations will run from Friday June 6 to Monday June 9 as part of Vivid Sydney 2014. The Porteño pop-up will be open from 5pm, and Wild Porteño opens at noon on the Monday. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.