SAATSUMA and Squidgenini @ Northcote Social Club – Live Review (23/09/17)

On the back of their excellent debut album, Overflow, Melbourne electronic duo SAATSUMA brought their quirky live performance to Northcote Social Club on Saturday night. SAATSUMA are comprised of Memphis LK and Cesar Rodrigues, and were assisted on-stage by Andrew Congues and Maddy Kelly, missing the usual presence of bassist Lachlan Stuckey.

SAATSUMA first came to prominence in 2016 with the release of singles ‘Storm’ and ‘Floating’, with the latter gaining huge support on community radio, triple j and various music blogs. Since then, they’ve been gradually gaining popularity around Australia, particularly with the release of Overflow on September 1.  As they’re relatively new on the scene, the Memphis-fronted band have only performed live a handful of times, but they showed no sign of inexperience.

SAATSUMA were joined by fellow Melbourne electronic producer and songwriter Squidgenini, who made her inaugural live appearance at Northcote in sophisticated fashion, charming the growing audience with her humour. With 2016 single ‘Fire’ and this year’s ‘Alligator’ in her repertoire, it was expected that Squidgenini would impress. And she did just that. The pop-sensible electronic songwriter paired her comical and relatable lyrics with her faultless vocals expertly. Although Squidgenini put on an exceptional set, it only raised the anticipation for SAATSUMA.

After seeing SAATSUMA’s gig for their ‘Isolate’ single launch, I thought I knew what to expect. However, those expectations were blown out of the water, just as they’ve been each time I’ve seen SAATSUMA. The on-stage quartet kicked off with Overflow opener ‘Intro’, the instrumental lead-in to ‘Feel It All’, which was performed in style.

SAATSUMA then delved into the songs that really garnered the duo attention as they started out and have become favourites in their live sets, ‘Storm’ and ‘Floating’. The latter was a particular highlight of the night as it received a mashup with Kelis’s ‘Milkshakes’, sending the crowd into a frenzy.

As SAATSUMA reverted back to their recently released album, fresh tracks ‘With U’, ‘Scarlet Light’ and the titular ‘Overflow’ were all debuted live. Although these three tracks have a contrasting dynamic to the band’s earliest hits, they sounded just as brilliant when performed live. Following the first play of those Overflow cuts, SAATSUMA wound the night to a close impeccably.

Finishing up with the two final tracks of Overflow, ‘Crescent’ and the near 9-minute dance-floor burner ‘Without U Again’, the crowd got a surprise Confidence Man-inspired synchronised dance courtesy of Memphis and Maddy. All of a sudden, there was a sweeping change all throughout the Northcote Social Club, with everyone breaking into a groove that continued until the end of the set. There’s definitely something special about SAATSUMA.

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