Client Liaison’s live performances are renowned as occasions of glamour and excess, where 1980s decadence meets reclaimed Australiana, cultural cringe included. The band’s DJ sets are a sample package of what fans can expect from their more elaborate live shows.
Not only does the duo of vocalist Monte Morgan and keyboardist Harvey Miller hold down regular DJ residencies, but Miller is a firm believer in DJing as an act of artistic expression.
“There’s nothing worse than hearing someone whinge about how, ‘Oh, that person isn’t playing an instrument. They’re just standing there playing other peoples’ music and they’re just pushing buttons,’” says Miller, who’s also the band’s in-house producer.
“It’s like, we had this argument with Marcel Duchamp in other art forms in 1913 or whatever, when he presented the urinal as part of an exhibition. So the idea that you need to have a technical and formal skill… people have been doing it for over a hundred years.”
“I love DJing,” says Miller, looking ahead to Client Liaison’s Jim Beam Welcome Sessions gig at Buffalo Bar in Brisbane. “Just being able to play someone else’s song is a real privilege—dropping a timeless classic, like any Fatboy Slim track, is a real benefit of DJing.”
Client Liaison plan on rolling out a platter of delights during their three-hour Jim Beam Welcome Sessions DJ set.
“We like to give out oysters,” says Miller. “It’s about going above and beyond. Monte jumps on the microphone and does a bit of an ad lib over some of the tracks. It’s just about bringing energy.”
Miller and Morgan have known each other since their late teens in Melbourne, when they bonded over a love of 1980s and early-‘90s pop music. However, the pair’s primary musical influences differ somewhat.
As a youngster, Miller gravitated towards late-‘90s electronica and UK big beat. “You know, Fatboy Slim, Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, Chemical Brothers—just those pop crossover electronic acts,” he says. Miller was also a fan of many of the era’s mainstream dance hits, such as DB Boulevard’s “Point Of View”, Michael Gray’s “The Weekend” and the Funkstar De Luxe remix of Bob Marley’s “Sun Is Shining”.
Miller’s formative teen years were soundtracked by the French house music on Ed Banger Records and Modular indietronica artists such as Cut Copy, Midnight Juggernauts and The Presets. The two subcultural movements continue to influence his work, Miller says.
“Cameron Crowe, director of Almost Famous, once spoke about how it’s the music from your mid-teens, when you’re like 16 or 15, that lives with you forever. I think it’s got to do with the brain formation. It makes sense—Boomers aren’t listening to Bieber; they’re listening to The Beatles.”
As for Morgan, the older of the pair, Miller says there’s only ever been one artist. “Monte’s strongly rooted in Prince. He really loves everything Prince. He used to travel the world and follow him like a legit groupie.”
Client Liaison’s latest album, last year’s Divine Intervention, is a collection of sophisticated dance-centric pop music. Divine Intervention is the band’s major label debut and includes contributions from co-writers and producers Dann Hume (Amy Shark), Nick Littlemore (PNAU), Xavier Dunn (Jack River) and Francois Tetaz (Gotye).
Client Liaison has always been a multi-faceted act, with the visuals and set design underlining the sky-high aspirations apparent in the band’s songwriting. Miller and Morgan’s upcoming DJ set will offer fans intimate access to the band’s stylised and somewhat sardonic universe. “We can’t wait to get up and close with our community of fans in such an intimate and interactive environment. Bring on the Welcome Sessions.”
“We’ll be bringing a bit of heat and just trying to elevate the DJ set a bit beyond dudes standing behind the decks,” says Miller. “We’re going to pump it up.” The Welcome Sessions are a celebration of live music, an event where fans get to connect with beloved musicians in a unique, intimate setting. For your chance to win one of the limited 85 x double passes, enter here. Take a friend and have an unforgettable experience with one of the best acts in the country, courtesy of Jim Beam.