Live Review: Total Giovanni (8/5/15)

Live Review: Total Giovanni (8/5/15)

Alex Capper


Every so often, an act emerges out of nowhere with its shit perfectly sorted. From their cosmic soul-burning tunes to their unique sense of imagery, Total Giovanni are one of those bands who have perfectly crafted their identity and art from the get-go. As a result, they have taken the Melbourne dance scene by storm and it was only natural that we decided to peek in.

Opening the night at the one and only Gasometer was Whiskey Houston, whose name is a superbly punny homage to the late great Whitney Houston. Whiskey brought much-needed warmth to the dance-floor on a chilly Melbourne evening and seamlessly set the tone for the main act.

By the time Total Giovanni was ready to take to the stage, the sold-out venue was packed to the brim. Punters were taking to stairwells and discreet corners just to find their own bit of personal space for an impending boogie.

After a seemingly never-ending wait, Total Giovanni entered to raucous applause and grabbed our attention immediately with their togas and gold chains (a homage to their Italian heritage).

Even with their marvellous outfits, though, it was Total Giovannis sound that dominated our focus.

Through a vivacious display of funky synth-drenched textures, beautifully groovy bass lines and a range of drum machines, it quickly became obvious that Total Giovannis sound is an amalgamation of contrasting spectrums of dance music. Whether it be the organic instrumentation backed by electronic beats or their bold modern love and interpretation of Itali-disco, Total Giovanni have truly brought an alluring mixture to the dance floor that is completely their own.

I sincerely apologise for my drunken iPhone camerawork.

I sincerely apologise for my drunken iPhone camerawork.

Total Giovanni’s vibe is further lifted by the charismatic presence of frontmen Vincent D (aka Frankie Topaz) and Spike Punch. While dance music’s primary focus is on groove and melody, the duos sharp lyricism gives Total Giovanni an additional edge. The utter conviction of the frontmen was a surprise highlight for the night, especially during the back-to-back delivery of ‘Human Animal’ and ‘Cant Control My Love’, the group’s two most renowned tracks, as the audience shouted back the lyrics word for word. Is ‘I go up in the lift and I go down in the lift, and I go up in the lift and get off at the 17th floor’ the most beautifully straightforward line in 2015? Most definitely.

As they ended the relatively brief show with an encore featuring ‘Paradise’, their joyfully-spirited new single, it was clear that Total Giovanni are still coming to terms with their sudden success. It was also clear that Total Giovanni are thoroughly deserving of their hype.

Catch them while you can; they can only stay Melbournes best-kept secret for so long. Tickets for their fifth show at the Gasometer on the 21st of May are still available, too. Get 'em here.



Alex Capper, once affectionally called by Ross & John of 3AW as the '7 foot fucker', loves the Essendon Football Club, stalking reddit and dabbing. He thinks he can speak French, but he can't.