Live Review: PNAU

Bridget O'Donohue


The newly renovated main stage at the Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle was christened by music royalty on Thursday night in a completely free secret show. The upcoming gig was the focus of weeks of online speculation after it was hinted an Australian act that hadn’t performed live since 2012 would be reopening the popular music venue. Social media threw out names like Wolfmother, local boys Silverchair, and electronic duo Pnau, but it was the final clue dropped on Thursday afternoon that confirmed it for most that Nick Littlemore and Peter Mayes would be returning to the live music scene a little bit earlier than expected.

The stage is almost set, no kit needed. #secretshow

Photo Courtesy: The Cambridge Hotel

Photo Courtesy: The Cambridge Hotel

Playing their first live show in five long years, PNAU hit the ground running with 2007 dance hit ‘Wild Strawberries’, and proceeded to play out a frenzied set that took a ready and willing audience along for the ride. They achieve with ease that ultimate balance which so many bands are aiming for; the art of premiering completely new music whilst keeping fans happy with recognisable hits. Each new track emerged seamlessly from the former, accompanied by a constant pounding bass that seems to promise a dance-centric focus for the new album. Littlemore and Mayes were joined on vocals by Shakira Marshall who features on their latest single ‘Chameleon’, which made its live debut halfway through the energetic performance.

Finishing up their surprise show with an encore of ‘Embrace’, Pnau gratified their long term fans with an old favourite and probably picked up a fair few more devotees along the way. Welcome back PNAU, we’ve missed you.


The Collective