SNEAKY Sound System are on “standby mode.”
And we’re not talking about that little red light that’s emitted by your TV or stereo when it’s plugged into power, but turned off.
Any day now the electro-dance duo of Angus McDonald (Black Angus) and Connie Mitchell (Miss Connie) are expecting the arrival of their second child, and first daughter, together. Their son Iggy was born two weeks early in 2016, so McDonald is understandably excited when he speaks to Weekender.
“We’re a week away from the due date and she’s [Mitchell] anxious for it to come out,” McDonald says.
However, anyone expecting baby No.2 and the growing domestic responsibilities to curtail Sneaky Sound System’s musical exploits, would be mistaken.
The couple returned to Sydney from the Greek island of Mykonos three weeks ago where they were performing their regular Sneaky Sundays DJ sets.
McDonald says they plan to take four weeks off following the birth of their baby, before appearing at the Caloundra Music Festival on September 28. That will be followed by an appearance at Newcastle’s Scene & Heard.
“Connie’s bit of an animal,” he says. “I didn’t want to have anything to do with confirming gigs post baby, I said, ‘take as long as you need’.
“But she’s bit of a warrior. The last time we had a baby - we’ve done Sneaky Sundays forever - and she was there the week after, just for an hour.
“She’s super fit and healthy. She’s a modern woman, so she’s like, ‘let’s keep this show on the road’.”
Sneaky Sound System have never been off the road, to be fair. Since the early 2000s they’ve hosted the weekly Sneaky Sundays house parties in Sydney or in Europe and toured the world as one of Australia’s most beloved EDM exports.
Their 2006 self-titled debut album introduced house music to a mainstream audience by combining pop melodies with club beats.
She’s a modern woman, so she’s like, ‘let’s keep this show on the road’.- Angus McDonald
It produced the radio hits I Love It, UFO and Pictures, earned two ARIA awards and established Mitchell as among Australia’s most charismatic frontwomen of the 2000s.
Ultimately the success of Sneaky Sound System and contemporaries like The Presets and Pnau paved the way for artists like Flume to position Australia as a leader in dance music.
“The Aussies are killing it internationally,” McDonald says. “It was always such a battle when we were starting to get heard and now it’s very much a thing.
“Australian music is deemed to be very f--king cool, which is great to see.”
However, McDonald holds grave fears for the future of the Australian dance scene due to the introduction of the Sydney lock-out laws in 2014, which aimed to curb alcohol-fueled violence.
The lock-out has seen many nightclubs in traditional live entertainment hubs like King’s Cross and Darlinghurst close.
“I don’t know how anybody can think this has been a success by getting everyone off the streets?” McDonald says. “Any other industry which has been shut down so unceremoniously like this would be up in arms.
“It’s affected thousands of people’s incomes and jobs and takes the heart and soul out of an international city like Sydney.”
The lock-out laws forced McDonald to move Sneaky Sundays out of King’s Cross to Bondi after 12 years. Further problems with licensing laws has meant the Sneakys have increasingly focused on the European club market.
“Melbourne has a good vibe, but you need more than one city,” he says. “So many of the artists came out of Sydney and unfortunately, like the vast majority, we’ve had to leave.
“Some people have gone and really focused on America, which suits a certain sound, but for us, Europe was a much more comfortable fit.
“We can go over there for the whole summer, three or four months, and be playing all around the place. There’s nothing happening here, sadly.”
Sneaky Sound System perform at Scene & Heard at Wickham Park on November 4.
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