Aqua (Denmark)

Lene Nystrom, Aqua (The Palace, 13th March 2012)

The Vengaboys paved the way earlier this year for the invasion of hideous 90′s Europop superannuation tours to our shores. This has since seen the likes of a watered-down S Club 7 and the inexplicable Eiffel 65 announce tours of their own.

When it comes to 90s Europop though, there are few who were bigger than Denmark’s Aqua.What no one saw coming however (well, except perhaps promoters who are no doubt giggling away as I type) was that the Danish purveyors of all things happy and poppy would sell out three shows at the impressively sized Palace Theatre in Melbourne.

Yup. Three nights.

Choosing to have a crack at convincing the crowd that they can still deliver pop tunes like they did when Barbie Girl was invading our eardrums, Aqua open with a new tune – Playmate To Jesus. Vocalists Lene Nystrøm and René Dif are energetic, the former prowling the stage like a cat in spiked Doc Martens, and the latter getting down into the crowd during the early parts of the set.

Whilst the newer tunes get a pretty decent reception, it’s the offerings from 1996′s über-smash fun time happy song collection Aquarium that predictably delights the crowd.

The first of these is Dr Jones, the successful-in-its-own-right follow up to Barbie Girl. The crowd – comprised predominantly of  folk in their mid 20′s – were in incredible voice and were clearly there for a damn good time. Coloured hair, some bizarre outfits and even a lone fan up front wearing Danish warpaint all crammed into the floor area.

As if to prove that they can still write head-scratchingly awful lyrics, Fuck Me Like A Robot follows. Move along people, there’s no ‘If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow‘ moments here, but Aqua themselves seem genuinely happy with the reception and do what they do best with a smile on their collective faces.

Turn Back Time and Barbie Girl surprisingly found themselves in the middle of the set, and whilst both got the reception you’d expect, it did start a trickle of an exodus out on to Bourke Street.

The majority of the 1800 strong crowd who filled The Palace tonight though were treated to this brand of music at its finest. All arrived tonight with no doubt as to precisely what lay in store – happy, cheesy, lightweight pop songs – and whilst the newer material seemingly left a bit to be desired, on those 3 criteria Aqua delivered in spades.

Related: Aqua @ The Palace on Tone Deaf

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