When I heard that my favourite local disco maestro Fantastic Black Plastic (Nick Gencarelli) was heading up a funky boat party on Adelaide’s iconic Popeye, I immediately lit up with anticipation. Grooving to the best beats on a warm summer’s day fuelled by the tastiest local beverages in town? Sign me right up! I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Sunday afternoon.
I quaked in my dancing shoes a little when the fateful day arrived, though. It was forecast to be 37°C, and I had nightmarish visions of trying to dance with my girls only to fry to a pink-haired crisp in the hot sun. Fortunately, however, I needn’t have worried about melting in the heat, and neither should anyone else come the Feb-March Fringe run of Dream Boat: Party on the Popeye. The boat is thankfully fully sheltered, and cruising along the Torrens brought a beautifully refreshing breeze that kept us comfy even as Gencarelli turned up the disco heat.
And damn the music was good. Gencarelli has made his name in Adelaide with all-vinyl nights ‘Disco Is Not A Dirty Word’ and monthly underground dance music event ‘Endless Grooves’. The moment the festooned Popeye approached the bank cranking the easy 70s groove of Ned Doheny’s ‘Get It Up For Love’, I knew it was going to be another good time. Gencarelli’s signature disco, funk, and boogie sounds were a perfect match for the chilled vibe and riverbank scenery. I was pleasantly surprised to hear some Japanese city pop and Latin disco tracks mixed throughout the set keeping things fresh and unexpected, complementing familiar personal favourites like Bobby Caldwell. I always feel like I’m discovering a treasure trove of little-known gems when I hear one of Gencarelli’s sets and this was no exception.
The small but impressively-stocked bar will include quality offerings from Nepenthe, Dunes & Greene, Mismatch Beer, Prohibition Gin and Spring Seed Wines. Some snacks on board would have definitely been welcome, so hopefully this is incorporated for the Fringe season run.
Tickets will be strictly limited due to the Popeye’s intimate size — though there will still be plenty of room to dance, so bring your friends! This is definitely one not to miss for lovers of good drinks, good views, and good grooves. Get them here while you can.