Still on a high from winning a Golden Globe, a Grammy and an Oscar for “Shallow”, British DJ and producer Mark Ronson has released his fifth solo studio album “Late Night Feelings” a dance album of ‘sad bangers’ which is his most personal and emotive album to date. To celebrate its release, Ronson announced exclusive ‘Club Heartbreak’ intimate shows in both Sydney and Melbourne while in Australia to promote his new album. The Melbourne show was held at iconic live music venue Howler on Thursday the 11th of July and I had the honour (and luck) of attending Ronson’s only 2019 Melbourne performance.
With the now recognisable disco-ball-like broken heart, Mark Ronson performed a solid 90-minute set with songs all themed around heartache from Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson”, Australia’s own Gotye track “Somebody That I Used to Know” which Ronson claimed as ‘the best break-up song ever’, the classic Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ hit “Beggin’”, Britney Spears’ “Toxic”, to his own works; “Back to Black” which Ronson wrote with the late-great Amy Winehouse, the crazed Motown inspired hit “Uptown Funk” with Bruno Mars, the recent “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” bop he released with Miley Cyrus and new song “True Blue” featuring Angel Olsen which was accompanied with red-heart confetti that fluttered down from the ceiling onto surprised happy patrons.
The highlight of the night however, would be when Mark Ronson played “Shallow”, the multi-award winning song (as previously mentioned above) that he skillfully penned with Lady Gaga for the critically acclaimed film “A Star Is Born”. When playing “Shallow”, Ronson would pause during the chorus so that the crowd would be able to shout out loud unaccompanied, shamelessly and joyfully singing along to the now iconic hit number.
Clearly chuffed and humbled by the Melbourne audience, Ronson declared that the Howler show was the best ‘Club Heartbreak’ yet, pleased with their response when Ronson played his more underrated work “Somebody To Love Me” which he created in 2010 with Culture Club’s Boy George and Andrew Wyatt under Ronson’s previous moniker ‘Mark Ronson & The Business Intl’.
Those who were lucky to attend, managed to witness Mark Ronson in an environment similar to where he started when he was once working as a hip-hop DJ in New York all those years ago. The gig was small and intimate with an excellent set list, and despite being behind his DJ decks, Ronson had a wonderful stage presence, frequently hyping and affectionately addressing the crowd.
With all his success, his many awards, famous collaborations and impressive records, Mark Ronson remains humble as ever and appeared genuinely delighted to be in an intimate setting with fans who were more than happy to dance the night away at his pop-up club in Melbourne. I personally feel very blessed to have been one of the lucky few to have attended. I love the new record, took a handful of heart-shaped confetti home with me as a memento of the experience, and will eagerly await Mark Ronson’s return to Australia for a national tour in the hopefully not too distant future.
Photography by Michelle Hunder.