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Live Review: Vengaboys w/ Tina Cousins @ Eaton’s Hill Hotel


I’ve always been a bit skeptical about so called ‘nostalgia tours’. This is where you get a couple hard hitters from yesteryear, roll them out from the cryogenic freezers, and give people the privilege of paying $80 to remember a time where they weren’t bogged down in the responsibilities of adulthood.

However, seeing the pure joy plastered across the faces of punters at the Brisbane leg of 90’s Dutch hitmakers Vengaboys melted my Grinch heart. Vengaboys was hands down the strangest, most jarring gig I’ve ever seen and I loved every minute of it!

Unfortunately, due to difficulties getting to Eaton’s Hill Hotel I was only able to catch one opener, British singer Tina Cousins. If you don’t recognise that name that’s ok, just click on this link and flashback to your Year Seven disco. Cousins’ set was mostly mid-2000’s covers, and while it sounded as if though Cousins didn’t have the strongest voice live the sexy nun dancers that accompanied her during Pray more than made up for it.

The DJ between acts was, as the kids would say, lit. Churning out Sandstorm, Step’s seminal classic 5,6,7,8, and Cotton Eye Joe without breaking a sweat the dulcet tones of the Australian anthem (techno remix) welcomed our main act onto the stage.


The first key to enjoying a nostalgiawave (patent pending) show is to forget everything you know about music. You can’t be thinking about the new PNAU single, you gotta fully surrender to the ludicrousness of the current situation. As the Vengaboys emerged in their pop-art costumes so many questions were running through my head. How old were these guys now? Why do they look the same as they did in 1997? How is the entire field of Eaton’s Hill Hotel full for this?

The answer to that last question was simple, it was fun! As soon as you hear the first notes of Boom Boom Boom or Shalalala or We Like To Party you regress to being young and carefree. You’re not worrying about work or the fact that Trump and Hillary are tied or if your car is gonna get towed ’cause your park isn’t technically legal. Vengaboys made you feel completely present, a gift that not a lot of musical acts have.

Vengaboys setlist comprised of a 50/50 split of originals and covers, but everything kind of swirled together in a multicoloured fever dream of questionable harmonies and overtly sexual dance moves. At one point one lucky crowd member got pulled onstage to enjoy a personal lap dance from all four members. I can only assume by how much I, a simple audience member, enjoyed it that it was the absolute highlight of that dude’s life.


The only criticism I have of the whole shebang is that they could have turned the volume up a couple notches. If I was gonna be blinded by glowsticks and strobe lights I also want to be deafened by bass!

Aside from that though the Vengaboys gig was the perfect antidote to all the bloated, self obsessed music elitists that won’t be seen at a show if the band is on high rotation at triple j. Falling somewhere in-between a Schoolies beach party and blue light disco, the whole night was a riot from start to finish. The Vengaboys show proved that music doesn’t have to be cool to be enjoyable, because in the end we’re all just party people.

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