Academy hosted one of the biggest acts in Australian house music, Stafford Brothers on Friday night. The Gold Coast siblings, Matt and Chris Stafford, have made a name for themselves DJing some of the biggest party destinations in the world. They even had their own reality TV show on Foxtel that captured their extensive tour around the northern hemisphere.

Though it was a world away from the sunny beaches of Ibiza and Mykonos, the Stafford Brothers brought the party to Canberra, a welcome distraction from the sub-zero temperature and blustery wind that continued outside.

I arrived just before midnight as Canberran DJ and Academy regular Cheese was warming up an already enthusiast and crowded dancefloor.

The excitement escalated just after 1am when the Stafford Brothers appeared on stage and launched into their set with the 1998 dance classic, ‘Music Sounds Better With You,’ by Stardust, the first of many of the set’s sing-alongs.

The energetic, vodka red bull-fuelled crowd packed in close to the stage, some even perched on each other’s shoulders to get a better look at the DJs in action, giving the venue the atmosphere of being even larger, as the duo commented that it felt like a festival rather than a club gig.

They played an eclectic mix of songs that included genre-spanning hits from the ’80s and ’90s including remixes of House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’, Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams’, Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and Daft Punk’s ‘Around the World’. There were the newer dancefloor favourites, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool’s ‘Dance the Way I Feel’, LMFAO’s ‘Party Rock Anthem’ and some of their original songs such as ‘Wherever’ and ‘Wasted’.

Matt and Chris Stafford interacted with the audience throughout the entire set, they shared their drinks with people in the front and even successfully helped one girl find a black high heel that had been lost somewhere on the dancefloor.

The party continued and the club showed no signs of emptying when The Stafford Brothers wrapped up their set at around 3am with local DJ, Levi Howes closing the night.

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Photography by Chris Whitfield.