2014

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 11.35.32 AMTroubles of My Own

By Georgina Goss

Jason Ayres launched his latest album of acoustic tracks to a sell-out crowd at the Astor lounge in Mt Lawley. Ably supported by fellow South African David Lazarus, Jason wowed the crowd with his polished performance and soulful well-crafted songs. The stage was decorated with several guitars and a banjo, all of which Jason played during the evening, and a row of tall softly glowing lamps which gave the venue an intimate atmosphere – like being in somebody’s lounge-room. The title track “Troubles of My Own” is a bluesy number about the baggage people carry with them from relationship to relationship.

There was originally supposed to have been another support act, but apparently Natalia called in sick at the last minute. However, Jason didn’t let this faze him, getting David to do a few more songs instead, and that was fine. Both of these young performers have improved immensely over the past few years, becoming more professional every time I see them.

Paco PenaSpanish Fiesta

By Georgina Goss

Perth Concert Hall was transformed into a Spanish Fiesta last week as the audience was entertained by Paco Pena and his troupe of Spanish dancers, singers and musicians. The traditional flamenco dancers were fantastic and looked absolutely gorgeous with their beautiful dresses and spectacular dancing. The music was full of passion and fire, and made me wish I understood Spanish. It was certainly authentically ethnic. With three guitarists, a dedicated percussionist and plenty of hand-clapping and castanet playing from the singers and dancers, it was quite a full sound while still keeping an acoustic intimacy.

At times, there were moments when it felt as if the listeners were not quite sure whether to applaud or not, as there were some pregnant pauses that were not actually the end of a song. By the end of the concert however, the group had completely won the audience over and took many bows to a standing ovation.

Screen shot 2014-03-19 at 4.44.15 PMWe are Family

By Georgina Goss

The audience really enjoyed the show on Friday 14 March at the Astor Theatre. Songs in the Key of Motown is a tribute to all the great Acts that came out of the Motown era – Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Temptations, Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Jackson Five, and so on. Straight from Las Vegas, these 4 guys and 4 girls were a class Act, ably supported by 4 local musicians. They were all good singers, the show was tight and they all looked like they were having a great time. They were rewarded by a standing ovation from the crowd. Everyone was singing along to such classic tunes from the sixties, seventies and eighties as River Deep, Mountain High and We Are Family, and quite a few people were dancing in the aisles.

HypnoCats at the MoonHypnoCats rocked the Moon on Valentine’s Day

By Georgina Goss

Friday 14 February at the Moon & Sixpence in Murray Street, Perth, a great crowd enjoyed the funky music and sweet harmonies dished out by the HypnoCats. This was their first gig with their new PA (it rocked!) and their first gig as a 3-piece without a live drummer. Using pre-recorded drum tracks allowed them to fit more comfortably on the small stage at the Moon & Sixpence, and the sound quality was so good, you didn’t really miss the live drummer. With three excellent vocalists sharing the lead vocals, there was plenty of variety in the repertoire, from contemporary covers such as Adele, Bruno Mars and Black Keys, to classics from the Doobie Brothers, Otis Redding and Rickie Lee Jones. There were plenty of dancers at the Moon – not just on the dance floor – the infectious rhythms had people moving to the music all around the room, and there was plenty of applause after every song – especially when Tami Bird sang “Rollin’ in the Deep” by Adele – obviously a crowd favourite. Tom Thorpe’s guitar playing was excellent, as usual. Bass player Al Lyford, who also has a fantastic voice, has recently finished recording a solo album of his original songs (“Nothin’ Complicated”) – one to look out for.

 

Laura MermaidSongs by the Sea

Kidogo Arthouse, Bathers Beach, Fremantle

By Nicola Heyes

Listening to some of Perth’s and Fremantle’s most talented singer- songwriters was definitely a perfect end to the weekend. Thoughts of Monday morning drifted away as the sun set over Bathers Beach and tranquillity completely descended on the art-house/painting studio/beach bar. It’s the first time I’ve visited Kidogo Arthouse, a small stone building overlooking Bathers Beach, and on Sunday night it looked quite magical in the candlelight, with pieces of driftwood scattered across a makeshift stage. As the waves were crashing to the shore and people were catching glimpses of the sunset on the beach, an evening of storytelling and singing was happening in the historic building just next door. Rachel Gorman, Billie Rogers, Polly Medlen and Laura Mermaid, were the songwriters featured at Songs by the Sea – part of Perth’s Fringe World Festival. Each of the singers performed their own individual sets, all unique and incredibly emotive. For me, Laura Mermaid was a standout singer and storyteller – her voice, tales and music were just enchanting. Laura, who is from Denmark, is a folk-style singer/songwriter who is greatly influenced by the sea and the land and injects a great deal of emotion into her songs.

Throughout her soft guitar melodies and playful ukulele, the audience listens to songs and stories of her childhood, her own experiences and personal thoughts. All this is expressed through her smiles, her memories and it’s easy to see she believes in having a real connection with the audience. One of her songs, The Woman and the Whale, was about herself and a friend swimming alongside a whale calf in Albany, and really captured the essence of the sea, as well as a deeply personal experience.

The other singers – Billie Rogers sang an eclectic mix of soul, reggae, blues and country music with her acoustic guitar and harmonica, Rachel Gorman was sweet, playful and charming with her songs and storytelling, and Polly Medlen wowed the audience with her country style music. Songs by the Sea was a truly enthralling and at times, incredibly moving night of music.

Screen shot 2014-02-05 at 3.31.43 PM

Wine, Music & Sunset at the Beach

by Georgina Goss

Last weekend Scarborough Beach was the place to be with wineglass in hand listening to music from Tahnee and her four piece band, and tasting a selection of wines from around the state as the day wound down to sunset. The inaugural Sunset Wine Festival was a great success with a good crowd enjoying the music, the wine, and the general ambience. There were plenty of stalls providing food (tapas, pizza, paella, etc.) as well as lots of stalls offering samples from different wineries. The band was perfect for the occasion, playing a selection of contemporary and classic pop with a jazzy edge. Tahnee sang and played acoustic guitar, and she was accompanied by a drummer, a double bass player who occasionally played banjo, and another girl playing sax.

Beards

Beer ‘n’ Beards

By Calum Maxwell

One of the great things about Fremantle is the vibrant diversity of culture it has to offer, this was never more evident than at the Fremantle BeerFest last week. With over 50 stalls of food, beer and cider, master classes designed to help educate from the amateur brewer right through to your seasoned brewer, live music and of course beer and cider tasting from some of the best craft brewers in Australia.

The food at the event was equally as superb as the beer and cider on offer ranging from tasy thai right through to charcoal soulvlaki. The smells of japanese pastries, lebanese skewers, jam donuts and so much more, wafting throughout the show grounds were simply captivating and were hard to ignore.

The entertainment throughout the day added to the lively event with all forms of live music, living up to the diversity of the festival. The day finished however with local Perth band Button Orchestra, followed by The Beards and the size of the crowd that rounded out the night was one to be marvelled at.

The Fremantle BeerFest is an annual event and if you missed out on it this year, I highly recommend adding it to your calendar for 2014.

More information can be found at fremantlebeerfestival.com.au

every time I die 9Amplifier 24th of October Statues, Chainsaw Hookers & Every Time I Die

Every Time I Live

By Josef Barker

It wasn’t fair to the Chainsaw Hookers when Statues blew them away before they ever started. Statues are an extremely fast, frantic energetic band that other bands on the bill find it hard to beat. From the very second they start they get in your face and on the floor, literally on the floor. The only person that stays on the stage in Statues is the drummer. The guitarist was also pretty cool when he played on the top of the bar. They’re a band that whilst making you feel a little uncomfortable are an amazing band to witness live.

Next up were Chainsaw Hookers these guys sound like they’ll always be playing in small pubs their sound would struggle to get into a stadium. Nevertheless they deliver a solid chunk of heavy rock n roll with a few guitar solos chucked in for good measure. They also said don’t expect us to top Statues we can’t do that shit so come up the front instead.

Finally the headliner Every Time I Die, they certainly rivalled Statues in the high energy stakes which the crowd got into a lot more with a lot of stage diving and moshing in a sweaty club. Some bands can blast out a non – stop energetic set and Every Time I Die are one of those bands. They play a very fast heavy brand of hardcore with the chunkiest riffs this side of Dallas it makes you want to nod your head at the very least. The only downer was the mix once again at Amplifier the instruments were much louder than the vocals. It may have just been where I was standing but it always seems to happen. The show finished with a stage invasion and it was a very enjoyable set. Every Time I Die are miles away from doing just that.

 

In hearts wake 2Metro City The Amity Affliction, Chelsea Grin, Stick To Your Guns & In Hearts Wake

Brotherly love

By Josef Barker

These Brothers in Arms came into town and swept the floor with some heavy and earth shattering brutal beats. First up were Byron Bay locals In Hearts Wake. These guys are still early in their career and it shows they’re good but also a little boring. They played a new track called “Skydancer” which they released to raise some money for chosen charities which is pretty cool.

Next up were Stick To Your Guns these guys were ok but nothing special really. The lead singer talked about negative feelings in a previous life and how society treats people. But there wasn’t much that was special here.

Chelsea Grin were next up and right from the beginning they pretty much said we’re the heaviest band on this bill and we’re going to leave cracks in the walls. There were a lot of breakdowns in this set and they were extremely heavy to a level beyond metalcore to what has been characterized as “deathcore”.

Finally were headliners The Amity Affliction. This show was a step up for these guys with a new light show of constant flickering colourful lights which made it really hard to take good photos and the stage being covered in a light fog. But that’s not really a complaint anyway. Musically the band was as tight as ever playing all their big tracks mainly from their last two albums “Youngbloods” and “Chasing Ghosts”. The lead singer Joel Birch said that this will be their last tour for a while because they’ll be recording their 4th album soon. The vocal dynamic between Joel and Ahren Stringer (clean vocals and bass) is one of the best things about this bands live performance with seamless transitions from scream to clean vocals and vice versa. It was a pleasure to see. Their live show is a true indication of why they’re one of the most popular and best heavy bands representing Australia right now. Absolutely fantastic.