– by Madeline Oliver
When Flossy stepped onto the stage during the WAM festival last Saturday afternoon, all I had heard of them was a recording on an iPhone; a distant crackling tune. When I heard them play up close their music, to put it frankly, came to life.
Flossy is a three man band—or rather, one man and two—band of Perth locals. Sister act and front women Sinead and Lauren M O’Hara on bass, lead guitar and vocals, and Chris Winterburn on drums. Flossy formed this year in 2016 after twelve months of collaboration and hunting for the perfect sound. They found their percussion in the form of Winterburn during rehearsals at the Hen House studios, and have been friends and fellow band members since. This relatively new band has grown to encompass a blend of grunge, garage, alternative rock and blues that would make fans of Hole, Sleater-Kinney, Sonic Youth, Nirvana, or even Janis Joplin prick up their ears in appreciation.
The show was set for Saturday afternoon at Jimmy’s Den in Northbridge. It wasn’t long to wait long before the O’Hara sisters; Sinead with sweeping brunette hair and Lauren with a shorter blond, stepped up to the microphone, and Winterburn in the back. The crowd was decent, with a sprinkling of friends, family, fans, and the general public. The mood was chilled – the air thick with unusual spring heat, and the atmosphere grungy, not unlike a den, as this venue claimed to be. An appropriate location for what I was about to hear.
Flossy jumped off the starting block with “Quiet Girl, Riot Girl” and swung through their first few songs with provocative spirit, that had me tapping my foot. By the time they reached “Cloudy Brain”, a featured-track on tripleJ Unearthed, I was almost bopping. Not that you really ‘bop’ at a grunge rock performance. The raw, pithy beat of “Cloudy Brain” accompanied O’Hara’s crisp vocals singing of that familiar uncertainty we have when meet someone new. Other tracks vocalised moodiness, telling a story of an introvert struggling with a bent for anarchy. The tunes were bittersweet, the sisters had a way of sounding bored, which wasn’t at all boring to listen to. If I wasn’t feeling jazzed by “Colourful Baby”, they spiced things up with few well executed pick scratches; an electric guitar moment which was just that… electric. Songs like “Burden to my Lover” brought out wonderfully angry vocals and a handful of attitude as the O’Hara sisters flicked their hair and sang like the had been doing this for far longer than they have.
In summary, I am glad I stopped by Jimmy’s den, to experience the real Flossy, not coming from my iPhone speakers. There was no shortness of attitude, and neither did they go overboard with it. Neat enough to catch a good tune from each song, but wild enough to sound effortless and uncompressed. The performance was over in forty minutes. Short and sweet. My only complaint being, perhaps, they could have played for longer.