– by Tobyn Fitch-Rabbitt
Gunns // Hamjam Split Launch, Saturday 13 December, Mojo’s
Supported by: Doctopus, Aborted Tortoise, Peter Bibby
Doctopus were their free-spirited best as they opened the night with some loose garage punk tunes. The choice to cover Stevie Moore in all the sets they play is beyond understandable, it is welcomed. Frontman Stephen Bellaire is starting to resemble some kind of messianic Aussie Andrew WK the more I see him on stage.
Aborted Tortoise seem pretty into their dad’s collection of 70s punk, filtered through lead singer Conor Lane’s gnarly Aussie inflections. I feel like I’m gonna be talking on and on about the characteristic Aussie accents possessed by all the singers for this gig, a focus probably misplaced considering all the acts were Perth locals (Midland and Freo mainly, so it shouldn’t be that surprising, it’s just incredibly nice to hear).
Peter Bibby, part poet laureate part cult hero, is back in his hometown of Perth (expatriated to Melbourne some time ago) for 4 days and playing 5 gigs just because he can. His debut album which came out last month (on Spinning Top alongside Gunns and all of the Pond/Tame Impala squad) as got to be one of my favourite releases from this year, if not ever, and he played ‘Guts’ and ‘Friends’ from not before admitting in song format about his great desire to give fellatio a go. Finishing with the last song off his record (we can’t publish it’s name for reasons which will become evident when you see it) Bibby was met with an ecstatic response from the crowd. It’s no surprise Pond brought him along for their US tour (as well as Doctopus, greatest tour ever).
Two things to note from Hamjam’s set: Hamish Rahn’s stage banter (“Shout out to libraries, libraries are cool. Chris works in a library. Tom did too but now works at the federal court ‘cos he’s a big boy now.”) and the fact that they chose to play their cover of iLoveMakkonen (and Drake)’s ‘Tuesday’ with Stephen Bellaire coming on stage for vocal duties instead of playing their side of the split (the incredibly groovy ‘Double Ride’ ) that the night was all about. 10/10 Hamjam, keepin’ it real. Nice Triffids’ shirt as well.
Gunns brought the night home with dream pop laden tunes about the beach, summer, and sunshine. Going through tracks such as ‘The Fool’ and ‘Live by the Sea’ they are a force to be reckoned with. Having just supported San Cisco on their national tour Gunns are currently at their best. Requests for them to play their oldest song were dismissed as they showed an eagerness to delve into newer material such as their side of the split, the noisy summer anthem ‘Gimme Sunshine’. Frontman Clinton Oliver’s guitar was decorated with a “Hamjam Sucks” sticker (not gonna mention the one on the back)(Gunns and Hamjam share three members so it’s more affectionate than rude, although I guess it could still be both).
Anyway, in short: gig of the year.
Grab one of the remaining copies of the 7” Gunns//Hamjam split from Good Company Records.
Art Credit: Killer Acid