Ocean Alley on the West Coast

-By Dariya Salmin

Last weekend Ocean Alley brought their northern beaches surf-rock reggae vibes to Perth. Playing two shows, one at Bubushka’s in Leederville on Friday the 29th and one at Mojos the next night. Both shows completely sold out, the six-piece band proved to themselves, their growing popularity wasn’t just on the east coast. Bubushka’s was packed to the brim by the end of The Kramers support set and everyone really let loose by the time Moana hit the stage. A lot of broken glasses throughout the night and potentially broken equipment, Ocean Alley brought out the desperate-to-party vibes from the crowd, which was hard to understand considering their music is fairly reggae and mellow.

the kramers

The Kramers, a local Perth band that have been doing the gigging rounds quite a bit lately, kicked off the night with their space-rock sounds. The Four-piece band worked really well together instrumentally, building up and climaxing at skillful guitar solos. The musical progression in each song, with a lot of tempo changes was an obvious ode to Perth rockers, The Love Junkies. This connection made at the start of the set was cemented even further as the lead singer advised the crowd how they have been working in the studio with the Junkies.

moanaMoving away from the classic Tame Impala/Love Junkies sound of many local Perth bands, Moana set themselves apart as something really unique. The five-piece art-rockers created a mysterious, haunting and dramatic soundscape, that got the crowd partying hard, however it seemed most people we’re just getting loose for the sake of getting loose and not actually dancing to the music. The lead singer Moana, a gothic version of Grimes, had an intriguing stage presence as a lot of the songs switched from being still spoken word poetry to jumping around stage screaming. A slightly messy performance but it suited the atmosphere of the night.

By the time Ocean Alley started their dreamy, hypnotic and psychedelic entrance to their set, the crowd was already spilling onto the stage. The six boys from the northern beaches in Sydney give off surfy reggae vibes, which matches their sound perfectly. Strong similarity to Sticky Fingers, Ocean Alley created tunes that flowed with funk and soul, and as clichéd as it sounds, actually makes you think of the ocean.

ocean alley2

There were definitely some popular anthems that you could expect to hear on the radio over the summer and the crowd was singing them word for word. Songs such as Watcha Gotta Say, Holidays, Other Lover and Muddy Waters seemed to be familiar with the crowd, however it was Yellow Mellow that was probably the best song of the night, and received the most enthusiasm. Introducing a new track called Pretty Little Devil off their new album coming out in the next couple of weeks, demonstrated the boys in a more bluesy rock light than reggae. Ocean Alley finished off with the set with Twisted, a fast paced song that got everyone pumped and ended the night on a high.


Photo Credit: Rachael Barrett www.facebook.com/rachaelbarrettphotography

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