– by Aliza Caruso and Tobyn Fitch-Rabbitt
WAM’s Saturday Spectacular was on for another year last weekend, and some of our music team checked it out. Good times were had by all, but if you were one of the unlucky ones unfortunate enough to miss out (or even if you were there and want to reminisce the beautiful times) fear not, my pal! Aliza and Tobyn are here to report back with their highlights from the incredible day of incredible music.
If you were lucky/smart enough to get on down to WAM’s Saturday Spectacular last week, then congratulations, I doubt you’ll see a better lineup of local talent in a very long time (will WAM even be able to top it next year?) (I doubt it) (lineup was a solid 11/10) (congrats on being beyond perfect). Literally every act I saw (which I can tell you now was Silver Hills, Eleventeen Eston, Mudlark, Childsaint, Thee Gold Blooms, Joni in The Moon, Grace Barbé, Flower Drums, The Pinholes, Kučka, and Coin Banks) were each at the top of their game and made for a delicious day (which makes selecting my top four highlights really really tricky, but here goes!).
Childsaint were so ridiculously sensational that I swear I started melting; I had all kinds of shivers goin’ on. They had the audience hooked from song one to end, with dreamy vocal layering beneath the serene sounds of leads, Chloe McGrath and Jane Azzopardi, as well as all the magic of awesome songwriting and instrumentation. Childsaint have the badass appeal of a rock band and the soothing quality of your favourite bedtime lullaby, somehow managing to find balance successfully between the two. The four lovely ladies of this lovely band were something really special to see and hear in the flesh, as their recorded material is even more stunning when you can experience it live. Believe me, everyone was fangirling hard.
Thee Gold Blooms picked up the pace with a set full of their beachy surf pop, garage rock tunes. The quartet bought Mustang Bar to life with their infectious energy. There were smiles all round as the band seemed to be sharing an inside joke or two. They managed to draw the crowd in closer and closer as the set progressed, with a few WAM festivalgoers giving way to their underlying desires to break out, let their hair down and get loose on the d-floor to crowd favourite Alana. These guys are just so much fun to watch, cannot wait for their upcoming record!
Joni In The Moon is the totally lush project of Joni Hogan and her brother Josh, who played with their equally lush live band at Mustang Bar. They delivered an absolutely riveting set, with Joni’s powerful, howling vocals taking charge, complimented beautifully by Odette Mercy’s backing harmonies. They did a stunning cover of Bjork’s Crystalline, which had the crowd standing awestruck. Joni In The Moon was simply radiant.
Flower Drums were their usual amazing selves, minus their drummer. Instead, they reworked their super smooth set with backing tracks and samples. In fact, they played a lil tune made up entirely of samples from Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball (whoa!) (was actually fab) (loved it a lot) (sweet groovez). The atmosphere was mellow, the music even mellower, and there were just all round chill vibes emanating out of Flyrite that evening (which just made me want to lay on the cool grass, looking up at the stars, somehow surrounded by vanilla-caramel incense). We were also lucky enough to chat to the band after their set, so be sure to keep an out for that (coming to a Colosoul TV near you)!
Early evening Grace Barbé soothed us with her sunny, tropical polyrhythms in the Wilson St Carpark which had been transformed into an outdoor venue full of good vibes. Barbé and her band suited the mood perfectly, managing to get a fair few in the audience to groove out.
The next act I encountered was up and comers Methyl Ethel playing to a packed out audience in The Bird. Their lyrical stream of consciousness backed by some dreamy instrumentation washing over the crowd proved a hit, building anticipation for their upcoming debut album. Showcasing their signature lucid pop with tracks like Rogues and Architecture Lecture it’s easy to see them gaining some serious momentum.
Back at the Wilson St Carpark where the block party was happening, The Pinholes took the stage. Out here as part of the Singapore Western Australia Music exchange, along with fellow countrymen iNCH and Villes, their songs seemed right at home here in Perth with songs about things that every Perth band loves to sing about (Sunshine anyone?). I feel it necessary to mention their matching outfits, complete with red and black pinstripe pants, for which I give a huge thank you to whoever came up with the cross-cultural exchange (I hope it continues for as long as I live).
Following The Pinholes on the same stage was, quite easily, my highlight for the night, Kučka. After completing their debut national tour last month and taking home 3 WAMis the night before, not to mention the heavy airplay they’ve been getting from Triple J and RTR plus the general international buzz around them, it’s kind of hard not to get too excited about them. Playing entirely new material, plus the highly popular Unconditional, they dived into the weirder side of electronica, embracing everything from RnB to 90s breakbeats whilst never losing their offbeat pop edge. By the time they left the stage I was already hyping up for their next release, it’s hard not to once you know what they’re capable of live.
Photography By Jan Zwartkruis, more photos available on WAM facebook page