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FEATURE: 208s – The House That Punk Built, Swampland, April 2017

Published in April 2017, this feature article appears in vol 2 of Swampland, a Victorian long-form music journalism magazine.

This piece is a short history of the Perth DIY punk venue 208s, featuring interviews with members of the Reptilians, Agitated, Helta Skelta and the Darling Rangers and polaroid photos I took of live gigs there over the last few years.

Due to licencing, this article is only available in the issue itself, which is available to order here on Swampland‘s website.

LIVE REVIEW: Hits And Pits Festival at Capitol, 18.05.14

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see url First published by the Space Ship News 21 May 2014

Round three of http://whenwaterwaseverywhere.com/?x=find-best-price-viagra-jelly Hits And Pits, the compact but hard hitting punk festival that last year brought us giants see url Black Flag, returned to Capitol this Sunday, this time boasting USA greats take rogaine and propecia together Heartsounds, dove comprare Viagra generico 100 mg Death By Stereo, http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=best-price-canadian-viagra-from-uk Casualties, acquistare levitra contrassegno senza ricetta Ten Foot Pole and Unwritten Law on an otherwise stunning bill of punk acts.

The miniature festival started dead on 3:20PM with punk supergroup Implants, sharing members with Strung Out, Death By Stereo and Ten Foot Pole, spurring the gathered crowd – already thick – out of their early-afternoon stupor before Heartsounds, angsty San Fran punks boasting a good quarter of the t-shirts in growing audience, a breed crawled out of Perth’s cracks and inclined to big hair and torn denim.  Heartsounds, like much of the bill, are on their first tour to Australia and passionately thank the audience after delivering a tight, brilliant set with standout ‘Internal Eyes’ from their new album of the same name.

The stage is immediately hijacked by pop punk criminals Masked Intruder, a bizarre balaclava-clad four piece serenading a bewildered crowd with felony-themed love songs while their “party officer of the law”, a burly porno-stached cop who, with the power of rock ‘n’ roll, throws himself bodily into the crowd to drag unfortunate dancers into the pit.  Rife with banter – a little witty, a little dumb – Masked Intruder steals hearts with their restraining-order duet, ‘Heart Shaped Guitar’, with guitarist Laura Nichol of Heartsounds kidnapped into Blue Intruder’s crooning love song, and the officer whipped off his shorts to reveal a sweaty jockstrap before launching himself into the crowd one final time.

Boston ska punks Big D and the Kids Table took the stage next to a wailing sax and reggae dub quickly giving way to generous punky helpings from latest album Stomp such as their ode to scratchers, ‘Shit Tattoos’, and ska heavy ‘Don’t Compare Me To You’.  If you ever wanted to see the Specials play with some extra punk rhythm and fronted by a blond Seth Green lookalike chucking a righteous tantrum then Big D awaits, a mess of shredded tees, trombone solos and camo pants.  Hits ‘L.A.X.’ and ‘Noise Complaint’ are greeted with audience sing-alongs and the audience’s massive reception isn’t gone unnoticed by frontman David McWane as Nichol delivers another round of shots: “Australia, man.  Best shouters in the entire globe.  You guys must vacation and hate it.”

Death By Stereo deliver their set with no uncertain terms, frontman Efrem Schulz immediately launching into the band’s manifesto: “We don’t have much time in our lives so we gotta shout as loud as we can, as long as we can.” They roar through their set under a wave of pogoing, screaming fans as Schulz delivers vicious soundbites and bellows over the rabid crowd, “Where’s my pit?  Who wants to go faster?  CIRCLE PIT!”  In comparison sunny Californian veteran punks Ten Foot Pole seem like kittens, but Dennis Jagard surges through classics ‘John’ and ‘ADD’ with a savage pride well received by the audience.  When the crowd begs for ‘Gnarly Charlie’ and are rewarded with a rapid playthrough, building to full steam by the end of their set.  In Jagard’s words, “Ten Foot Pole: the band that gives a shit.”

The Casualties legitimately take the stage to the Star Wars Imperial March and rocket into their set with their mohawks like buzz-saws, the sonic equivalent of putting an opossum through a blender skull first.  Jorge Herrera’s stage banter is nearly inaudible, mumbling something about chicken, a chicken fight, free beer, free chicken, do not harm the kitten… but the Casualties drive the crowd to a frenzy, the volume louder and louder to earsplitting extremes, and smash out street punk anthem ‘We Are All We Have Tonight’ to the cheers of their fans.

Face To Face have riot on their minds as well, opening with a powerful cry of “are you ready to rally?” from founding frontman Trever Keith, launching into their emotional, pounding punk rock torch songs with Strung Out and Unwritten Law bringing a stunning close cut short by the Capitol’s noise curfew.  The festival ended with a tantrum as Unwritten Law, stopped six songs short of their set, trashed the kit in retaliation – a punk spectacle, sure, and the punter’s money worth, though the venue is sore for it.

‘LIVE REVIEW: Hits & Pits Festival at Capitol’ by Richard Moore.


LIVE REVIEW: Cloud Control at Capitol, 31.08.13


Saturday 31 August 2013 at the Capitol

First published by Space Ship News 03 September 2013

Early on a Saturday evening the Capitol shows no sign of the indie chaos it will deteriorate into by the end of the night, and Perth band BRAVES starts a saturated set to a sparse crowd clustered around the bar.  Tonight they are opening for CLOUD CONTROL, the Sydney indie-pop whiz-kids recently returned for a national tour in support of their second album, ‘Dream Cave’, fresh from recording sessions in Kent, UK.

On paper and on record, the lo-fi cruisers Braves don’t appear much: jangly bite-sized tracks with a few killing riffs and husky vocal duties shared by guitarists Alex Di Giovanni and Sean O’Connor are blissful fillers.  But live is a different matter, and with a pristine, studio-clean sound, easy command of the stage and friendly banter with the audience, Braves far outstrip themselves tonight.  Drenched in the violet stage lights, Braves’ effortless poppy lines have kids in ugly sweaters bouncing along and foster a perfect vibe for the night to come.  Single ‘Hallows’ is a stand-out with its glassy riffs over honeyed fuzz, as much an ode to summer as you’re likely to find this early in the year.

GUNNS take the stage next, blustering onto scene with bassist Jennifer Aslett pawed at by the growing audience and drummer Michael Jelinek’s Reg Mombassa shirt the louder than their blaring PA.  With a burst of clean guitars chasing Clinton Oliver’s chiming vocals, Gunns flash and glimmer their way through a laid-back, sunny set barely tethered by Jelinek’s stripped percussion.  At ease with their music, Gunns are a strong presence seeped in self-confidence and a nostalgic glow, youth yearning for an idea of the past over one they knew.  Call it escapism, but Gunns’ wistful, beach tinged ballads such as ‘Leaving Home’ promise a small nirvana, and the crowd responds in kind.

The night takes a sharp turn as Cloud Control boost up their speakers to bowel-dropping levels.  Drummer Ulrich Lenffer, previously lurking in the shadows, peacefully takes the helm for an ear popping intro undulating over the full club as Perth’s resident indie wild children emerge in force to spill drinks down one another and sway as a throng, following the bizarre movements of vocalist Alister Wright and keyboardist Heidi Lenffer on stage.

They surge through their set with a pulse and a pound plumped by Heidi Lenffer’s nord orchestra to outrageous applause, floating weird over the bowel-moving sub tones.  Wright’s cheesy stage-banter leaves something to be desired but all slights are forgotten under the power of Cloud Control’s music; he encourages the audience to sing along, decides they might be awful and then lets it go for throbbing ‘Why Oh Why’ and wonders at the sheer number of birthdays he’s summoned by announcing ‘Happy Birthday’ from the new album.  Heidi Lenffer channels art pop divas the world around in her white jumpsuit, her angelic voice plush behind Wright while the simulated night sky churns over them: dusk to dark to dawn.  The faithful crowd, following the band – says Heidi – for five years now, leave on a crystal, lucid note, lifted through youth and nostalgia to a glowing future.

‘LIVE REVIEW: Cloud Control at Capitol’ by Richard Moore.