If James Baker weren’t already cemented as a Perth rock legend in the eyes of the 350-odd punters who turned out to the Rosemount on Saturday night, by the end of the evening that much was certain. Amongst the gaggle of old guard dredged up to perform old classics in celebration of Baker’s marriage to Catherine Podger, the drummer played behind five acts, as Dave Faulkner playfully introduced him during Le Hoodoo Gurus’ set: “The man of the hour… or two and a half hours, really!” Continue reading LIVE REVIEW: Le Hoodoo Gurus at the Rosemount Hotel, 06.06.15
LIVE REVIEW: SOMETHING ON THE SIDE FEST FEAT. CHIEF RICHARDS (PETER BIBBY) / HIDEOUS SUN DEMON / ELECTRIC TOAD
Wednesday 23 July 2014 at the Rosemount Hotel
First published by themusic.com.au 6 August 2014
This Wednesday saw a sink of energy form at the Rosemount Hotel as eleven bands took up the main stage and small bar Four5Nine for double-stage extravaganza Something On The Side. Starting as early as 7:00 with squealing punks King Crime and Robbie Rumble. Punters who made it out early to these new acts were rewarded with intimate, relaxed performances from the small groups leading up to the blooming psychedelica of Hunting Huxley and Dream Rimmy as audiences crossed between stages to glimpse the best of each set.
The smaller Four5Nine Bar was host primarily to aggressive, sonically violent punk bands which made the most of the tight space by getting in the faces of their devoted audience with savage and brutal high distortion and fast, intense sets chewing through the high-density line-up. Kitchen People’s loose punk stagger was quickly tightened by Skullcave before Black Stone From The Sun took the stage, a duo grinding through their songs only to stop at the nine minute mark. “We don’t have a set. We just play it as it comes. Fuck it, we’ll do one more,” Sean Mackay, guitarist, grumbled, coaxed into a slaughterhouse of noise. Aborted Tortoise, popular as ever, were playing next on their home ground, perfectly suited to the close-quarters venue spitting right into their audience.
On the main stage Chief Richards, a sole figure with a loop board, gorilla mask and polkadot trousers, wound digital prog nonsense around a throbbing reverb to a bewildered audience. Mumbling through the mask to hecklers, he coaxed Catbrush drummer Anetta Nevin on stage to accompany a shrieking electrical storm with her thundering percussion, bringing the set to an explosive conclusion. Hideous Sun Demon, the last formal band of the night, then took the stage to a full bar with a stripped-down set as frontman Vin fought for the spotlight against the alarming cling of his trouser crotch. The crowd surged in a throng of violent energy to their breakneck rock, somehow equally aggressive and benevolent as thrashers gave way to their friends for a good time.
At last Electric Toad filled the stage. With 16 musicians crammed on stage and clambering over their instruments, Stephen Bellair, Anetta Nevin, and Blake Hate howled random vocals as remaining revellers struggled to co-ordinate dances to jam songs. A stand-out jam with King Crime’s Samuel Joseph Evers screaming a refrain of ‘it’s okay, it’s all right!’ lasted a marathon ten minutes, until finally the event collapsed into chaos and creative exhaustion.
‘Electric Toad at the Rosemount Hotel’ by Richard Moore.
LIVE REVIEW: EMU XPERTS / ABORTED TORTOISE / HUNTING HUXLEY / HIDEOUS SUN DEMON
Thursday 12 June 2014 at the Rosemount Hotel
First published by themusic.com.au 19 June 2014
Winding around the narrow back bar to reach the Rosemount’s main stage for Hideous Sun Demon’s album fundraiser, the thudding cock rock produced by rude and crude openers Emu Xperts made a harsh promise of what was to come. With towering, tattooed frontman Blake Hate streaming blood from his left shoulder and roaring along to grunt rock anthems such as ‘Dexies, Midnight Hummers’ and ‘You Won’t Like Me When I’m Sober’, the Xperts cleared the stage with frightening presence, leading a small but savage crowd and littering the venue with Export cans.
While the venue emptied for a cigarette break, young by-the-book punks Aborted Tortoise skulked onto stage, opening to an empty bar with brutal misogynistic tirade ‘Last Night I Killed My Girlfriend’ at top volume, a beckoning call for smokers to pour back into the Rosemount for more solid offerings as ‘Social Crime’, ground out over John Peers’ filthy bass with sloppy, jangly guitars and vacant gazes as Charles Wickham, dreamy Woodstock sweater model, and Tom Milan, hunched over his guitar, competed for solos. Aborted Tortoise drove through their set with barely a breath to the glee of an increasingly bloodthirsty audience and then departed as quick as they appeared.
Hunting Huxley, acknowledging the addition of fill-in drummer Jerome Turle by coyly renaming themselves Grunting Fuxley, or Hunting Huskies, sloped onto stage next with their marathon soundscapes headed by a booming 80s sample, ‘space is curved…’, leading into the psychedelic, bass driven ‘Planet Terror’. After a quick detour into a cover of Lana Del Ray’s ‘Summertime Sadness’ with cheeky grins, Huxley moved into more stoner rock territory with instrumentals ‘Ring’ and ‘Flavours’, aided by Cramie Mill Jammy on saxophone for their final offering. Dressed like prog magicians and getting increasingly so as time progresses, Huxley provide blissful, content-heavy downtime for the punks present.
Finally Hideous Sun Demon come on board, launching straight into their double speed stimulant rock with lead Vin particularly maniacal in sheer black blouse, his blonde crown lit up by the stage lights and cut apart by his vicious, infectious grin. A killer performance of favourite ‘Do You Like It Down There?’ glides faultlessly into ‘Ohio (Is It Dead Yet?)’, proving that as Hideous Sun Demon push for new heights, they have not yet hit the sun. After a quick and inexplicably polite plug for upcoming LP, Sweat, the speed demons rip through ‘Glue’ and ‘Monoculture’ with a crazy, anxious and competitive speed, leaving a gracious audience to worm their way home.
‘Hideous Sun Demon at the Rosemount’ by Richard Moore.
LIVE REVIEW: SINCERELY GRIZZLY / TRAIL OF DEAD
Saturday 25 May 2013 at the Rosemount Hotel
First published by the Space Ship News 29 May 2013
Another Saturday night at the Rosemount and the venue is slowly filling with languid, well-groomed twenty-somethings for the last night of Texas alt-rock band … AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD’s Australian tour. Special guests SINCERELY, GRIZZLY are due on stage any moment now, though the bar is high tonight: Trail Of Dead will be playing from their 2002 album, ‘Source Tags & Codes’, widely regarded as their classic.
But Sincerely, Grizzly are no strangers to high bars. Long-time Trail Of Dead fans, this is the standard they’ve held themselves to, and this devotion to quality is obvious as they launch into their set. After a stuttering start and lead vocalist and guitarist Joshua Calligeros’ math lesson lyrics, the set is into full-swing with drummer Rowan Mount exploding at his kit, flanked by the brooding Griffin Farley on bass and Calligeros’ staccato delivery, his eyes fixed firmly on his sock-clad feet.
With their informed, spitting lyrics and tide wash of sound, Sincerely, Grizzly would like you to believe they are the literature whizz-kids of this thrash rock scene, but the crowd are instead wrapped in a casual, feel-good vibe. Calligeros’ wrestles with a guitar like a surgical nightmare: all electrical tape and loose wires, it falls domestic to his deliberate and skilful fret work. The bass snarls beneath these jangling guitar lines, and between them Mount having the time of his life behind the kit with sharp cheeky grins and victorious tom rolls as their set pounds to a finish not short of a little drum stick carnage courtesy of Calligeros. “A dream tour,” he declares, now at its close.
When the lights drop again, the audience ebbs to the stage and the band come on to an enthusiastic but polite cheer: there is respect in this room. Trail Of Dead’s first set consists entirely of ‘Source Tags & Codes’, with the album’s signature sound complemented by a decade’s worth of complexity, skill and maturity from creative engines Conrad Keely and Jason Reece, both on vocals and guitar, and multi-instrumentalists Jamie Miller on drums and guitar, and Autry Fulbright II on bass. Reece and Miller will play tag-team for the entirety of these sets, with Reece taking the stage for his songs – including fan favourite ‘Homage’ – and then swapping with Miller to revitalise the percussion as the set drags on; and while perhaps Keely too can’t bear eye contact, Trail Of Dead isn’t shy of marathon tracks like ‘Monsoon’ or the title track ‘Source Tags & Codes’, pursued with an intense and fine industry.
The crowd thrash along to the band as they launch straight into their second set without pause, playing off their other offerings including the new album ‘Lost Song’. Trail Of Dead cast long shadows with mystical, glass-like guitar melodies floating over the distant thunder of their metal influences; the songs are hurricane confusion with the clear eye of the storm moving through each track. What is one moment a throbbing riff, a guitar scream, an assault is then bell-jar delicacy. Trail Of Dead finish anthemic, thematic, and huge as they welcome Calligeros’ onto stage for their final encores. He looks more ecstatic to be in Trail Of Dead than Sincerely, Grizzly – but who isn’t, in the face of their heroes?
‘LIVE REVIEW: Trail Of Dead at the Rosemount Hotel’, by Richard Moore.