Words by: Jake Eckersley
Dream pop duo Etéana appeared promisingly goofy, perfectly suitable to open a chilly (unreasonably cold) Wednesday night show at the Bird. Guitarist Peter McAvan was wearing his going out sweatpants as his wildly fluffy hair puffed out on the sides trying to free itself from the grasp of his stifling sports cap. Vocalist and analogue synth enthusiast Lana Rothnie was rocking an equally impressive stripey shirt/sensible suit pants combo.
The pair absolutely rocked out with some early 90’s inspired, delay heavy psychedelic pop but what really sets this band apart from other dream pop bands kicking around town right now is Lana’s voice. This girl had pipes like Florence with the melancholic hint of Lana del Rey and a stage attitude that rivaled that of the most recognisable pop divas in the game but all packaged in such an unassuming guise.
The few punters in early attendance watched in awe as the pair danced around to their deep, pulsating synth sounds and spacey guitar melodies. Between songs the pair expressed their sincere love for everybody in attendance and shared some hilariously in-depth song descriptions “This one is called delusion and it’s about being in a state of delusion”. Their charming and experimental set left the crowd in a blissful state and garnered a lively applause from everybody in the room.
Next up, solo act Leafy Suburbs hit the crowd with a groovin’ mix of electronic beats and live drumming. It’s really refreshing to see an artist playing such heavily sampled, pre-produced music and giving a live performance as enthralling as Leafy Suburbs. The set featured all kinds of glitchy, atmospheric and experimental beats to a backdrop of colourful nature visuals of sped up natural growth that perfectly suited the brooding production. A song with a nostalgic “Microsoft Sam” vocal part must’ve caught the attention of the Bird’s typical “Why watch the music when you can sit in the cold and smoke?” patrons because the room really started to fill up to watch the end of what was a really intriguing and entertaining set.
It’s at this point in the review that I’d like to apologise to a man I met in the toilets following Leafy Suburb’s set. I was looking over my notes in the light when he approached me and said “Taking notes in the toilet hey?” to which I responded “Yeah, man. I’m writing an article on the pee-to-poo ratio at the Bird.” As you may now realise after reading this article is that this was not the case, I mislead you and for that I sincerely apologise.
Back to the gig.
Man, Shit Narnia – What can I say? They’re the band that has single handedly re-written Perth’s social prejudice towards mullets, with front-man Hugh Manning proving that there can be a complex, deep and emotional man behind the shamed 70’s haircut. The moment he ripped off his shirt and the band jumped into their loose and aggressive punk/post-hardcore set the whole room lost their shit.
This band has gathered a really dedicated following in the last few months with it’s raw, emotive vocals, a guitar sound that floats from surf rock to hard punk and a rough, tight rhythm section. Who knew that the secret to pleasing a whole room of people was to sing about not wanting your testicles anymore? Apparently Shit Narnia did because their song “castrated” absolutely killed it and would’ve certainly won over a few of those in the room that were seeing their set for the first time.
With the room still full it was obvious these people were eager for a strong opinion on taxing non-renewable resources, the reduction of the renewed energy target that day and possibly some comments on Gina Rinehart. The hi-vis vest clad mining tax duo took the stage, wasn’t 100% sure whether they delivered on the economic commentary but boy did they deliver a hilarious set. There was so much delay on the vocals nobody could understand a word they were saying but the crowd obviously loved the banging dance beats enough that it didn’t matter because everybody was moving hard.
Vocalist Alex “Griff” Griffin was like a modern day Peter Garrett jiving and gyrating awkwardly and enthusiastically through the entire set. His rock-star crowd walks pleased the audience to no end and paired with the bands wild and whacky production it made for an ecstatic room of people. The crowd was literally chanting “mi-ning-tax” ¾ of the way through their set and the boys left having truly blessed the bird with their hilarious presence.
Killer night, awesome bands, great people – 10 points to Mining Tax.