Gigs Reviews

REVIEW: Yardstock

Reviewed by: Laurent Shervington

As far as large public music events go, none quite capture the feeling of community as well as Yardstock. This time the event was advertised as “Rock Against Racism”, raising money for the campaign to stock the forced closure of Aboriginal communities in WA and throughout the night announcements were made to raise awareness of the issue. The venue itself was not listed publicly and actually turned out to be a huge suburban warehouse, about a 30 minute walk from the train station.

14 bands were listed to play throughout the night starting with the sound manipulator Adam Brown starting of proceedings. His abstractly playing style along with the irregular shape and structure of his guitar yielded some strange and at times abrasive sound collages.

Up next was the surf band SMRTS, who boasted a 3 guitar, 2 drummer/percussionist line-up to deliver an excellent set of their material. The band glided from surf riff to surf riff, taking the changes in tempo in their stride and delivering tightly layered surf rock to the now growing crowd.

Local noise artist Furchick was up next with her excellent sonic exploration, using unconventional instruments (including her classic hacksaw with a slinky) to create layers and layers of noise. I believe Furchick is going on a world tour soon, but when she comes back make sure you see her live show, always an entertaining and thought provoking experience.

One man entertainer Tomás Ford played one of the more energetic sets of the night with his take on electronic dance-pop mixed with a swaggering stage prescence equally enthralling and weirding out the crowd that assembled to his set. Ford pranced through the crowd jumping from audience members, whilst singing his emotional refrains. As the outro for the final song began, Ford threw his sweaty body to the open arms of the crowd who he instructed to carry him outside. What a dude.

Dream-pop duo Erasers brought their dreamy textures to Yardstock, with vocalist Rebecca Orchard showing her range while backed by swirling synth leads. Here’s hoping Erasers come out with some more material by the end of the year, their newer songs sounded hauting under the dim warehouse light.

It was now time for local rapper Mathas to hit the stage, bringing with him his fast growing collection of socially conscious lyrics and strong grooves. Mathas covered a lot of his material in this show, even playing some of his minor hits, including Stone Cold Sober and the more recent Free Shit.

The final act of the evening was none other then The Weapon is Sound, a psychedelic reggae/dub group which showcased some talented brass players in their line-up. The previous times I’ve seen TWIS, the vibes from the band and crowd has always been great, with nearly everyone in vicinity grooving and dancing to the horn led music. The band was a fitting closing act, being a last hurrah of sorts to end the great evening of local talent.

Around $3k was raised throughout the evening which shows how much people care about local music backed by a strong cause.