Reviewed by: Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung
Hidden Treasures commenced its second week last Thursday and the music can only be described as a damn fine loot brimming with hidden gems and some more well-known favourites. Expanding its appeal amongst varied genres, the spread of bands across the four venues allowed for revelers to saunter along High Street and surrounding footpaths at their own pace.
As the cultivation of Freo gold continued from last week, the upstairs lounge at the National Hotel kicked off the laid back vibes with an Irish folk jam session complete with mulled cider to warm your oesophagus. Cheery music seemed to emerge out of nowhere, with no introduction the group of musicians sitting around a large table had begun to play sweet tunes, lulling me into a sense of comfort and taking me to some far away hillside.
Meanwhile back in Fremantle, my pal and I took a stroll in the cold weather over to the Buffalo Club, with the atmosphere just amping up over there, I surveyed the set-up. It was interesting having the stage thrown off to the side with other areas for patrons to take a breather. Yaqui Yeti ambled onto the stage at 7:30, clad in Hawaiian shirts and ready to play some groovy folk rock tunes. Telling of the usual pre-gig antics and mishaps that always seem to happen to at least one band from every line-up, Sweetman relived bass player, Darran Saldanha’s misfortune of locking his keys and bass in the car…cue a portrayal of their frenzied break in and there we have it folks, the solidified status of rock and roll. Delivering us with tracks from their EP ‘A Way of Knowledge’, the crowd progressively built up against the laid back sounds and guitar runs identifiable from ‘Auburn Dawn’.
The steady crowd presence led the way for Shit Narnia, a much loved band in the Perth music scene due to the energy they offer up in return for good vibes from the troop of revelers on the floor. Taking me back to the first time I saw Shit Narnia live at The Bird, it was amusing that Hugh hadn’t already whipped his shirt off after ten minutes. By the time ‘Castrated’ started blasting through the speakers, that shirt was gone and the front man’s mullet was shining in all its greasy glory. The closer you got to the front the more enthusiasm there was and it felt amazing to scream out the lyrics throughout set as its fluidity changed amongst every song, from a little bit of spoken word to a lot of vocal exertion, first timers may Hidden Treasures have gifted you with a nugget of gold that is Shit Narnia.
Venturing over to the Navy Club, Methyl Ethel had just started their set, even with the rain nothing could have kept me from jiving to ‘Twilight Driving’. After ingesting a few drinks I let Methyl Ethel’s tunes envelope my mind, perplexed and lost in their old world charm, Jake Webb’s snarls and the pop experimentalism we’ve come to associate with the name. Methyl Ethel’s gig at Hidden Treasures carried a different tone, some of the club goers were seated near the stage, others on the floor or leaning against the bar, caught up in their own chatter. It was unusual to not have all eyes fixed on the stage where the sounds were emanating from, but Methyl Ethel seemed at home in their own little world despite it all.
Eager to catch a set at PSAS, the cement surroundings coupled with stunning projector visuals left all the other venues to shame with their kitsch feel. As SpaceManAntics geared up for a killer set, clashes of psych sound and kaleidoscopes of colour made sure to draw a crowd to the front, as swaying bodies moved to the beat and savoured the melody. The pulse of the drums in songs like ‘Katzenjammer’ and ‘Don’t Be the Last’ with synth wails weighing down on me left this kind of resonance, the residual feeling you get after seeing a really rocking band play a set for the first time and you know you’re gonna buy every one of their releases. With energy and shades of cadence, SpaceManAntics served up a delightful platter.
Content to stick around for a little longer after such a delivery for the last set, Mt Mountain weren’t one to disappoint either. Standing, gathered around Steve Bailey like a clique, their melodies floated over the crowd through tracks like ‘Chantry’ whilst the lighting placed an almost celestial quality over the Perth outfit. Appreciative of the resounding quality Bailey’s vocals carried, sailing along the lo-fi sound waves of Treatch and Palmer on guitar, it was easy to feel a little adrift as the beer and atmosphere took over.
If you didn’t make it out to the cold last Thursday for numero 2 of Hidden Treasures, don’t let the Freo chill keep you away this time round. Kitchen People, DM3 and Koi Child are guaranteed to offer up some ear bliss.