Words By: Jake Eckersley
The lineup for “A Whole Lotta Soul” was almost too magnificent for a $10 gig on a Friday. I walked in to the sound of Dougal’s Casino’s soft, warm Jim Morrison-esque vocals, grooving synth, complex bass lines and I like this band already. The tunes were a slow, grooving brand of psychedelic rock and the unfortunately scarce population of Four5nine was in awe of their performance. The drums were so fucking sexy and smooth, I was glad to be wearing jeans tight enough to stifle any unwanted crotch movement.
Pop-Folk champion Bernardine’s (and band) sound was some absolutely gorgeous, slow folk music and oh boy, the cello was immensely beautiful. They were awkwardly informative in between songs, I feel like I know everything there ever was to know about this band but in what I learned was their first full band show, these guys killed it with a flawless set. Although they didn’t quite fill the room, these girls gave the main stage at The Rosemount such a wonderfully chilled out vibe, much to the pleasure of everybody sat around watching.
Moistoyster played a set worthy of wetting every clam in the vicinity. Their dirty, skuzzy, washed out space rock was chaotic, punchy and pretty darn exciting. These dudes put on a really fun show; there were Seinfeld theme requests, spooky rocking vocals, Sam Atkins’ wonderful beard and constant promises to “play this one better”. Their vocalist needed to fix the minor band-esteem issues because they were just wonderful. Ok, maybe there were some bung notes and sloppy changes, but the crowd was stingy with the number of fucks they gave considering the band’s stage presence was so loose and playful.
Moving back to the main stage, The David Craft Band was keeping the chilled vibes going with their sweet finger picking and low country vocals reminiscent of The National. The four piece’s slow, sad tunes made me feel like they probably think a lot more then I do and their emotive lyrics helped me to confirm that fact. I don’t want to spend too much time lusting over bassist Maddy Blue’s wonderful locks because her soaring vocal harmonies and smooth playing was 100% on point, but they’re definitely worth an honorable mention.
Spaceman Antics’ spacey rock antics got the buzzing crowd moving so incredibly swiftly – just like kicking your toe on the doorframe, only far more pleasurable and with far less cursing. Ok, its cheating to use spacey as an adjective, its in their name and with all the wonderful, effects heavy psychedelic bands Perth is pushing out right now, I feel like I use it too much so lets call it cosmic rock instead. The loose, passionate stage presence and fuzzy, thundering cosmic rock was encouraging some real a-game hip movement from the girls dancing up front and not long into the set the rest of the crowd followed suit. Their tunes were almost anthemic at times and man, they showed off some wonderful falsetto mid set – very commendable.
Ok, so I’ve seen Moana a couple of times and this set, like all others I have witnessed prior to it, led me to the same conclusion – their vocalist needed to put the guitar down. This is not in any way to say that her playing was poor or negatively affecting their sound, but holy shit her stage presence was so much livelier when her hands were freed from their instrumental prison. I also kind of like the way having a single guitar forces them to be more creative with their instrumental melodies to compensate for the lack of chunk in their sound. But other then that, these guys are champs. Their gritty and experimental psych-rock sensually tickled the eardrums of everybody in the room and the brutally charismatic performance bathed my eyes in sass.
How good are Gunns? It isn’t really a quantifiable question but if I were to rate it out of ten I would say pretty freaking fantastic instead of a number. Doctopus had to pull out of the evening due to some tonsil troubles so Gunns started early, meaning I wept tears of joy way earlier then I had planned. Their beachy, summer vibed surf rock had the room swaying as they closed a pretty wonderful night of local music. The lazy, delay drenched, washed out vocals and grooving bass lines coupled with their super unphased attitude is the perfect soundtrack to chilling out in the sun or as it would seem, ending a night at The Rosemount. It’s like the Beach Boys decided that everybody should sit down more.
Their classic tune Leaving Home is just such a whimsical track and helped reassure me of my opinion that these guys are easily one of the best bands kicking around Perth right now. Apologies to the guys from Gunns for the constant harassment and/or fan-girling, sometimes not even tight jeans can stifle a boy’s musical libido.