Words By: James Versluis
Jack Rabbit Slims is something Perth drastically needed. With the multitude of live music venues being forced to close, things were starting to look pretty bleak for old mate Perth. Thankfully, a couple of the lords over at Pilerats saw Perth’s impending decline into a black hole of culture and thought to do something about it. I have to hand it to them, they’ve done a bloody good job of it too. The venue is, for lack of a better term, cool. I shudder to think of the amount of money that must have been spent on the venue to transform it from dingy Parker/Black Betty’s into the jaw dropping spectacle it now is, but I’m damn glad they made the investment. Although, it doesn’t quite matter what the venue looks like, if it doesn’t deliver on entertainment.
I’ve seen Spacemanantics a lot. I’m not some crazy stalker super-fan, it just seems to have worked out that way. My first recollections of the group was way back when they were called “Stunning in Red”, and ever since they have been only getting tighter and tighter. Saturday night? Best set I have ever seen them play. A sonically joyful neon haze fell on the band, as they squeezed viscous psych-rock ooze from every orifice of their instruments. These interplanetary indie rockers were relentlessly energetic, delivering gyrating bass lines appropriately complemented by drums beats best annunciated by your knees. The band effortlessly navigated through thirty minutes of dream pop, shoegaze and fuzz before launching into their final song, a crescendo of everything that makes this band so great.
Soon after Spacemanantics, hairy heavy metal band Red Engine Caves took to the stage, unleashing their brand of overdriven Dad rock that your Dad definitely wouldn’t have heard before. Comprised of Thin Lizzy on the drums, Dave Sustain on the guitar and Geddy Leeave no note bung on the bass, the trio clearly were born in the wrong decade. However, if they keep making the balls-to-the-wall metal that they proudly displayed on Saturday night, it doesn’t really matter what decade they were supposed to be born in. I’ll be honest, you’re tempted to make the sacrilegious Sabbath comparison, however Red Engine Caves have enough deviation under their sleeves (or lack of sleeves, for that matter) to create a sound that is strictly their own. In terms of the actual performance, you wouldn’t even leave your twisted sister around these boys, as she would be far too likely to (red engine) cave to their charms. After half an hour of what felt like a live rendition of an Almost Famous scene the boys left the crowd completely amped up for the main event.
A dozen men soon took to the stage, each with his own hat and some of them even wore sunglasses. It was really cute and really impractical. Especially considering how long it took them all to find their respective instruments through their polarised shades. In any other scenario, I probably would have found The Delta Riggs to be good, or at the very least, enjoyable. However, in comparison to the aforementioned genre defying sonically free thinking bands, The Delta Riggs insesent flirting between “Triple J palatable” and something “interesting” may suit a FIFA soundtrack, but didn’t really gel with the rest of the night. The Delta Riggs got through their set, accused a crowd member of stealing a hat, before realising they just took them off, and left the stage. I’m probably being hyper critical, as at the end of the day The Delta Riggs seemed to be supplying what the people wanted, and who can blame a band for wanting to do that? However, if you enjoy my hypercritical analysis of the performance, egotistical dick swinging and self induced hat hazards seemed to take precedence to musical proceedings.