Words By: Jack Smith
Richmond Street Records showcased some upcoming, little-known talent last Thursday at The Good Shepherd in Leederville. The second installment of their event ‘3 Wise Gigs’ was advertised as Indie/Rock/Punk, but that doesn’t come close to describing the diversity of talent that played that night.
Most of the acts were relatively unknown and still forming an image or style, but nonetheless there were flashes of talent all throughout the show. Particularly in the sense that everyone on stage seemed to be able to play at least two instruments better than most can play one.
First on stage Teknicolour, a five-piece group producing jazzy, mellow music in a care free kinda way. The lead singer had clearly been influenced by Janis Joplin’s sense of style, but decided against imitating the acid rock queen’s style of music. Teknicolour’s sound wouldn’t seem out of place backing a beat poem in an obscure dive-bar somewhere in the 50’s. It was generally relaxing, but this lethargic mood music was occasionally interjected by a solid electric guitar solo that shocked you back into life. Their track ‘Rollercoaster’ stood out to me, slightly more upbeat and well-crafted lyrically.
Second on stage were Scout, bringing with them the second female lead and the second fedora of the night. I noticed that the lead singer was sporting knee-high cowgirl boots, so I braced myself for some good ol’ country music. For the most part, I think that country music is a plague on this Earth and should be eradicated, but it was actually quite endearing. ‘I Sold Myself’ was an impressive track, with a lot of instrumental experimentation contained within it. The folksy, wavering, rising notes with clipped endings and feet-tapping, yee-haw mood can be a bit of fun, but only in small bursts.
The product of an amalgam of the main indie-folk musicians of today, 404 were next to play. Paying tribute to the anthem of that genre, they began their set with a cover of Chet Faker’s cover of Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’. Interestingly one of the musicians in 404 plays a Peruvian cajón which is pretty fascinating to watch. 404’s half-pace, laid-back sound was what I imagined an acoustic Alt-J might have sounded like, a little bit tame, but very enjoyable.
Fly the Flag’s defining feature was their drummer, because their drummer, a quite masculine man, was wearing an adorable, tiny, shiny, ribbon-hat. Fly the Flag are a strange blend of angsty, girl band and soppy romanticists, “come on Romeo what are you waiting for, we could be together for evermore”. To their credit they did an excellent cover of The Beatle’s ‘Ticket to Ride’, almost transforming it into a Ska track, but it worked and we in the crowd liked it.
Wabisabi, which is a pretty cool name for a band, were my favourite set of the night. Comically entertaining as well as musically, the first words out of the first singer’s mouth were “Fuck! I forgot the lyrics, sorry”. He then burst into a track about punching someone in the face. The lyrical amnesia must have been contagious as the second singer of the band was discreetly reading the lyrics on her phone. Then the disease spread and the third singer forget the lyrics part way through their third song. Wabisabi took these hiccups in their stride and put on a fun and varied show, from up-tempo happy-go-lucky, to go-fuck-yourself to ominous, slow ballads. Wabisabi are one of the only bands I’ve seen recently which has four equally talented vocalists and skilled musicians, definitely try and catch a set soon.
The last act of the night The Shallows were a passive-aggressive, slow punk band. They looked the part, with bold eye-liner and semi-gothic clothing. But appearances can be deceiving and I’m pretty sure this moody demeanour was a façade. The sound was punk, of a sort, but the mentality was way off, you rarely hear a punk band say “please enjoy our set” for example. A Mohawk-haired alcoholic in the crowd had the right idea though, apropos of nothing he screamed “check one two, ROCK AND FUCKING ROLL!”, then stumbled out into the street, beer in hand, now that was punk rock.
Thursday 27th August is the final of the 3 Wise Gigs at The Good Shepherd, make sure you check it out.
Free entry, $5 beers and five acts, what more could you possibly want, you greedy, greedy consumer.