The ArtGames @ The Good Shepherd

Words by: Jack Smith

To combat the artistic disinterestedness of our philistinic generation, ArtLab has been providing monthly music-art fusion events around Perth in the form of The ArtGames. The Good Shepherd saw the first of the secondary rounds last Sunday and the theme of the night was ‘Back to the Roots’. Battling it out were three, Perth-based visual artists; Edi Udo, DEBT and Steve Browne, plus live music from Fuzz Toads and Moana.

On arrival I received a bottle cap which was to be used as a voting chip; at the end of the night the crowd had to pick their favourite painting to decide who would move on to the semi-finals. Each artwork was also auctioned off for not insignificant sums of money. Whoever said Art and Capitalism are incompatible?

As the artists put paintbrush to canvas, Fuzz Toads filled the room with the sound of up-tempo, garage rock with overtones of fuzzbox psychedelic-distortion thrown in for good measure. Despite being relatively new to the Perth music scene, Fuzz Toads already have a well-established sound and are well-respected for what they do. And rightly so, they play their instruments like a sense of melody is written into their genes. The highlight of their set had to be when the lead vocalist straddled a horizontal audience member, rock-and-fucking-roll.

After a quick break the ever-intense, psychedelic, dark arts, rock musos Moana took over for Fuzz Toads in providing creative impetus and the soundtrack for the artists at work. Stylishly somewhere between gothic and hippie-chic, with the exception of one band member who had the appearance of arriving from the future and from the 80’s simultaneously, the band looked about as good as they sound. Fucking amazing. With the release of the third installment of their second EP on the horizon, Moana showcased some new tracks, which took a mini-step away from psychedelic grunge and flirted with a bluesy, classic rock sound. However you’d describe it, it sounded great and I’ll be impatiently awaiting their forthcoming EP until the end of the month.

Despite the omni-talent, some people were clearly just there for the art and some people where clearly just there for the music. Overall there was a nice atmosphere in the room, a sort of communal sense that we all hated the same thing: sport. This hatred of sport and exercise didn’t stop what can only be described as a vicious, dandy minstrel, who was covered in wet paint, from chasing me down the street (long story, the moral of which is: avoid acid kids).

After escaping I managed to get back to hear that the final count had crowned Edi Udo as this rounds winner, with DEBT placing second and Steve Browne third.