Features

5 Signs You’re In The Perth Music Scene

Words by: Jon Davidson


It’s a Saturday night. You’re out on the pubs partying and feeling the vibe. But then you are struck with a moment of clarity. You inexplicably find yourself in Doc Martens and torn skinny jeans lurching your body around in a dark room underground which is packed with other lurchers. You’re enjoying the throbbing music, but you also have to keep your corona upright and the hair out of your face – though not too much – with a sarcastic-happy expression while the photographer does rounds, because you can’t be caught looking too genuine-happy.

Does this sound like you? Well, curious reader, it turns out you may be in the Perth music scene.

Here are some more ways to tell:

triple j money bags

You Reckon Triple J Is Too Commercial, Unless It’s Your Mate’s Album Playing

You know for a fact that this so-called ‘for the youth’ station is a pile of heartless noise straight out of slimey focus groups, failing entirely to touch on the real music scenes of Australia. You’ve even been one to call out Triple J on deliberately choosing artists with “the triple J sound.” Don’t believe for an instant that the “triple J sound’ is anything on unearthed that doesn’t sound like shit – it’s a George Brandis conspiracy.

Unless it’s Scotty and the boys who are dropping their new EP at 3pm melbs time. Then you switch that shit on, coz it’s cool where they got from such a small start in WA.

Don’t be so fuckin’ neg, bro.

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You’ve Been Interviewed On RTR

Oh man, this one’s a teller. You don’t “do” big dollars, anyway. You don’t “do” white collar. You don’t “do” funding. It’s all about the music. And arguably the bar cards. But you aren’t gonna get those bar cards unless a decent amount of mates rock up. So where do you go? Who do you turn to?

If you answered: “you get your ex’s older sibling with the sound degree to hook you up with a sweet ass interview on RTR FM,” then you’re probably in the Perth music scene.
Bonus points for legitimacy if you talked about the Perth music scene for the entire interview, but forgot to plug your own gig.

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You Play In At Least 3 Different Garage Rock Bands

Own a warbling guitar pedal? Have an Op-shop Jimi Hendrix shirt? Like making references to psychedelic drugs you would never be able to find? It may just be the case that you are in the Perth music scene. Bonus points for legitimacy if you also drive a van.

So long as you tell everyone you talk to at every gig from now on about your three bands, then mathematically, you should be able to just about continue playing in new bands until you grow out of it, or more likely, until your bones give way and you die of old age surrounded by bong smoke in some 20-something’s futuristic sci-fi basement.

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You Write Gig Reviews

Are you standing in a dark room lurching around in Doc Martens and skinny jeans specifically to gauge the experience and write about it later for some small fry local website? Congratulations, you’re probably in the Perth music scene. Bonus points for legitimacy if you internally described the lighting to yourself as “kaleidoscopic.”

A further symptom which may indicate that you are a writer in the Perth music scene is an entirely unearned sense of world-weariness and apathy. Additional bonus points if you actually got in for free.

Photo Plus apprentice. Oxford botanical gardens. Clive Nicholl garden photographer.

You’re Dating A Photographer

Is that photographer you’re looking unhappy for your girlfriend or boyfriend? If so, then it is likely that you are in the Perth music scene.

You will pose joke-moodily for a few photos at first to get things going after you were dragged there early, and then promptly get annoyed with your partner for taking so many photos of you. In return, they will get irritated with you for being such an asshole. Later in the night, you will get jealous when they’re having a little too much fun photographing that big group of friends of the opposite sex over there at that table who are younger, better looking and more sociable than you.


You stay unhappily, quickly using up whatever free drinks management decided that the photographer’s partner should have access to, before you start shelling out the full-price for pints all night. You find your partner in the crowd during the headlining set and tell them you’re sick of this shit and going home. You don’t go home, you go to the 24/7 central Maccas and apologise over text until they finish.

Sound familiar? You’re probably in the Perth music scene.