Words by: Jack Smith
Thursday night was the night Great Gable launched their debut single ‘Leave Your Way’. Calling on the support of local talent Slick Monks and Villain, the bands and the crowd gathered to The Odd Fellow in the heart of Freo. The Odd Fellow is probably best described as the poshest dive bar you’ve ever seen, the sort of place where a gin and tonic takes eight minutes to make, but acoustically and atmospherically the venue was the perfect choice.
First to hit the velvet-curtain clad stage were Slick Monks, who recently used their grungy sonic powers to secure a spot on next year’s Southbound lineup. Their tracks followed a general trend of beginning with ominous, instrumental, slow angry-blues notes which would build up, and then out of nowhere have a fucking fit and explode with sound. The quasi-tortured vocals, which were sung with genuine passion added to their grungy, angsty appearance – in a good way. Rounding off their forty minute set with a track called ‘Happening Now’, Slick Monks were an awesome start to the night and indicative of things to come.
Next up were modern day Mod rockers Villain. These guys infuse indie pop with the swinging sixties, minus the happy-go-lucky nauseating lyrics that rhyme ‘baby’ and ‘maybe’ – at one point I think I heard the line “mother fuckers now you’re gonna die”. They have an interesting band dynamic; the guitarist, bassist, and drummer act as three vocalists who would take turns taking lead, whistling, and harmonising. Occasionally guitarist #2 would come in with 70’s inspired riffs, which were produced by the violent molestation of his guitar, but it sounded pretty fucking cool. Towards the end of their set they played a cover of ‘Tighten Up’ by The Black Keys which was a crowd favourite and the talent of the band really shone through with their alternate ending.
Around 10.30 the headliners and the reason we were all gathered in a mock Edwardian cellar took the stage. They are self-described as “alt-rock infused with reggae blues”, but whatever they are, it’s working; they know how to draw a crowd and they know how to put on a show. Mixing echoey, psychedelicish, twangy guitar riffs and crackly, broken, raw vocals it’s no surprise Great Gable will be joining their buddies Slick Monks on the Southbound lineup.
For a band relatively new to the scene they have an amazingly synchronistic stage-presence, it looks like they’ve been playing since before they were born. Lack of diversity of sound isn’t an issue for them either, their track ‘Taste’ is a sort of summer coastal drive soundtrack with a tinge of ska. ‘Drift’ borders on jazzy, neo-soul with undertones of rhythm and blues and roots. Their cover of Eric Clapton’s ‘Cocaine’ did the song poetic justice and got the crowd moving and hollering. After a quick switch to an acoustic guitar, they rounded off their set with their single ‘Leave Your Way’, which went down well enough for a chorus of “more” and “encore” to begin. Perhaps in an attempt to send subliminal messages Great Gable retook the stage to play ‘Praise You’, brainwashed or not I am now a fan and if you get a chance to catch them live I’m sure you will be too.