Words By: Anthony Worrall
On Friday 22 July, Salary launched their single ‘Mini Moke’ at Amplifier, to a decently-sized crowd, and they and the supporting acts created a great atmosphere to listen to some great music and exceptionally talented young bands.
Up first were Moon Puppy Blues Band, who, as expected for an opening band, had a fairly small crowd to play in front of, however for those who were there, they played a wonderfully dreamy set. Tracks like ‘My Trailer Park Sweetheart’ are normally floaty & dreamy yet incredibly poignant on record, however performed live, were full of more energy & confidence, albeit with still a sombre tone.
After them were Pool Boy, an intense electronic synth pop trio, fronted by Beth Commons. Influences like Swedish electronic punk duo The Knife showed through, with songs like ‘tv’ riding on tension between the sound of Commons’ nonchalant, melodic vocals with glitchy, stuttering electronic rhythms. The dystopian tone of the music was matched by the nonchalant stage presence of the three members, which created a pretty powerful stage show.
Young Robin followed, and played a stunning set. A local indie-pop quintet that elicit influences of bands like Two Door Cinema Club and Phoenix, they provided the perfect support for Salary, who followed immediately afterwards. It was genuinely difficult to watch Young Robin and not feel just so happy – the chemistry of the band members was serious infectious. Recent single ‘Ferndully’ was arguably the highlight of the entire night – the tight rhythms of drummer Daniel Mulch and euphoric presence & vocals of Jed Begho supplemented by Jairus Edward’s driving, melodic lead guitar line all dovetailed so well.
Salary’s ornate live performances have never sounded as good as this set. Originally forming as a backup band for vocalist & lead guitarist Sean Gorman’s solo project Celery, the chemistry between so many members within a big band was a marvel to behold. Tracks from the Celery album come alive (quite literally) when played on stage, with bass, guitar, drums, horns, violin & violin, alongside Sean Gorman’s beautifully emotional & desperate-sounding voice, sounding so distinct and vibrant, yet also collectively very cohesive & tight. However, functioning as the occasion for the night, their performance of ‘Mini Moke’ showed how much they are one of the best local bands around in the Perth music scene.
Reminding this writer of the emotive, ornate buildup from ‘Rebellion (Lies)’ by Arcade Fire, the track revolves around a gradual instrumental crescendo surrounding Gorman’s increasingly frantic & passionate vocals. It peaks in a hectic, powerful kaleidoscope of sounds, which lies at the extreme limit instrumentation can operate at before it descends into a complete mess. This borderline is both fantastic to listen to, and represents a group of incredibly talented musicians who are in perfect sync with each other. Salary ultimately capped off a great night with a fantastic set, and showed everyone why their name is often spoken with such excitement.