Arriving ultra early to the Norfolk Basement, I was greeted with the type of warm ambience that is typical of ‘The Basement;’ dimly lit and abuzz with the chatter from the equally early punters that were slowly trickling down the stairs.
Starting the night a little late due to some technical difficulties, the dainty Rabbit Island went down a treat. With captivating storytelling and a hauntingly beautiful voice, ,Rabbit Island spun a web of impeccable tunes that got me excited for the impending winter.
The Flower Drums, who have been a ‘new look band’ each of the last three times I have seen them, followed with a blissful folk-pop set that didn’t miss a beat. Regardless of the multiple line-up changes this band has gone through in the last two months, the wonderfully Leigh Craft-ed songs were played flawlessly and with a hint of eerie nostalgia and rainy day lust, at times, not dissimilar to the amazing Ms. Rabbit Island. Inclusive of triumphant false endings and vocal hooks you’ll be hearing all of the next day, The Flower Drums are a Perth must-see, and in today’s local music landscape, that’s an honour to wear with pride.
Hootenanny are bad ass, just straight up bad ass. One part DIY punk to two parts balls-out rock and roll, their fast paced set, although tiresome at times, was overflowing with aggression and entertaining lyrical content. The pair, affectionately know as Hoote and Nanny (who’d a thought?) certainly know how to put on a good live show and at the detriment of their equipment, strings broken and all, they made sure the ever growing crowd knew that they meant business.
Generous hosts for this evening, and much hyped surf-pop provocateurs, Gunns, dished up a very ‘of the moment’ set of fuzzed out pop songs to an eager and willing audience. Although their brand of ‘slacker-rock come surf-pop’ music was the soundtrack to a summer past and a style of music very much in fashion, I feel Gunnslacked a little polish. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the irony of this statement, but playing with a ‘can’t be fucked’ attitude and pulling it off takes practice. Lack of polish or not, Gunns played a set of wonderfully constructed pop songs with tastefully distant vocals and a rhythm section that thumped away like a rollercoaster heart. The trio play off of each other with an ease that is indicative of their collective stage experience and with a little more time playing together, Gunns will surely evolve into the pulsing wave of surf-pop splendour that their tunes suggest they will one day be.
Gunns, along with the other three bands that played tonight certainly put on a solid local music showcase, a little something to prove to everyone that even in the hangover weekend following the WAMIs, Perth never fails to deliver on an impressive night out if you're willing to search a little. Sure we don't have the quantity of venues and bands that other Australian capitals have, but we definitely have the quality to match.