Live Review: Morgan Bain + Stillwater Giants + Spoonful of Sugar + Bedouin Sea - The Rosemount Hotel, Perth (01.12.12)

Saturday night saw Perth’s Rosemount Hotel play host to Morgan Bain and a bunch of Perth’s up and coming talent for the launch of Bain’s new self titled EP.

On stage first were relative new comers Bedouin Sea who produced a solid opening performance that showed plenty of promise. About a year ago I saw the two Conradie brothers opening for Matt Corby at one of his Secret Garden tours, and it’s great to see the growth the band has gone through since then, fleshing out their sound, adding a couple more members and by the sounds of it penning some really great songs. With “Drunken Kings (and Shiny Things)” their closing number being but one highlight from a set that will undoubtedly have won them some new fans. News of their completed EP was definitely not unwelcome.

Next up on the Rosemount Stage were Spoonful of Sugar, who did their best to warm up the growing crowd. I’ll be honest, the sight of a xylophone being set up on stage, didn’t exactly get me jumping up and down with excitement, you can blame the recent overplaying of Gotye on the radio for that, but in the end I enjoyed their set, and they even managed to rehabilitate the xylophone a little. Front woman Karin Page put in a great vocal performance, charming the crowd, whilst the band’s latest addition Tracksuit’s Steve Hensby laid down some solid guitar in a set that flitted between folk and country in sound with the odd rockabilly flourish.

It was then time for Stillwater Giants to take to the stage. Decidedly rockier and more raucous than the evening’s other previous acts. The band wracked up the energy levels, jumping and crashing around the stage. They had a great garage rock sound, with this wonderful frantic crashing of guitars layered over hooks, choruses and harmonies. Initially they seemed a slightly strange fit, given the two more acoustic acts that preceded them, but they really seemed to bridge the gap between Bain’s roots sound and his rockier element. Either way it was an enjoyable set, with plenty of energy and great guitar work.

Finally then it was time for Morgan Bain to hit the stage. Unlike the last time I saw him, Callum Kramer joined him on drums (and guitar) for the duration of the set. Giving the songs an added edge, and giving someone for Bain to work off on stage. Right from the offset Bain kept energy levels high, showcasing his impressive guitar work. It was certainly a set more heavily geared towards a more rock based sound, with Bain only occasionally bringing the energy levels down, most notably a brilliant piano driven track, which also featured some understated guitar work from Kramer.

For the most part the audience was pretty attentive and appreciate, though there were moments where the odd bit of background chatter broke through, as it did on the odd occasion through the night. That being said, Bain had the majority of the audience on their feet dancing, and cheering at the end of the every song. The evening’s performance proved that Bain is not only an award winning songwriter, but also an accomplished performer, more than capable of entertaining a crowd. There will certainly be many more launches to come.