RTR FM’s Caitlin Nienaber & Xanthea O’Connor dish up their choice picks of WAMFest 2016

When it comes to West Australian music, the crew at RTR FM most definitely have their fingers on the pulse. With WAMFest taking over various Perth venues for another year, we headed to the community radio station and got picks and thoughts of this year’s line up from two boss ladies, Caitlin Nienaber and Xanthea O’Connor.

Delve in and potentially discover your new favourite acts.


POW! NEGRO: These guys have just topped off their one-year bandiversary with a couple of WAM Awards, including ‘Most Popular Live Act’. See what all the fuss is about before the rest of the country steals them! – Caitlin


BELLS RAPIDS: Only kicking about since June, Bells Rapids are a skilled and experienced conglomeration of musicians from other acts, such as Rag N’ Bone and songwriter in her own right, Stella Donnelly. They play together like the old friends that they are, conjuring a grungy pop sensibility that got the packed out room nodding their heads along to. Definitely ones to watch! – Xanthea

Jacob Diamond.jpg

JACOB DIAMOND: There was a 30 minute wait to get into The Bird at that point on Saturday, so I didn’t get to see him during WAMFest, but I know Jacob Diamond to be flawless crowdpleaser every time he steps onto stage. There’s a timelessness to Jacob’s voice that makes him instantly accessible. Everyone who made it into The Bird for his set over the weekend was raving to the point that I was genuinely regretting not waiting in line and celebrating the Best Male Vocalist WAMi win with Jacob myself. – Xanthea


LUCY PEACH: Being in Freo, folk musician Lucy Peach’s presence is like smelling a beautiful flower, or taking a refreshing dip in the ocean, or waking up after a blissful afternoon nap: her love of life is completely infectious. Her songs are bloody great too, her band is killer and she gets an A+ for between-song banter. – Caitlin


HIDEOUS SUN DEMON: Hideous Sun Demon rounded out the block party’s evening with lead singer Vincent Buchanan leading the crowd through the band’s garage-laden sounds like some kind of possessed and malevolent punk overlord. All who were packed into the momentarily repurposed carpark were strapped in and ready to take that ride and for one last time that evening, celebrate all that is thriving in Perth’s local music scene. – Xanthea

HIDEOUS SUN DEMON: I still remember watching this band for the first time and I’ve been convinced ever since that frontman Vin Buchanan-Simpson is a fucking superstar. They may seem like a hot mess, but when it comes to delivering a party these guys are the best people for the job. – Caitlin


TOBACCO RAT: If you haven’t seen Jake Steele‘s industrial electronic project live before, you’re excused – he doesn’t do it very often. He’s the subversive Steele sibling who makes music out of scrap metal and performs in a rat suit he made himself. I’m amazed he does it all with only two tiny pinholes to see through! – Caitlin

TOBACCO RAT: This was another I didn’t get to see personally but oh my, I saw a video the next day and he had transformed Perth’s cosy late night meeting place The Moon Café into a pounding, colourful dance party. – Xanthea

Photo: Rachael Barrett Photgraphy

GOLDEN STRING: This dream-pop combination of Mai Barnes on keyboard and vocal loops and Hayley Jane Ayres on violin is pure class. They’re hilariously self-deprecating on stage but their lush, layered sound is completely mesmerising. – Caitlin




ODETTE MERCY & HER SOUL ATOMICS: Odette Mercy got the main Block Party stage grooving into the early evening with her incredible voice and stage presence, surrounded by those who make up her Soul Atomics. With the Perth City skyline as a backdrop, it was the perfect place to stand back and listen to some of the best local music floating around. – Xanthea


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