WAMi Festival: City of Perth Northbridge Saturday Spectacular!!! (22.05.10)

It’s the Saturday Spectacular at the WAMi Festival! Dozens
of bands are spread around 9 venues in Northbridge, putting on some killer free
shows for both the public and conference attendees. And with the conference
ending just hours earlier, you better believe everyone was ready to party. But
when you’ve got 9 venues to choose from, and a barrage of bands that come
highly recommended by locals – where do you begin!?

As seems to normally be the case with me these days, my location came down to
the logistics of where I’d be doing to most interviews – and it just so
happened to be at a gay bar! But this afternoon, the venue which houses “only
one person in a cubicle” signs in the bathrooms, was also housing an impressive
– dare I say, flaboyant – mix of some immensely entertaining artists.

First up at The Court were four piece The Gonzo Show. Hailing
from QLD, they were one of the few out of towners on show at the festival. Impressive
to say the least, the Brisbane based band brought with them a bucketload of
energy, a finely tuned performance and a variety of influences. At once, the
sounds of bands like Dinosaur Jnr and Pavement come flying through, with an
extra splash of the jam rock we love, that made artists like Hendrix so
wonderful. But I think the influences go deeper than that. Rather than a pure
interpretation the 1990s underground American scene, it feels like a
re-intpretation of the British and European “post-punk” movement that inspired
the it. The Fall and even Swell Maps are
two which immediately come to mind. What Pavement and Sonic Youth were to The
Fall and Swell Maps in the 80s and 90s, The Gonzo Show are giving a spin on in
the 21st Century. Some may argue it’s a style that’s past its use by
date, but a quick listen to this band may remind you that any style can be made
into something new, appropriated for modern taste and excuted with impressive

After Russian Winters took to the stage (unfortunately I
missed them due to interviews) BOOM! BAP! POW! arrived to fight crime and more
importantly, play some killer tunes. The five piece brought forth a completely sound
to The Court stage than their predecessors, and something akin to an early
Motown vibe. The beats are infectious and when the five sing in unison their
performance is flung into the stratosphere. It makes for a set that’s enjoyable
from start to finish – with the saxaphone given justifiable front and centre
attention. While WAMi nominees, the band were also out and about to promote their
new single “Science”, taken from the forthcoming album “A Little Bit More”, produced
by Forrester Savell (Karnivool) and Matt Giovanangelo (Voltaire Twins). You’ll
be able to read more about the band and their album in our interview with the
band, which should pop up on the site soon.

Another band we interviewed today were Boys Boys Boys, last
up on The Court stage, closing the afternoon showcase up with a bang. Again,
the crowd is given an aural spectacular, something completely different from
what came before, but this time bringing even more people onto the
dancefloor. With synchronised dancing and songs about Lycra and boys, this six
piece, comprised of three girls up front on vocals and keys, and three boys up
back on the rest, can be summed up in one word: FUN. Caps lock intended. Heralding back to the catchy,
campy 1980s sounds of artists like B52s and Kim Wilde (“Kids in America”), this talented band simply know how to make music that puts a smile on your face and gets you dancing. They are going to eat the live scene around Australia alive if they go
about it the right way. And if you go for no other reason, read this: the set
ends with a song about prawns, featuring a guy dressed in a prawn suit joining
in on the synchonised dancing, waving his jazz hands to a crowd who returned
the favour.

If that’s not entertainment, I don’t know what is.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.