Beyond the Verge @ ‘secret backyard venue’
w/ Mal De Mer, Moth, Charlie Wilde Band, Sara Salt Band, Roobs and the Washing Line Economy
Saturday, April 27, 2019


Beyond the Verge was the dream baby of Charlie Wilde, his roommate and some of the very talented kids in the WAAPA arts management course. It was a gentle night, fairy lights littered in the backyard and you could hear the first band playing from two doors down. A night like this is fairly special for the younger burgeoning local musicians and artists in Perth because it was organised by students for students.

A load of crackers were on the lineup, firstly there was the very creatively named Roobs and the Washing Line Economy, a four-piece, shoe-gazey type, alt-rock band. Red light washed over them as shivering guitar bled through deep-rooted funky bass lines. With a blast, the moody oceanic vocals were traded out for an excellent trumpet solo, twisting and fusing jazz into surf rock seamlessly. To finish up their set, the band ended with an Australian classic, the hands-down best opening theme song to (arguably) Australia’s greatest TV show of all time, Round the Twist. A brilliant slow-downed rendition, asking us the age-old question. “Have you ever, ever felt like this?”

As the night got a little colder, lounge chairs held relaxed happy patrons ready to glue their eyes to the stage for the mysterious, make you delirious, Sara Salt Band. Muddled guitar branched out into a sweet melody; soft singing haunted and kissed the ears of the crowd. Sara Salt’s band is composed of a sundry of insanely talented musicians, Miranda Murray-Young on Cello, Sam Bank-Smith on Bass, Johnny Burrows on guitar, James Takenson on Keys and Sara Salt on vocals and guitar. Their delight in sharing the stage together results in a magnetism which is hard to resist.

Salt is an undoubtedly talented writer, musician and vocalist, her set harmonised stormy tones, with charming lyrics about the reality of relationships and life, and catchy liberating tunes which strike a charming tone. A special part of the night was Salt and Miranda’s duo, the cello sailed out beautifully entwined with the dulcet vocals, which created a tearjerking performance. For the final song, the merry band skipped back onto the stage, to perform a catchy little number as they each danced in their own private little party. Catch these wonders at the Bush Chooks Mini Fest this Saturday.

The night got a lot colder, a jacket was 100% needed by this point, and the Charlie Wilde Band stood eagerly on stage doing last minute sound checks. Charlie Wilde is a relatively new band, with the personable and full sound of a highly developed outfit. Their songs seem to reach out into the crowd and create a calm and beautiful atmosphere, through the echoic guitar, the peaceful and moving keys, mellow drums, and alluring infliction in the vocals. The band held a captive audience and somehow nailed sounding exactly like Ben Howard. Well on their way to greatness, catch the Charlie Wilde Band at the Bird in July this year.

Moth kicked off their set with a song that begins with a rumble and builds into a hurricane of sound which collected attention from the sprawling backyard crowd. Bubbly frontman Sam Bank-Smith was joined by skillful drummer Catherine Zoller who infused the set with a blissful beat, and jumping bass played by Max Lockitt, who bit into the songs and kept the vibe of the set light and funky. The band played a couple of tracks from their latest EP, such as Pilot and No More TV, which is up on Spotify (go give these guys a listen). Miranda Murray-Young joined Moth up on the stage for one of their final songs, a gleeful rendition of the Beatles classic, Strawberry Fields Forever. Sam had a go at playing a little cheerful flute, but much to the dismay of the crowd threw the flute onto the ground after he was finished with it. Regardless of this instrument abuse, Moth are a golden egg within the Perth music scene – if you see them on a line-up don’t pass it up. Although fair warning; try not to get too drunk before you do, you might find yourself dancing a lil too wild.

Mal De Mer

The final band for the night was the masterful Mal De Mer, who as the temperature reached a mere freezing, kept us feeling warm and impassioned. The snarky, true blue vocals of Saskia Fleming are perfectly surrounded by jazz-infused, mystical surf rock, a blend which snuck up on the crowd and got their feet moving. Emma Crawford on keys and sax looked like a character from a Tarantino film and playing with a soulful flair. This merged with the rolling, heavy drums that set the tone for this band played by Regan Dale.

In and out came delightful busty riffs from guitarist John Harvey and smooth jiving bass lines from Claudia Genovese. Mal De Mer had powerful energy, and the connection between the musicians felt comfortable. The crowd was excited to hear Mal De Mer play their latest song Goodbye Headache which was released at the Bird on April 24, and the relatable lyrics such as “my birthday keeps on coming and I still get no sleep” speaks to us adolescents, pretending to be reliable adults when all we really are is majorly stressed out. The band’s easy stage presence is a wonder to behold so go catch em’ supporting Almond Soy at the Sewing Room in May.


Photos by Sean Smith

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