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IN THE PINES @ Somerville Auditorium gets 9.5/10


In The Pines @ Somerville Auditorium
Sunday, April 14, 2019

9.5/10

(Below we have included suggestions of songs by each band that you may like to check out. Support local music!)

It’s the best day of the year for fans of local music and local musicians alike. In The Pines, RTRFM’s annual festival sees 20 artists from WA on two stages, for 10 solid hours of music. There are a few things guaranteed to happen on Pines day; you will run into heaps of friendly faces, you will discover a band you didn’t know, you will gaze at the canopy of pines trees, Gavin will give you a lollipop (you were missed this year mate!) and it will rain.

Funnily enough, ex-Breakfast presenter Peter Barr declared on Facebook just a day before the event that the skies would be clear. Well, it’s fair to say he jinxed us! At noon, after a moving Welcome To Country and during The Natasha Elridge Band’s set, it started to bucket. The early birds sought shelter under the food tents, though a few smart people had brought their umbrellas. It would have been a far cry from the sunny skies of Broome, where Elridge originally hails from. Despite the chill in the air, she warmed us up with covers from The Church, Christine Anu, and Angus & Julia Stone. Check out her song Statement from the Heart.

Natasha Eldridge & Cruise Control

By the time Gazey hit the stage a few more people had arrived and the rain was holding off (for now). Their synth-laden sound was great for a wiggle. Gazey combine elements of indie and electronic to create some awesome dance rock bops. Listen to their track Sleep for cool Prince vibes.

In The Pines is simultaneously broadcast over the airwaves, and Didion’s Bible‘s frontman started their set with a shout out to his dad. He also sent a shout out to Peter Barr at the close of their set, saying “Have a wonderful day… Unless Peter Barr curses us again with the rain!” Musically, the post-punk outfit has a DIY sound, with added fart bass and keys. But it’s their high energy stage presence and sense of humour that draws you in as much as anything. Check out their tune Tijuana.

Yomi Ship

From post-punk to post-rock, Yomi Ship makes music that is equally heavy and groovy. The musical ability of this band is second to none, but it is drummer Nick Osborne who is particularly mesmerising. The group’s songs have abandoned the traditional song structure and the drums sit front and centre. Have a listen to Zoombini.

One of the best things about the Pines lineup is the diversity of acts. So when it was time to kick up some dust, Hexx graced the stage. Speaking of drummers, how cool is a double kick? So good! Hexx was definitely the most brutal act of the day. Described as a hardcore/power-violence band, they played a face melting thirty minutes that had the most placid attendees wanting to windmill. Strap yourself in and put on their self-titled EP – which is pretty much one continuous track.

FLOSSY

Flossy has been a fave on lineups for a while now. Reminiscent of early 90s riot grrl groups, Lauren and Sinead O’Hara have some serious Kathleen Hanna/ Kristen Hersh/ Deal sisters vibes. They are such a rocking act, with driving bass lines; it’s easy to see why they are so popular. Wrap your ears around I Want You.

Gemma Farrell Music Quintet

Mid-afternoon saw the temperature drop with some cool jazz *boom tish* care of the Gemma Farrell Quintet. It was the perfect chance to chill and enjoy another different genre of music. Farrell is an extraordinary talent on the saxophone. Check out her tune The People At My Place.

Salary

Salary filled up the stage with their some 11 members. The most ragtag looking collective led by the ever expressive Sean Gorman, their countrified pop proved to be a crowd favourite. With a new album under their belt, they had plenty of new tunes to play. Listen to their new single Polite Rebellion.

A change of pace came next care of Cold Meat. An awesome injection of old school punk into the proceedings, their songs pack a short, sharp punch. They are the kind of band that would have set the stage of CBGB’s alight with their energised set. Get kicked in the teeth with Example.

The Little Lord Street Band

The Little Lord Street Band has crafted their alt-country into a fine art with a twang of Americana. Natasha Shanks and James Rogers shared vocal duties and nod to a certain Mr Cash & Ms Carter, and their polished delivery had lots of people slapping their knees in time. Tune in to Maybe I’m Just in Love for some sleek harmonica.

One of the best things about Pines is the nostalgic act that comes to play. This year saw Flanders return to the stage! Admittedly a lot of people in the crowd were too young to be familiar, but those that knew the band were front and centre, singing along and reliving the mid-90s. Regardless, they embody the sound of the era, and whether you knew them or not, their set was instantly nostalgic. The 90s was undoubtedly a golden era for Perth indie rock, and you should definitely look up Anky Fremp, which they finished their set with.

Noah Dillon is currently flying the flag for Perth music nationally. One of the most popular sets of the day, Dillon had the younger crew completely rapt. By now the sun had set, and people were peeling themselves off their picnic blankets to enjoy his brand of folk rock. Listen to Maggots.

Jack Davies and The Bush Chooks

Speaking of younger crew, Jack Davies‘ songwriting belies his years. Playing with his band The Bush Chooks, Davies is a storytelling troubadour. He is following in the footsteps of harmonica toting legends that came before, but with a healthy dose of Australiana. Seeing him play is always a pleasure, and this was no exception. Vegemite Sandwich is one to check out.

After Davies had lulled us into a relaxed state, Zerodent hit the stage to pull us back out of it with some garage punk. Nothing wrong with a few power chords! While their lineup may have changed since their inception, their music remains balls to the wall fun, and it looked like the band were having as good a time as the crowd. Do some fly kicks to A True Perfection.

Pat Chow

Undoubtedly one of the most hyped sets of the day, Pat Chow proved themselves an absolute highlight. Donning pine tree air fresheners around their necks, they are impossible to fault. Their delivery was tight AF and very sing-along-able. If you made a family tree of local bands with the ‘Perth sound’, you’d have groups like Ammonia, Jebediah, and Header, then alongside them would be Pat Chow for sure. Listen to Make It Hard.

Carla Geneve

Another absolutely tight set came from Carla Geneve. With so many tours and high profile gigs under her belt, she has become the consummate professional and seems completely self-assured on stage. She had one of the biggest crowds of the day, who were definitely enraptured by the hits we’ve heard spun on RTRFM so many times. If you haven’t yet, check out her track Greg’s Discount Chemist.

Mt. Mountain

Further proof that WA is consistently churning out brilliant music of all styles, Mt Mountain followed with a blistering set of prog rock explorations. Their noodling guitars and cymbal crashes were utterly hypnotic and a very welcome inclusion into the evening. For this reviewer, they were possibly the best on ground. Tune into their track Cathedral.

Jake Webb

This year’s mystery act turned out to be Jake Webb of Methyl Ethel fame. He played a thumping electronic set using just his voice and some synths. This may be an unpopular opinion given the size of the crowd watching him, but his solo set came across as pretty self-indulgent. Understandably, he took the opportunity to do something different when performing solo, but it just missed the mark and perhaps a couple of Methyl Ethel hits wouldn’t have been amiss. They are one of Perth’s biggest bands at the moment after all (in part thanks to airplay from RTR).

Downsyde

A lot of people had packed up and headed home by the time Aussie hip hop icons Downsyde performed, which was such a shame (you missed out!). They are absolute legends and took us on a trip down memory lane with songs like Lesfortunate and El Questro which still stand up 15 years later. With so much energy and enthusiasm, they ensured that those who had stuck around danced their behinds off. If you’re not familiar, check out Gifted Life.

Grace Barbe

Rounding off the day was the inimitable Grace Barbé. She brings the party! Originally from the Seychelles, her brand of Afro-Kreol music lit a fire under everyone’s feet as they danced up a storm. Not only blessed with an amazing voice, the woman can shred! She works that bass like no other. Get amongst her tune Je T’aime.

And so, another Pines is done and dusted. A little bit of rain was never going to spoil an amazing celebration of local music really. RTRFM once again proved to be the touchstone for the Perth scene, and we are already looking forward to next year’s installment.

SHANNON FOX

Photos by Damien Crocker

 

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