RTRFM Fremantle Winter Music Party @ Railway Hotel/Port Beach Garden Bar/Swan Lounge/Swan Basement

Saturday, June 19, 2021


The radio station that supports local music like no other, hosted their annual party in North Fremantle to showcase an eclectic mix of local up and comers (as well as some of the scene’s heavy hitters). A wet and windy night didn’t hinder a sizeable turnout across the four venues, with the multi-staged format giving the event a festival feel. The only downside of being spoilt for choice amongst the 18 acts performing is that it was impossible to see them all. 

Of the brightest new bands on the landscape is Lo, the outlet for Lauren O’Hara’s more intimate and confessional songs. Although the subject matter of the songs tend to focus on O’Hara’s insecurities, the live shows are far more assured. The songs are given more muscle when played live, although they do lack the feel of Caitlin Norris’ drumming when she is unable to join them on stage. The songs from the band’s EP Plans For An Independent Future were well represented with Floating getting the biggest response and latest single Disconnect ended the set on a high note. Expect Lo to be higher on the bill for events like these before long. 


Cloning played on the outside stage, which wasn’t particularly well-suited to their sound as the guitars were lost in the open air and the vocals were thin. The band’s finest tune How Could You Ever Think I Hated You? was a highlight in a set that could have used more.

DV Stargaze is said to be the result of Clinton Oliver’s lengthy stay in rehab, and has the sound of an artist that has experienced the highs and lows. Oliver’s voice is darker and more jarring than on the recorded versions of his bedroom pop output, yet DV Stargaze make up for this with more cutting riffs and volume. The shoegaze elements were evident but not prevalent. DV Stargaze are armed with a good set of songs that are still finding their feet on stage. They are one to watch. 

Fresh from a CD launch the night before, Web Rumors played at a time when the rain had really settled in outside. The weather didn’t stop people from grabbing any undercover area that they could find to hear one of RTRFM’s favourite locals. Em Burrows led the band through synth-pop songs from the album New Tricks and the soulful Movin’ On got many knowing nods and people singing along. There was a whole lot of 80s electro-pop sounds and good vibes from Web Rumors who battled the elements with style. 

Indoor Fins

Timothy Nelson appears to live on the stages around Fremantle, so it was no surprise to see him feature this evening. He chose RTRFM’s Winter Music Party as the vehicle to launch his new outfit Indoor Fins. The debut show for his 70s inspired outfit was played to a packed room and Nelson brought his regular energy (as well as a horrible pair of orange pants). There is no shortage of new wave meets power pop in these retro-sounding tracks like Energy. Tunes like the breakup lament of Too Hard To Leave You benefited from a rock-solid rhythm section that boasted a killer snare sound and stylish bass runs. The high energy and melody infused Indoor Fins may well be Nelson’s best outfit yet. 

Ken Paolo

Ken Paolo filled the stage with backing vocalists and musicians as he walked through his modern RnB and soul tunes. The quietly-spoken singer’s voice was pleasant enough but the originals failed to grab the audience’s attention, while the covers seemed to for the wrong reasons.

Ghost Care

Irrepressible indie trio Ghost Care have been regularly pushing tunes out to the public of late and have followed up with regional tours and support slots for touring bands. The result was a road-hardened band who fired from the first note. As people rushed to the front of the room to hear the familiar songs, Oxygen was crisp and clean and IDK showed off their effortless harmonies. No matter how good a time you are having at a Ghost Care show (and I assure you, you are having a good time), the band always look like they are having a better time than anyone. Rarely do a group look to genuinely like each other as much as this trio do. Ghost Care’s set was a fitting end to the night of support to a radio station that have supported local bands for decades. 


Photos by Adrian Thomson

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