The City of Wanneroo hosted an evening of delightful tunes soaked in golden Spring sunlight on Saturday, with Melbourne rockers British India headlining a stellar lineup of Perth and interstate artists. Jai and Liam were there to catch all the action.
Due to interview schedule dramas, I missed a fair bit of Tired Lion’s set, but the few songs I managed to catch did not disappoint. The best way to describe their performance is hard-hitting, balls-to-the-wall garage rock. A piece that started out with lumbering, meandering guitar and an unobtrusive bass line provided a moment of respite from the cataclysm of sound that came before it. Things soon ramped up into a frenzy, wailing guitars coalescing with the harsh, passionate vocals of lead singer Sophie Hopes. The powerful instrumentation never ventured into over indulgence, the band showing suitable restraint. While I regret missing a chunk of Tired Lion, their performance left me feeling hopeful of things to come.
HOLY HOLY’s riveting stage presence made me inwardly cry “holy moly”. A drum solo set things off with a bang, while a psychedelic guitar solo meshed with mesmerising keyboard tones. As soon as lead singer Timothy Carroll opened his mouth (and, you know, sang), I thought of Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard. The band brought the feels with Sentimental in London, which, as its title would suggest, involved poignant guitar licks that added a hefty weight. The song was seamlessly followed by Closer, which began with a rallying cry of guitars, steadily increasing in a heavy build-up, before plateauing into a steady groove. HOLY HOLY’s instrumental breakdowns were the highlight, as the band visually enjoyed hitting their stride and running, nuanced guitar work and light drumming making for an immersive lull.
The Hunting Birds
Twice now have I seen The Hunting Birds live, and twice have I gone away immensely satisfied. When introducing new track State of Mind, measured drumming filled the air, before the sweet harmonies of vocalists Kendra Fewster and Connor Minervini were unleashed. Soft guitar work soon amalgamated into a flurry of sound, the band’s high synergy with one another palpable. From the Ashes presented a ray of light, soft keyboard notes leading the way as drum kicks heralded in the other instruments. Rounding off their performance was a piece that rose with a hectic crescendo, strong vocals and eerie tone. Lashes of country were present, as the end refrain of “We’re so glad that you came” provided a warming outro.
The drone of keyboards made for a cold, slow grind into the ether of Melbourne trio Little May. Their vocal work was astounding: layered, sombre and profoundly moving. They’re the kind of band who can nail one style exceptionally well without it becoming stale, enrapture you in a black mood in the nicest way imaginable. Chilled guitar vibes combined with the odd burst of tambourine to add some spice to the pieces, while a song described as “a bit of a hoedown” well and truly delivered on that claim, instruments bleeding together while electric guitar and keys played off each other to great effect. The most surprising aspect of the performance was a cover of Great Southern Land. Here, the girls made it their own by utilising their lush harmonies to give some soul to the piece, while guitars wafted over the keyboard and drums like a sweet scent. Little May are hugely entertaining due to their transient vocals with dark lyrics, that rest amongst a surreal sonic soundscape.
As expected of a headline act, British India brought the metaphorical thunder to the physically clear night. Possessing a fine rapport with the audience, lead singer Damien Melina provided many quality bug jokes throughout the set (“what’s a bug’s favourite sport? Cricket!”). The best way to describe the encounter was ordered chaos: I swear the bandmates must have walked a marathon for the amount of movement they had around the stage. The band showcased their twelve years of experience, forming a tight-knit powerhouse that kept the energy pumping. The highlight was new track, I Thought We Knew Each Other. Guitars duelled solemnly as Melina’s voice was joined by Drummond and Wilson’s, adding vocal flair to the piece. The band broke out in a flurry of movement as the more upbeat chorus came into play, it was obvious they were loving the atmosphere alongside the audience. The night climaxed with Wrong Direction, where soaring guitars met with regal keyboard melodies and smooth vocal harmonies that carried the crowd’s collective adrenaline to astronomical levels. The soft fadeout of the keys and Melina’s crooning made for a chilled end to a warm night.