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Tourism Minister Paul Papalia has been banging on lately about Sandgropers talking up Perth instead of going down the ‘most isolated capital city’ line.  Well, Minister, here’s one good reason why we think we should all just keep quiet.  Every now and then we’ll have a massive act like, say, Slaves, drop in on us and play a cheeky date at a small venue fresh off playing to 10,000 people in their home country and on their way to playing in front of 20,000 people in those big brash east coast cities.

Yep, Slaves hit Perth recently, hot from a date at London’s Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace) and on their way to dates in Sydney and Melbourne for Download.  Around The Sound spoke to Slaves’ vocalist and drummer, Isaac Holman, down the line from London and he was excited to be bringing their first ever Aussie date to Perth.

“I’m excited to explore Australia a bit.  We’ve been wanting to get out there for a while, but no one’s booked us so far, so when we got the call we were there.  I’m excited to see what Perth’s all about.  I don’t know what to expect from Australia, what sort of audiences we’ll get and how they’ll respond.”

On playing smaller venues, Holman said, “That’s our stomping ground.  That’s where we flourish in those smaller venues playing to smaller crowds.  I’m on a bit of a fitness regime at the moment, because I’m just trying to get ready for performing in that intense heat. Unless I give 110%, I just won’t feel good about it.  I give every last drop of sweat that I’ve got.”

Sticking with the political line, there are some more good reasons we should maybe just keep quiet about our existence.  When I asked Holman about what’s going on in UK politics, he had plenty to say!

“It’s all just so mental and the news just really throws you off now, so no one actually really knows what’s going on, to tell you the truth.  Everyone’s just thrown into a state of confusion by it all.  It’s fucked, basically.  But it’s definitely good writing material, if anything can come out of it.

“I think there’s definitely going to be a big backlash coming soon.  It feels like something’s going to happen.  I’m not sure when and who by.  We’ll see.”

Yes, best keep our heads down, we think.

For those not yet in the know, Slaves are a UK duo consisting of Isaac Holman on vocals and drums and Laurie Vincent, vocals and guitar.  They’re the sort of band that invoke devotion in their fans, being adept at capturing the times and the interior lives of their audience, and it’s a relationship that genuinely goes both ways.

“We’ve got fans that have been there from the start.  We have endless love and respect for those people.  We have a really good relationship with our fans.  We have quite an open dialogue with our fans, even during shows, we like to talk to people and get everybody involved.”

“We like to talk about things that the everyday man and woman can relate to.  The kind of thoughts that everybody has, but really doesn’t express.  The audience inspires us, as well, it’s a two-way thing.”

Slaves are described as a punk band, a moniker that fits them pretty well, but they exist entirely in the 21st Century, putting on highly produced shows that are a combination of sensory assault and community sing along.  Asked about Slaves’ music and performances, Holman had this to say:  “I really like confusing people.  There’s definitely simplicity within it (Slaves’ music), but it’s hard work.  Physically, it fucks me every time.  It’s an intense experience for all involved.

“What you can expect from us is good old-fashioned family fun, with a bit of blood and sweat.”

If you didn’t get a chance to see Slaves on their recent trip to Perth, let’s hope it’s not their last time.  It’ll probably be the last time we get to see them up close and personal, though.

What massive acts have you seen in intimate venues in Perth?  Others we can name are Television and Primal Scream.

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