The Sewing Room, Saturday 1 June 2019
Photos by Leteesha De Landgrafft
I don’t think anyone left The Sewing Room without being hit in the feelings unexpectedly that Saturday evening. As I waited for my friend to arrive under the string of lights suspended over Wolf Lane, I was well and truly oblivious to the spectrum of emotions I was about to experience.
When we learnt the venue wasn’t open yet, we decided to have a cheeky ginger beer at The Cheeky Sparrow, of course. At 8.30pm, we decided to try our luck again. We were told Ceres were still running their sound check. The hour delay from their scheduled start time resulted in a lengthy line stretching all the way up the lane and onto Hay Street – Ceres later joked that this worked to their advantage as it made them appear more popular. After resolving some technical issues, the doors finally opened at 9pm and the crowd flooded into the venue, filled with anticipation and excitement from the wait.
The night was kicked off by Melbourne indie rocker, Eaglemont.
“I usually have my band with me so I’m a bit lonely,” she said. But her songs made us feel anything but alone. Eaglemont won the crowd over with her honest lyrics and her smooth, soothing vocals. She was open and vulnerable in her song writing, sharing experiences such as feeling unsafe walking home at night and experiencing conflicting emotions at her school ball.
“This song is about being on your way to the ball with your date and you realise everything is perfect… except you’re gay.”
Up next and also from Melbourne, was indie pop goddess, Ro. Her performance was emotion-fuelled, energetic and expressive. I was pleasantly surprised that I was familiar with her song, ‘F**ked Up Over You’ – an empowering break up anthem about escaping a toxic relationship unscathed. It was a privilege to experience this live after having it on my playlist for months.
As I waited at the front of the stage for Ceres, the stagehand brought out cans of Emu Export and placed them in position for each of the band members. Before too long, the Melbourne five-piece emerged, greeted by loud cheers from the crowd. Ceres opened their set with ‘Marriage’, the first track off their freshly released album. The crowd sung along passionately, especially for the hook, “I’d ask you to marry me but you’d say no”.
Ceres were full of energy, with plenty of head banging and jumping around the stage. Coloured lights flashed behind them, the crowd yelled out their lyrics and threw their hands up in the air before them. Within the first few songs, front man Tom Lanyon’s guitar amp cut out. This was swiftly fixed though. Phew.
However, disaster struck again shortly after, with more technical difficulties concerning the sound equipment. But Ceres didn’t let this get in the way of a good night. While the issue was being resolved, the band led the crowd in sing-a-longs of ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’.
“Some people say when shit like this happens, it makes a bad show,” said Lanyon, who was met with much protesting from the crowd. The band managed to keep everyone in high spirits throughout the hiccups, which was admirable.
The second half of the show ran much smoother. Ceres made sure they covered all of their fan’s favourites, including ‘Me & You’, ‘Kiss Me Crying’, ‘Happy In Your Head’ and ‘Choke’.
Witnessing Ceres perform live stirred something inside me. They reminded me of the long lost punk bands of the 90’s and 2000’s with their confessional style song writing, unafraid to reveal and evoke raw emotions within their music. Their songs had a nostalgic quality to them, combining romantic lyrics with dark subject matter, heart-rending crescendos and catchy hooks. Ceres seemed to stir something within the people around me too – the worn floorboards bounced and felt like they’d snap from the crowd jumping so much.
“We’re going to play this song, walk off, then we’re going to stand behind that curtain for a few minutes and walk back on,” said Lanyon, revealing that there would be an encore.
It came as no surprise when Ceres returned to the stage after hiding behind the curtain for a few minutes, as promised. Ceres announced that they hadn’t been to Chicken Treat yet, an essential Western Australian experience, but it was on the agenda for the following day. They ended the night with ‘Stay Awake’ and their much-loved hit from 2018, ‘Viv In The Front Seat’.
Technical issues aside, Ceres provided Perth with a treat of an evening. Their songs were dark and cleansing all at once, leaving me with a bittersweet feeling at the end of the night.
The following day Ceres uploaded a photo to their Instagram story of the band outside Chicken Treat, captioned “we were here at 10:01am. Tour is over”. We hope you enjoyed your Chicken Treat, Ceres - it was well deserved.