If you put Lemmy, Psychonaut, Maverick Firebird, Electric State and Art Of Dysfunction in the same room, what are you going to call it? There’s only one fitting name for such an event and that’s GARGANTUA! And it’s happening, tomorrow night, at the Milk Bar. Colour me excited! Going to have to get some black nail polish for this one!
Gargantua is most definitely worth getting behind if you have any affinity at all with rock and metal.
Gargantua is the brainchild of Maverick Firebird vocalist/guitarist, Craig Jovanovic, who, when he got frustrated by the lack of opportunity for his band, decided to put on his own show. Simple, really, and that’s pretty much exactly how every big movement in the music biz got its start. It’s called DIY.
“We’ve done gigs before,” said Jovanovic, “but they kind of slip by without any consequence. So, this time I thought we do something that has a little bit of impact, or at least resonates a touch after it’s all said and done. Maybe, if it’s done well enough, have a crack at it again next year. An event, something you can look forward to, and you know what you’re going to get when you buy your ticket.”
What you’re going to get is four of Perth’s best rock and metal bands slugging it out with each other toe-to-toe other to see who takes home the title of Best Actual Rock Band in Western Australia. The award will be presented on the night by Lemmy, who’s billed to make a return from the underworld for one night only. There also will be a backstage spelling bee and the inevitable bickering and shameless displays of brotherly and sisterly love that you get at every family gathering.
“It’s a bit of gentle fun,” said Jovanovic, completely underselling the concept in the way that only a muso could. “The whole event, while serious, everything from the name, Gargantua, to all the hype and bullshit that we’ve been plugging it with from Lemmy to the greatest show in the cosmos, it’s just good fun.”
So Lemmy might not be there? Well, no, probably not. But, have you ever seen these two people in the same room together?
Jovanovic, when he’s not fronting Maverick Firebird and warming up to his new role as a music promoter, spends a lot of his time getting in touch with the spirit world and claims to have a close connection to Lemmy, always carrying an authentic piece of the last plaid shirt the rock god wore somewhere on his person. With all those spirits in him, let’s just hope Jovanovic doesn’t get breath tested on the way home from the gig.
But seriously, folks, Gargantua is most definitely worth getting behind if you have any affinity at all with rock and metal. For all his witticisms, Jovanovic is very earnest about what he’s up to right now.
“If we were gigs getting thrown at you left right and centre there’d be no need to set something up yourself you just keep on playing and enjoy yourself. So, I’d have to say it is a result of that. I just thought, well, we’ll do a gig, will put it on, will get all our mates in the bands that we love to play, essentially the perfect party for ourselves, and then, presumably, people who like us would gravitate to it as well. If we can sell a couple of tickets that would be handy.
“It’s well known also that the rock and metal scene has a very loyal supporter group that follows the bands from place to place.”
That’s been true since Lemmy was in shorts and long socks and remains so in present day Perth. Get your tickets now if you want to be part of this show, it’ll be long remembered even through the morning-after fuzzy heads and ringing ears.
On top of all that, Jovanovic would have to be one of the bravest souls in the Perth music scene right now as well. He’s called his promotion vehicle, No Industry Support, and when asked why wasn’t shy about saying things that many others think and are willing to say in private, but hardly ever in public.
“It’s just a common thing to expect to get absolutely no help from the industry,” said Jovanovic. “It’s a given. WAM and all that are the funnel effect feeding people through the system. There’s no point dancing around it. When’s the last time you’ve seen Depravity or someone like that being up for an award or being put on a WAM festival? Everyone is equally West Australian music, but it’s selective. There’s a reason behind that, we’re probably a very niche musical market and maybe not something that you’re going to set up in the middle of Perth to display Perth’s musical wares to random passers-by. It’s just known that we’re not going to get those little leg ups from the industry so, we cop it on the chin, and we go about it ourselves.
“No Industry Support, it’s just a dig.”
GARGANTUA features Psychonaut, Maverick Firebird, Electric State, Art Of Dysfunction, a spelling bee, the Real WA Rock and Metal Awards and Lemmy.
Its on at the Milk Bar, Friday 28 May.
Get your tickets here.