ROCK N’ ROOTS WEEKEND – ESKIMO JOE/WA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
KINGS PARK & BOTANIC GARDEN
Photos and Review by Caris Morcombe
The first day of summer was welcomed with open arms late evening in the beautiful surrounds of The Pioneer Womens memorial in Kings Park. Your Girl Pho, Bob Evans and Eskimo Joe joined by WA Symphony Orchestra (WASO) were a very complimentary line-up that I couldn’t resist. As chairs slowly filled and picnic rugs were shook out I was grateful to be able to witness a set in golden hour.
I had first seen Your Girl Pho perform at SOTA festival this year, in her bright yellow ensemble I remembered the joy that oozed from her performance. Today was no exception. Joined by not one but two saxophone players it was a fusion of upbeat hip hop, smooth jazz and a whole lot of soul. YGP was a dream to photograph dancing between belting out favourites such as Sinister and Feelen.
Bob Evans played a stripped back set. His acoustic guitar in hand, he was joined by Clio Renner on keys and Esther Henderson on violin. I enjoyed the nostalgia of his back catalogue including hit Don’t You Think It’s Time? This was well complimented with new works such as Old News – definitely give it a listen. There was solid banter with the crowd, Evans taking shots at the roped off VIP section then asking if there were any “Bullcreekians” out there. The trios’ performance had an intimate feel as they wrapped their set with Where Did I Go Wrong? – which felt very right.
The West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) graced the stage and began warming their strings and clearing their pipes. I’d seen them once when I wasn’t old enough to full appreciate the grandeur of an Orchestra. This time I was sure to take in every moment and truly appreciate the mass talent in the picturesque park. Goosebumps.
I was 13 when I made a mixed CD featuring Eskimo Joe and it wasn’t until I’d raised my hand to photograph this event that I realised they were essentially my introduction to Australian rock. I’d somehow lost track of Eskimo Joe over the years and I was curious to see how the night would play out. Kav Temperley, Joel Quartermain and Stuart MacLeod vivaciously joined the stage. Dressed to impress in a velour tux, Temperl.ey delivered a hard hitting performance. I’m glad that the Fremantle trio touched on the catalyst behind Foreign Land, written shortly after hearing of the death of Heath Ledger as they toured the US. That song has always felt poignant and I can now put my finger on why. London Bombs delivered similar melancholic chills as the majesty of the Orchestra echoed through the eucalyptus trees. It was a joy to hear the audience join in on a cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps as well as EJ classic Sarah. The set was a well put together piece of old and new and as it came to an end I felt I’d rekindled my love for my first Aussie rock band.
The event as a whole oozed a good mix of class and edge with powerful performances. Between choosing the croquette food truck or the Paella, being eaten alive by mozzies and enjoying the truly high end Perth talent on the stage, what better way to spend a Sunday evening on the first night of summer?