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1 November

Photos by Caris Morcombe

There’s a scene that is cookin’ with gas in Perth. It’s this array of Rock music that simply can not be denied any longer. 4 local acts hit the Bassendean Hotel for ‘Halloween Hangover’, and yours truly dressed up as Bret Michaels from Poison to check out this incredibly under rated array of talent. This is a scene of bands that has largely been ignored by publications and institutions in our city for the longest time and it’s time that this city stood up and noticed. 4 incredible bands took up this bill. Band Of Missfits, Amberdown, The Caballeros and This Is Spudgun.

The evening kicked off with Band Of Missfits. People in the audience kept remarking how tight they sounded! The band have had some lineup changes recently, but you wouldn’t have noticed as it felt like this ensemble had been together for a long, long time. They were even down a band member. Their brooding tones and the howling vocals of Kym Redmond were a haunting and intense way to begin the show. Kyms vocals are just incredible. Some of the notes she hit were amazing, and the whole set I kept thinking to myself “WILL SOMEBODY IMPORTANT NOTICE BAND OF MISSFITS?” This upcoming show with John Farnham, Jon Stevens, Vanessa Amirosi and The Southern Sons in the Vines… there is no reason that nostalgia filled show can’t throw a band like BOM on to open the show. It’s bothersome to me that a band with such great songs and such intensity does not get given the opportunities they deserve. Highlights of the set were songs like Higher Passage and their unbelievable cover of Dolly Partons’ Jolene. Props go to their drummer Paul Smith who hadn’t been feeling very well, yet whilst dressed as a clown he played meticulously and precise throughout, he was very impressive. Jake Bignell was the star he always is on guitar, and the shining star of the set was their new bass player Elle-Jay. Nice pants mate.

Amberdown were out next and just when I thought it was going to be difficult to follow our openers, Amberdown proved why they are one of the most consistent and powerful rock bands going in Perth today. I love the change in their sound from a few moons ago, they’re so much more hard hitting than they once were. Frontman and consummate hunk/dreamboat Daniel Connell is one passionate human being, and you can feel that throughout the entirety of his performances. Hole In The Flaw is such a great song. The whole band just lit UP when that song cranked to 11. Amberdown are yet another band in Perth that just don’t get given the opportunities that they deserve. Somebody, anybody – take notice of these guys. I’m literally getting sick (to my stomach) of seeing such passionate performers stuck in the same position for years on no fault of their own – they just don’t get helped out along the way because Perth is so isolated, how the heck can anybody get discovered? Especially when the institutions around here don’t pay bands of this genre the time of day. They’re genre-ists, if I can make up a word for a second. Amberdown are under rated and they proved their worth at this show.

The Caballeros hit the stage next for their signature brand of unhinged, old school rock n’ roll. It’s always slightly scary when they get out there and perform, because you don’t know what’s going to happen each time. That element of danger is something that The Caballeros thrive on. The stage was too small for their antics, and it (as usual) spilled out onto the floor with the crowd. Frontman Jake England is without a doubt one of the premier frontmen in Australian music right now, and for the love of god I wish this band got the credit they deserve for what they have created. Their penchant for utilizing dead media is classic, their outlook on promoting their bands brand, the songs are great too.. and they played so well at the Basso on this fateful night I was wondering how the hell would This Is Spudgun follow this?

Well, they did. This Is Spudgun’s set was another wild experience. Here’s a band that have really started to kick into the next gear. With the inclusion of their new guitarist Scott Bingeman, it’s almost like that missing piece to the puzzle has been found because it just works. They were great before, but it just feels like they’ve become louder, faster, more powerful now they have the ‘Tower of Power’ with them on stage. The thing about this lineup on the evening is this – none of them were alike, but they were all rock bands. They all brought something different to the table. TIS embody the crazy unpredictable nature of The Stooges, with the maniacal frontman Clint Hodges leading the charge. Nathan Valverde on drums just pounding away with Grohl-esque enthusiasm and power and bass player Ethan Broadbent fills out the rest of the stage with his energy, solid backing vocals and shenanigans as well. The usual beer funnel for the crowd is always fun, as well as the addition to a little bit of pyro and smog, This Is Spudgun are going to be the Rock band to look out for in 2020!

A great night enjoyed by all, everybody was dressed up, people from the scene in other bands came along to enjoy the show, this is why the actual and not miscategorized Rock scene in Perth is doing so well now, no matter how much some people want to ignore it – it’s on FIRE BABY.

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