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WINTERFEST – ROSEMOUNT HOTEL

WINTERFEST
ROSEMOUNT HOTEL, 15 AUGUST
FEATURING OLD BLOOD, AXE GIRL, ASHES OF AUTUMN, TRENT-JEAN, GREEN POOLS AND KAT WILSON
Photos by Talia Ferguson, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM

Fremantle Football Club’s delectable dominance over a weak West Coast Eagles got between Your Preferred Music Reviewer and Kat Wilson’s opening of this epic gig at the Rosemount Hotel on Sunday and for that I must most humbly apologise but, frankly, it’s not often the Dockers humiliate the Eagles and one simply has to savour all that one may when one can of such crosstown rivalry.

Ed’s note: You missed a sublime set from the ever astonishing Kat Wilson. Her rendition of current single, ‘Cool’ at the close of her set was ridiculously good. Next time get yer heard out of the footy and go check out a superstar in the making.

Thus Green Pools were the first act I managed to catch. This was the first time I’d had the opportunity to see this fabulous young band but I swear it will not be the last. Lead singer Tess Hutchinson has a shining voice and strums a ukulele. Now I am not by nature a huge fan of the uke but when her band kicked in it became immediately apparent that there is nothing small about this act at all. On the contrary, this five-piece band sounds huge and fully formed, opening with ‘Blue’, their current single, Green Pools’ set was as special as this start and ended way too soon for my liking. Green Pools are, hands down, the best new local band that I’ve seen this year.

Now while I am suddenly open to a ukelele-led band, I am possibly unable to be won over by bands like the next on stage. In oh so many ways Trent-Jean is anathema to all I hold dear in rock n roll, the histrionics, the over the topness, the underbuttoned shirtness, the I-am-the-sexist-guy-in-the-worldness. However my slightly biased view from the cheap seats must all be pinned on the eponymous Trent-Jean. The band which supports his post-80s schlock, on the other hand, are tight and to be applauded for their dedication to making the lead singer sound good. Pass.

Ed’s note: I always admire your pluck, Brian, your willingness to tell it like you see it. In this instance, you’re wrong. Trent-Jean’s OTT approach to performance is exactly what will see him and his band filling stadiums sooner rather than later. I don’t book also rans, you should know that by now 🙂

If Trent-Jean is some sort of mutant tribute 80s act then Ashes of Autumn are firmly entrenched in the 90s. Their songs are quite rock and the band is tight and loud. I’m almost converted. Lead singer Mel Flynn certainly throws herself into her work with great aplomb. If you are into Def FX, you’ll dig Ashes of Autumn.

Ed’s note: I dig them, a lot!

Then it came time for the sad occasion we’d all turned out for, the last ever show of the awesome Axe Girl. Opening with their epic song ‘Yoko’ proved Addison Axe was, as usual, in very fine form. Another early highlight in their set was ‘Open Sea’, a spookily beautiful tune. Despite the somewhat melancholy occasion, the band members were as mobile and as joyful as could be, no-one more so than Ness Thornton who twirled herself and her bass in a glorious ballet. Addison mentioned that she had a novel song about her dog and asked that the audience show her photos of their dogs, which many did, while she sang ‘ People Beach’. It was a beautiful moment of heartfelt togetherness. After a tight forty minutes or so of total domination Axe Girl drew the curtain upon ten solid years of fun and fabulousness. Over those years I’d managed to catch Axe Girl a few times and once they’d concluded I was left wishing I’d seen them more often.

Ed’s note: Axe Girl played just about a perfect set. Love to you all.

To close the night Old Blood, who sound like a modern take on your favourite old blues act, cruised moodily to a perfect end to the evening, one which would only have been improved at this time by a leather armchair and a cigar. This momentous event was brought to us by the fine folks at Around The Sound and all acts ensured they gave gracious thanks to the night’s hostess with the mostest, the wonderful Andrea Thompson. Well done all round. 

Ed’s note: Aww, that’s sweet. I’m so grateful to the punters, the venue and the bands for all their support and the lovely words. It was a great night and we just have to do it all over again.

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