Due to Covid19 trvel restrictions Tempest Rising stepped up at the last minute to close out the night. A big ask but with self-assured experience they were up to the task. Heavy rock thrash (think Queensryche meets early Metallica) fast, furious and with played with passion and power. The mosh pit was brutal. All in all a brilliant day. Big shout out to the bands for showing up and giving it their all, the organisers, sound crew, stalwarts at the merch stand, and all who shared the metal, rock, love, thrash, mayhem, peace and good vibes. PERTH ROCKS!!
If the Caballeros are the naughty nephews (& niece) of the Perth music community then This Is Spud Gun are the Mad Uncles. With the energy at busting point This Is Spud Gun crashed through the barrier and went beyond. Thrash rock played with insane purpose and precision in front of a rampart following. Out came the drinks funnel and it didn’t take much enticing to get members into sucking from it like a mothers nipple. With the finale of smashing guitars and emotional collapses you could have been forgiven to think TISG had just got carried away by the days events and energy. Except for one small fact. This was just another “normal” (where nothing is normal) This Is Spud Gun gig. Long May They Rock! It will be safer for All of Us , Trust me.
Sounding more Bruce Dickenson than Bruce Dickenson with Dan the Man (vocals) pacing the strange like a crazy Eddie the comparison to Iron Maiden is all to easy. A few songs into the set Silent Knight flexed their musical muscles, getting into a more thrash speed metal sound. Thus making first impressions not the whole story. With the explosive, pounding drumming from Dan the Man (drums) I had to do a double take on the kit. Convinced it was double bass I was astounded that it was a single bass drum. With a full-on set list of driving speed metal songs with piercing vocals it was an astounding performance to behold. With a ten year plus history behind them, including international gigs and tours Silent Knight are well worth investigating. Check out their music catalogue in the “MORE” section.
Retreating back to the Bar Stage looking for some respite it was not to be. Like a sledgehammer in the face Amberdown crushed. With a frantic thrash metal heavy rock groove Amberdown picked it up and swung it around. Check them out around Perth town.
Moving back to the Main Stage after such an exhilarating performance the sold out covid19 audience held the collective breaths for Ragdoll. Gunning it from the start the guitar driven punchy rock of this trio who were amped up for the task was on point. With enough hooks to pull in a fleet of Great Whites their expansive energy kept Perth Rocks Festival movin’ up. With unbridled enthusiasm, integrated with killer instincts and a collection of tunes from the priceless “Ragdoll Rewound”, “All I Want” and “Back to Zero” albums they played to perfection with the wining sound of masterful musicians. It left the collective breathless.
Having never seen Electric State in the live domain I was looking forward to this next set. After suffering a brutal, but welcome, wall of guitar battering from the main stage I made my way quick smart to grab a vacant spot at the Bar Stage. Good choice for within minutes it had turned into a heaving crowd as Electric State fired up. Electric State ballast off like a nuclear ballistic missile and for the next thirty five minutes or so the energy never let up. With a hard core following the knew every word it was like being a witness to a private party but where everyone is invited. Front man Rob is a dynamo powerfully getting his message across, employing a megaphone with discretion and trip to the bar table top to mix it up. Ferocious drumming powered the grunge heavy rock sound, taking it to the limit. With even a Cow Bell making an appearance for FF sake, this is one unit you need behold in the raw for a mental fun time.
HailMary must have said their prayers having to follow such a blistering set from the Bar Stage. Their, and the gathering’s, devotions were answered as they rose to the occasion as One. Brining their full riff sound to Main Stage they dealt it out like hammer blow. Stables such as” Friction Burns”, “Navigate the Sunrise” and “Prove Me Wrong” were mixed in with some newer numbers that rocked out strong. The energy just keep mounting as the house must have reached its Covid29 capacity by this time. It kept just getting Hotter.
And when you thought it couldn’t get better “Ashes of Autumn” smashed it in. Lead singer Mel took to the Bar Stage floor as she strutted her thing, making the air sing. A solid band that whips it up with melodic power stomping rock with a nineties feel they gave the music aficionados what they needed. “Supernova” is beauty, taking you higher, head long into the wilds. New single “Burn” does that to, with “Refuse to Break” a triumph. A powerhouse set and the day just kept getting better.
While the Bar Stage were finished off Legacy Alive were prowling the stage, warming up and chomping at the bit. They exploded into action with their four piece metal sound, Tokyo Blade meeting Iron Maiden on a Killer Night. Keeping their set fresh with newish tracks from their latest release “Great Unknown”, and mixing with crowd favourites Legacy Alive blasted into the Stratosphere, turning the main room into an astrosphere. Killer hooks, with blitzing solo’s, rampaging bass with power drumming this set took the energy level to another level.
If the Perth Rock community is like a family then The Caballeros are like the naughty nephews with lead vocalist Dr Jake the main protagonist. No holds barred bar room brawling garage rock with punk attitude this roving band of minstrels are in your face, like a ventriloquists doll. Loud and raucous, volcanic and noxious they are skilled musicians with the thirst for fun. With two new dancing Goddesses on stage doing “The Caballeros Twist” with these ”Lovesick Casanova’s” is was gem of a set that was therapeutic in excess on the Main Stage that overflowed onto The Floor
On the Bar Stage Variation of a Theory were a musical version of a tsunami, a wall of noise with vocals. Unrelenting and masterful you were enveloped in their vibrational structure and they provided a bonding joint, strong as steel.
Back to the mainstage where Diamond Sky brought classic Heavy Metal (think Rainbow, Do, Queensrÿche et al) to Perth Rocks Festival 2021. With commanding, majestic vocals leading this five piece drums, guitar, bass, keyboard and vocals it was a an all round excellent musical performance that added to the mix of Perth Rocks Festival 2021.
Back to Bar stage and The Shakeys brought the Rock out of the Garage and slammed it on your head and in your face. With lead singer Clarie fuelled and fresh from a triumphant interview with those purveyors of musical madness, mayhem and all round good vibes, HFH 107.3FM, she was on the constant move. Working within the physical confines of space Claire roared like panther and brought the steaming heat of the jungle into Badlands. While the parallel lines on stage were any thing but straight the other seasoned musical members, think Ballbreaker and The Caballeros, thrashed, bashed and boomed, fighting a way into your heart and head and making you love them all with as much vigour as they gave out.
Crimea immediately brought a new flavour to Perth Rocks 2021 showing the “rock” is as diverse as the accents and regional nuances as the English language. Jumpy rock tunes with a punky, jagged edge crossover they pulled the early birds in from the side settings of Badlands main room and into the dancing pit.
The opening act, “Art of Dysfunction”, were new to me and proved to be anything but dysfunctional when it came to laying down foot tapping, head banging hard rock with a blues swagger. Flying without a musical net, aka no set list, this unit knew their chops. One of the standout tracks, “Mandy”, was a winner in no uncertain terms. Playing in confines of the Bar stage the first serving in the musical feast of Perth Rocks sharped the appetite. Judging by the organisers first pick it was going to be a beautiful thing. The opening act, “Art of Dysfunction”, were new to me and proved to be anything but dysfunctional when it came to laying down foot tapping, head banging hard rock with a blues swagger. Flying without a musical net, aka no set list, this unit knew their chops. One of the standout tracks, “Mandy”, was a winner in no uncertain terms. Playing in confines of the Bar stage the first serving in the musical feast of Perth Rocks sharped the appetite. Judging by the organisers first pick it was going to be a beautiful thing.
Following such a dynamic set put Ashes of Autumn front person Mel on edge and generated the nervous tension necessary to go above and beyond. Ashes of Autumn responded in kind as one and delivered a stunningly powerful performance. With strutting, screaming, pouting and harmoniously shouting backed by a dynamic hard and heavy rock unit, Mel and the Ashes of Autumn cooperative kicked ass big time. This gig was launching their new single “SuperNova” and this track also launched their supersonic set. They crossed into the twilight time zone as their hour long eighties heavy metal nineties flavoured hard rock set of originals flew pass in no time at all. While the smallish numbers were attributed to festive and covid-19 hangover period on an artistic level it was success story that should become destined to become legendary in the annuals of the Perth Rock music scene.
Hailmary’s revamped line-up ripped into their set as a perfectively complementary full force riffing machine. New member was vocal focal Kev’s right hand guitar man playing his second gig. You would never have guessed as it was fluid and smooth as well as hard and heavy. The new line up maintained their high standard of their Black Sabbath meets Soundgarden heavy riff action, explosive drumming (featuring one of the best four drummers of the night) and excellent bass foundation. With a set list made up of new and old Hailmary delivered big time and move the assembled into spontaneous outbreaks of head banging and air guitar play. And the night keep moving to another level.
Zorah commenced their set with chilled down tones that were cemented by equally frantic energy that previous band pervaded. Moving into heavy vibes the lead singer on guitar ran into technical difficulties as her amp blew. However they stuck to the task at hand and as a collective, got back in track and finished with a flourish of integrated grinding compression of jarring vibrations that made you want to dance.
With guitar shredder Connor on vocals spearheading the unit it was a high dynamic, high octane frantic head banging assault from the word go. Well supported by the other musicians the unit gelled into a solid thrashing storm front. A great way to open the nights proceedings.
Acoustic with heart and soul playing a well chosen set of originals and covers the raw edged honey voice of Jason was a perfect way to kick off of the proceedings. With a great start the vision of a great day was coming on strong.
Dirty Harry got their guns out and came out blazing. Shooting up Pat Bentar and Don Henley to name a few it was rip snorter of a cover band set and got the gathering swinging, swaying and moving to the groove.
Perth’s premier cover, Odyssey of Rock, are calling it a day after giving the Perth music scene sterling service. Hard rockin’, no stopping the Boys laid Down the Beat, keeping it sweet. Tributes to the Stones, Queen, Kiss, Stevie Wright and ZZ Top were among the flow. An outstanding moment was when the very talented guitarist James Caldwell’s tribute to the recent departure of EVH. A quintessential rendering of ‘Eruption’ blew the roof off. Led Zep’s “Rock N Roll” was also a crowning moment in this gem of a set by some of Perth’s finest. Local legend and organiser of the day, Bomber, led from the front with a powerful stage presence and equally powerful rock vocals, taking it to the limit.
Winner of the Australian Songwriters 2018 Rock / Indie category (“Honey N Money”) livewire Tony Corea was up next. Fronting a talented three piece Anthony music was uplifting for the soul and put a smile on your face. Finishing off the set with a bar floor walk around Anthony won over a few more fans by putting his much vaunted talents on display.
Bohemian Crash are making a stir in the melting pot of the local music scene soup. Lead with the extraordinary powerful vocals of Haylee Robins and some intense guitar work the driving beat original song list get the feet tapping and jaws yapping. A fantastic set to drive the day along.
Fighting for Their Right to Party cover band Nitraine got in amongst it. With a set list ranging from Motorhead to Ian Moss to the aforementioned Bestie Boys it was time to rock out. Bohemian Crash Bohemian Crash are making a stir in the melting pot of the local music scene soup. Lead with the extraordinary powerful vocals of Haylee Robins and some intense guitar work the driving beat original song list get the feet tapping and jaws yapping. A fantastic set to drive the day along.
The amazing talents of Henry McInnes bamboozled the watching musio’s and assembled musical aficionado’s alike. A short but sweet set of originals with one cover, an amazing acoustic version of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”. If you see the name try to get out and support, or contact Henry via Facebook to grab his brilliant recordings. Hear, and see, what all the fuss is about.
One of the best AC/DC cover bands in Australia assembled on stage for a shorter than usual set. It was a bitter sweet affair as after 35 years fronting banding local legend Bomber is calling live performances quiets. Sounding more like Brian Johnson than Brian Johnson, Bomber led this hand picked band of Perth’s finest as they cherry picked from the second best selling rock album of all time, of course AC/DC’s “Back in Black” opus. The normal set is to run through the said recording end to end, but due to set time overruns, instead we got their choice cuts, such as “Hells Bells”, “Shoot to Thrill”, “You Shook Me …” to name a few. Also some excellent songs were pulled from the topdrawer of AC/DC’s other recordings (think “Sink the Pink”, “Jailbreak”, “Dirty Deed” as examples). Bomber is walking off while he’s still on top of the game so let’s hope there may be another chance for him to grace the stage. The small but dedicated congregation gave a Bomber a sound send off.
The Rock N Roll Outlaws of Perth brought closure to the proceedings in their own inimitable way. Nearing the end of a brutal set of head banging thrash metal that was tight, loud and grinding the spirits came out to play. Drinking funnel, smashed guitar and groups focal member flat on his back on and off the stage. Classic, This Is Spun Gun.
Playing original headbanging trash to perfection, dare I say it, but This Is Spud Gun are one of the ‘go-to’ Heavy Trash bands in Perth. With an early start to this evening’s proceedings the small gathering of music aficionados got into the set while TISG were playing to a stadium size crowd. Such in their intensity. A fantastic opening to a musical banquet.
Legacy Alive played a blistering set giving new compositions as run as well a crowd fav’s such as “Firefight”, “Replay” and “Lucid”. Legacy Alive are leading a Heavy Metal charge a la Tokyo Blade/Iron Maiden/NWOBHM style. With duelling guitar solo’s, driving drums and bass and Jacob Kenny going for the throat with rip n tear solo’s Legacy Alive are keeping the spirit alive in Perth.
Antidote are living their Rock N Roll dream with a headline gig at Amps Bar. Technically sound and playing with enthusiasm and drive these boys are a good time party band. With a set of two halves, one originals, one covers , they had the foxy bar staff singing and dancing along with the incoming patrons. As the inter song banter suggested Antidote are Rock N Rolls answer to Harry Potter. Don’t wake up Boys and Keep The Dream Alive.
Tonight the crazy genius of the Southern River Band’s leader and full force loving machine, Callum, opened the Pandora’s Box of the many talents and surprises that exist within the many worlds of SRB. First, and foremost, the highly anticipated musical skills, starting with the phenomenal lighting fast, thunderous road, rip n tear, cut and thrust lead guitar play. Side kick guitar slinger Donny was more noticeable tonight, taking his fair share of lead breaks. Along with rampaging bass (Pat) and roving drums (Tood) SRB were on point. Calum dropped the guitar for the mic on numerous occasions, displaying his perchance for romance and strutting his stuff, with prancing and dancing that was on par with Abba. I kid you not. The best vocals of the night were when Todd Pickett stepped down from his kit and gave an outstanding presentation of his harmonious pipes on a slow number (memory challenges arise). Never one to be short for words Cal’s inter-song banter was hilarious. At one point his banter was unscheduled when the crowd got a little too rowdy during the outstanding rocker “Chimney”. Other standouts being “Chasing After Love” crowd singing along, “Do You Miss Me”, “Stan Qualen”, “Let It Ride”. Hell the whole damm set. Family members jammed, Lightnin Jack jammed, and the sold-out venue jammed. With fire stacks, smoke machines this was an epic performance. One that is sure to be repeated and check em out while you can. Cos far and away these crazy birds will fly.
Lightnin’ Jack made a welcome return to the Freo Social, venturing down from his beloved hinterland to the Dirty Old Town of Freo. Not sure if this was the driver behind a more gritter, electric body based, six string set this time around. The foot tapping, back slapping performance still that transpired was raw, blues soaked, passionate master class performance. Well appreciated by the music aficionados who ventured in early and supported.
When the nuclear fallout of the Caballeros had settled there could only be one band in Perth that could follow that and make sense of it all. The Best All Female AC/DC cover band in Perth, if not Australia, Ballbreaker powered up and fired a salvo of classic AC/DC dynamite setlist tunes. With dynamic skill and musical talent (this Rock Warriors can play, sing and move and then some) server up a slab of foundation Rock. Also flying without a set list I’m afraid my battered brain cells can only regurgitate “High Voltage, “Big Balls, “TNT” and “Whole Lotta Rosie”. But there was more, so much more. Next time these Ballbreakers are around do yourself and favour, get out and get back to the roots of Live Rock Music.
The most hated band in Perth, because they are the best dressed, took the energy from Flyball Gov’nor, and transmutated it to split the atom. That can be the only explanation for the nuclear explosion that was The Calballeros set. Playing with majestic skill and speed they blasted off into their stratosphere, sucking up those in attendance and drawing them stage front. With such a cunning plan, lead vocalist Jake Dr.Greeen was able to unleash his messianic persona into the venue and walk amongst his followers, feeding them a diet of Caballeros Heart Break Rock N Roll originals. The band now leaderless on stage flung themselves around in panic and distress but without missing a beat, riff or note come to that. Such is the intensity of a a Caballeros performance, paradoxical in itself by being the same but never the same. The ‘sameness’ being you never know what to expect but there is a knowledge that it will be loud guitars, frantic drums and demented bass playing all orchestrated by a mad genius. Whose sole aim is to resurrect the spirit of outrageous rock and roll from which ever time period it had manifested itself in. Without a songlist the musical menu was cooked up on the run, but with the style and flamboyance of a Nigella Lawson and Gordon Ramsey Love Child. Nearing the end of the set the Dr begged and cajoled members of the headline band to join them on stage for an Easybeats cover song. Ballbreaker members Selina and Lauren obliged on backing vocals while Katheryn joined on lead vocals on a later number. It was at this stage Caballeros guitarist Jason abandoned his instrument giving to Selina, while grabbing a mic to share, and spar, vocals with the Doctor. The Caballeros can be summed up by saying every show is mad, never bad and will always makes you smile.
Flyball Gov’nor are a no holds bar drums-bass-guitar-vocals rock five piece led by a feisty bubbling blonde on the mic. With a punk-grunge-aussie alternative rock sound they blew away the basement blues and fired up the gathered musical aficionados. It was a high-octane set played with such passion and enthusiasm it left the lead vocalist collapsed and crumped on a heap on the stage by the end of it. Thankfully she recovered to finish off the set. It was radical.
Keeping the jazz feel going Chelsea, and her partner musical partners in crime laid it down and spun the assembled musical aficionado’s around. With another angelic voice intertwined with some jazz bass grooves and boom box beats here was another talented singer song writer baring her soul and letting the good vibes flow. Chelsea and her Elderflowers were in full bloom and I’m sure we will continue to see them blossom. Not only does Girl Power Unite it nurtures and nourishes spiritual growth too.
With angelic charm Liz built up the sound bringing in electric rhythm support that fleshed out the sound splash, venturing into power pop to jazz infused sounds. Whipping up the energy the dancers got in early and made sure the energy flow reverberated back to the performers. Yet another example of a passionate and talented song writer unleashing her musical powers.
Maintaining the energy flow, as well as the sense of occasion Danni K took to the stage and immediately captivated the assembled. With Danni’s first ticketed performance now in progress she drove the boom box beat along. With more of a country swing Danni’s powerful vocal lead the way, removing the focus from her considerable guitar skills. Another talented singer-songwriter, like the preceding performer, a mix of covers and originals enabled the dancers among the gathering to let the spirt flow and groove on. A fascinating performance and another name to watch out for in the local scene.
Jess Humby opened the proceedings and at once extended a friendly invitation to stay. Gentle melodic harmonies with warm vocals, flowed and wrapped you in a cocoon of protective feminine power. Her self-confidence and stage presence defied the fact that this was Jessies inaugural live performance. Playing a mix of covers and self-penned compositions Jess earned the musical aficionado’s applause. The spirit reverbed as they flocked to the dance floor for the closing numbers. A name to watch for in the local singer-song writer circles.
Legs Electric rode into town and blew away the Margaret River Covid-19 Blues with their brand of Maximum Rock n Roll. Heartbreakers, love takers, they won over new fans who were slammed against the wall by the sonic soundwaves. Hard edged melodic rock resonating with the spirit of the mistresses and masters who have gone before (think Joan Jett, Girlschool, Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Baby Animals, Suzi Quatro, The Who et al) they crashed the The River like a surf break. A solid set of Legs classics plus some new treats mixed in – see set list pic for details. With the bass hitting you like a runaway road train, the on point drumming hammering like Lionel Rose jabs, electric solo’s frying your brain and powerful vocal’s delivering the knockout blow there is nowhere to run and nothing to do but surrender. The Girls Are Back!! Abbe May wanted the best band around to support and that’s what Her Majesty got.
With a packed house the Covid-19 disrupted gig of March finally got underway. Working as a three piece with clever technical dubs Abbe took the energy reverberating from Legs Electric and quadrupled it delivering a flawless performance of Her Majestic compositions. If you want heavy funk sonic acid house country blues (music sex mixture) that make you sway, dance and move then Abbe’s sounds are for you. With a brilliant catalogue for “The Devil and Abbe May” to “Design Desire” there’s always the chance you may get some “Hawaiian Disease”. Even when Abbe says “Kiss My Apocalypse” you know that will only bear good “Fruit”. And such was the case tonight. At one stage the spirit carried Abbe into continuing to perform solo beyond the planned solo numbers, giving the band a good-natured extended break. When Abbe and band closed the set, rapturous cries for “more” demanded their return for an encore. As a side note there must have been something special in the air. For when the usual camera-scan card-PC process was carried out post gig some of the pics decided to chop then selves up and give Ausland181 a gift of artistic autism A mammoth night of fantastic live music down at “The River”.
Dressed for the occasion and dedicating their show to the “Power of the Pussy” Special Feelings got down with laid some chilled out jazz vibes. They won the musical aficionado’s over to their way of thinking. Special Feelings might become a bad habit of mine.
Black River Ransom are a formidable hard rock three piece. They deliver the goods in no uncertain terms and always on their terms. Their vibrations got in the audience and uplifted them with an atomic force. Like a full force loving machine Black River Ransom were in constant rocking, movement mode on stage. Definitely a band to keep on eye, or two, on.