Finally I get to do something Festival of Perth related and I'm certainly hitting the festival hard this weekend. Tomorrow night it's Apollo 13 at the new State Theatre Center, last night it was Becks Music Box to see west coast USA darlings Best Coast. I'd stumbled across Best Coast about a year ago and was really looking forward to this gig.
We got there just after the venue opened and scored a couch at the front of the raised area, with a pretty good view of the stage. If you've been to Becks Box you'd appreciate the awesome vista of the Perth skyline you get, so being as I like to take pics for my blog I whipped out the iPhone and snapped a shot....
quality pic huh, Maccas head is a bonus?
Instantly a security guard was in my face with
"No photos""What?""You can't take photo's""Dude I understand you dont want pics of the band but they're an hour away""You can't take photo's""I can't take a photo of the city skyline?":blank stare:"Fucking ridiculous"
So, whatever, it's not like my iPhone takes good pics anyway, I am aware of the Festival of Perths' no photo policy, I saw security go sick at a guy last year at the Dirty 3 gig, it's why I left my actual camera at home. But a pic of the view outside of the venue? Far out, hello Perth! I did get a response from the Festival via twitter, more on that later.
Back to the music, first up was this crazy dude who started out sounding American but we're pretty sure he's English. He had a fuzzy fro, dark aviators, black vest over tight white shirt and man if anyone was ever born to be a rock star it was this guy. Kind of a shorter crazier version of Lennie Kravitz. I wish I knew his name, but there were no hints at the gig or from him (that we understood). He played a mean slide guitar and his music was great, his conversations out loud with other people inside his head were a little off putting, but hey, express yourself dude.
8.45 and Best Coast hit the stage. What to say about Best Coast, I dig their music but it just doesn't seem to translate well to a live set. It should, no reason why it shouldn't, maybe it was the sound system, maybe it's the material, but in my ignorant opinion it's because Bethany Cosatino (lead vocals) plays guitar whilst she sings. The proof was near the end of the set just after she smashed her tooth on her microphone (ouch), she put down her guitar and sang. Only then did she really belt out the song, she has a great voice which translates to recordings but suffers live when she plays an instrument at the same time. Hire a guitarist to join Bobb and Ali and concentrate on the singing .... well that's what I think, but what the hell do I know huh?
A not always tight (they seemed to have different set lists or read them wrong) set that lasted 45 minutes (seriously, only 45 minutes plus a short encore). A bit short, you kind of expect at least an hour, although the douche bag who jumped on stage twice probably, and fairly, pissed them off enough not to stay out any longer. A 3 minute brawl between the security (they don't just focus on renegade iPhone photographers) and the stage douche and his douche mates proved to be the most exciting moment of the evening.
Once the douche was hauled out another group started setting up (again, due to lack of signage and a lack of coherent microphone banter I have no idea who they were*). We assume it was a collective of Perth musicians because Vanessa from Jebediah was playing bass for them. The lead singer had some amazing instrument kind of like an electric lyre/xylophone thing, which was cool. But the sound set up wasn't doing the music justice so we weren't all that inspired by it. At least not enough for us to hang around for another beer.
*the best way to find out something you don't know is ask the person who cuts your hair, right? and that's exactly what I did and now I know this group was most likely Felicity Groom and friends. Thanks Jasmine
So all up a good night, the music was okay and it kind of felt we were just down the local to watch some live sets. Which isn't a bad thing is it?
meh I understand artists images are a commodity and I wasn't snapping the artists, perhaps just some common sense should prevail