Image Credit: Tame Impala
Damn, this list was hard to put together. Not only is Perth attracting some of the best international acts, we’ve got a crop of cool new venues to see them in (here’s looking at you Jimmy’s Den, Jack Rabbit Slim’s, and The Boston). Plus, our homegrown acts are consistently epic. Whether your taste skews psych rock, indie, electro, or soul, this list has you covered. And in ten different venues no less—Perth music venue bucket list, anyone?
Here are 10 Perthn gigs to catch before the end of the year.
World’s End Press
Jack Rabbit Slim's, 3 October
Half 80s synth pop, half indie rock, Triple J faves World’s End Press sound like The Smiths, The Talking Heads and LCD Soundsystem met at a house club, had a threesome, and produced a very cool, dancing baby (sorry, creepy mental image). If you’re after a biiiig night, this one’s for you, with Jack Rabbit Slim’s massive dance floor, killer sound equipment, and—the best bit—spiked milkshakes. Woop!
Jimmy's Den, 3 October
Her stage name’s a tribute to the Renaissance philosopher, which should give you some indication Montaigne ain’t fluffy bubble-gum pop. Instead, she lends her almost operatic voice to staccato beats, surprising lyrics and theatrical arrangements. Kind of like an Aussie Bjork. Catch her in Jimmy’s Den, Northbridge’s cool new upstairs hideaway.
Mojos, 11 October
Although Mojo Juju was technically a support act PIAF this year, the androgynous artist totally stole the show. Not surprising she’s headlining now: her huge voice soars effortlessly from seductive smoky soul to fierce rock and roll to dark howling blues, and the result is nothing short of epic.
The Rosemount, 17 October
Good-time rhythmic indie-rock at one of Perth’s best live music venues. What’s not to love? Queensland quartet Last Dinosaurs will unveil their latest single, Apollo, based on the scene in The Matrix where Neo is offered the choice between the blue and red pills. It’s deep, alright guys? Don’t be fooled by the band name and music genre: though it conjures up images of beardy cave men, there’s nary a facial hair between the boys.
Art Gallery of WA, 29 October
Local indie popsters, San Cisco have grown up a bit since earworm Awkward, with new songs from album Gracetown (yup, named for the spot down south) tackling heartbreak, and homesickness. Don’t worry, the new tracks are still every bit as danceable as their old stuff, with disco, funk and hip-hop infusions. And what better place to break it down than the outdoor wetlands of the Art Gallery of WA?
Florence and the Machine
The Perth Arena, 7 November
Just when we thought Florence and the Machine couldn't get any cooler, Florence gave her insane powerhouse voice a dose of rock and roll/blues swagger. This performance will have all the emotional intensity of your high school diary—but with complex arrangements and textured tribal beats that are all grown up (sniff).
Belvoir Amphitheatre, 14-15 November
Whether Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker is making far-out psych rock or sugar-laced disco pop, his intricate arrangements are always perfection. So yeah, we will brag to anyone who’ll listen about how he’s from our hometown—whatcha gonna do about it? Tame’s gig at the stunning Belvoir Amphitheatre sold out in one day flat, but lucky for fans slow on the uptake, a second show has been added and there’s still (touch wood) some tickets left. Go, go, go! Support act Mini Mansions, with Queens of the Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman, is worth the price of admission alone.
Fremantle Arts Centre, 15 November
C.W. Stoneking does not sound of this century. And there’s a good reason why—he grew up in an isolated part of the Northern Territory with his American poet dad and traditional Aboriginal tribes, removed from the rest of the modern world. You’ll feel like you’ve time-travelled to the 20s when you hear his amazing primitive sound, soaked in ragtime, blues, Calypso and Dixieland. Highly recommend.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
The Astor, 3 December
Even if you’ve never heard a song by Unknown Mortal Orchestra before (unlikely), just one spin will make you feel like you’ve been a fan for years. Somehow, their boundary-pushing but restrained rock has a way of getting us all nostalgic… Multi-Love, a psych-pop ode to polyamory, is an absolute banger.
Paul Kelly presents the Merri Soul Sessions
Kings Park, 13 December
Okay, we all know and love Paul Kelly. But this is not Paul Kelly as we’ve heard him before. He’s teamed with some super-cool Indigenous artists, and the result is an awesome fresh soul sound. We’re particularly digging his collabs with Clairy Browne, of insane R&B/soul band The Bangin’ Rackettes (look ‘em up); country rock-and-roller Dan Sultan; and Kiri Puru, who pushes soul into dark territory. Not your average Day on the Green.
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