BOOTLEG RASCAL @ Mojos Bar get 8/10

Bootleg Rascal @ Mojos Bar, North Fremantle
w/ Human Buoy
Sunday, August 20, 2017


Sydney’s Bootleg Rascal hit Mojos Bar last Sunday night with a bang so boisterous that the reggae-rock groove is surely still seeping off the walls. Determined to make a savage stamp on their last gig before taking their tour international, the band made the small crowded room feel like a sell out stadium show without slipping on the intimacy, as the night touched on moments from chill to manically irresistible.

Human Buoy fired up the night with psych-rock swagger and gritty new tunes from their debut album Animation Station that was released in June this year. Nominated for Most Popular New Act in the 2016 WAM Awards, the outfit led by Ben McDonald played a huge set that combined a number of really interesting vocals with a notable blend of Bowie, Pond and Beck influences. The Perth act were all over this Mojos gig with their trippy textures and distinctive sound that got the audience in the groove for an epic night.

Bootleg Rascal took the stage with the perfect barbarity of not giving a damn, from slapping hands with crowd members, submitting to the chants “skull, skull, skull” to taking random drinks from the audience — “You haven’t sprinkled anything in that have you?” guitarist Jimmy Young laughed before chugging a swig of beer from a young guy at the front. The boys arrived ready to unleash havoc, with hit tunes Asleep In The Machine and Oh I Know getting the most devout onlookers’ limbs lashing while others bobbed and swayed along with the vibe.

Hip hop played a heavy hand in the new tracks from the band’s upcoming album, bringing an exciting fresh twist to Bootleg Rascals already genre bending style. The set treated fans to a balanced blend of old favourites to sing along to, and newies that were readily embraced as the room cried out the lyrics “If you’re coming, then I’m coming” to their new single With You. What stood out as a major highlight of the overall performance was the band’s interaction with the crowd. The energy that they threw off the stage charged the room as lead singer Carlos Lara proved what it is to be a real showman.

A disclaimer though for future patrons of any Bootleg Rascal show: it’s all chill until someone takes Carlos Lara’s hat — ultimate show stopper, the man loves that hat. After tearing a shred or two in a laugh off the kid that took it and following chants for one more song at the end of their set, Lara took the mic once more “Fuck you guys hey, do you wanna hear another song or not!” and the boys blew up Mojos in an epic encore.