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Braves – photo by Cole Maguire

DJ Harvey Rae / Sidewalk Diamonds / The Wine-Dark Sea / Villain / Elli Schoen
The Bakery
Saturday, November 25,2014

It was a sweet night to be out and about in Perth and The Bakery had us covered for a Saturday evening chill down courtesy of Braves and co. The bands were well selected for the fourth instalment of The Bakery Box Social, and all presented with an ineffably relaxed feeling to their music.

Up first for the evening was Elli Schoen, a singer songwriter who, with the assistance of a solid drummer, ushered the audience in with a smooth and reflective style. I might be crucified for suggesting so, but there was definitely a smack of country in with the bluesy rock stylings, and some unique and characterful vocal lines were a sweet addition. There was a sense of fearless honesty in the content of some of Elli’s lyricism which is always an attractive addition in such a reflective style of music.

Kicking it up a notch were the wicked Villain who, despite the name, put on a pretty heroic performance. Their sound was sweet and dusty with lashings of retro flair which was present over the course of the whole night, and some laid back, meandering solo’s kept the audience involved.

The Wine-Dark Sea were up next with a slightly more mature sound, aided in no small part by the full and beautiful vocal timbre of lead singer Tracey Read, whose woody notes echoed calmly over a laid back indie-folk style with flavours of surf rock.

Up next were Braves, who continued with the undeniably Aussie summer music, possessing a cool vibe and a little bit of fuzz to smooth things out. While their music may have been a little repetitive, with the line between tracks blurring, it was certainly nice enough. An opportunity to build space and involvement came with a more instrumentally focused number later in the set, but there seemed to lack a certain precision and complexity to create a stand out performance.

The band sets for the night were bought to a close by Sidewalk Diamonds, who have been building a sound and reputation in Perth for years now, and whose experience and stage presence may have served to bring the energy up had they played an earlier set.

Perth is the home of some wonderfully talented musicians whose search for effortlessness can sometimes leave a little to be desired in terms of the quality of performance. Sometimes it’s just rad for a band to act like they actually care.


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