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DEMON DAYS @ The Indi Bar gets 8/10

Demon Days @ The Indi Bar
w/ T$oko, Lana Rothnie Band
Friday, April 12, 2019


Demon Days kicked off a national tour for their latest single Hands Free at the Indi Bar last Friday night, and it was one hell of a show. Having released the Magic Eye EP last year, which was met with favourable reviews and gave me one of my favourite singles of 2018 (Daria’s Smile – if you haven’t already give it a listen you should, and whilst you’re at it check out the accompanying music video directed by another of Perth’s talented artists, Sakidasumi), Demon Days new single has been eagerly awaited by many.

Lana Rothnie Band

First up was the Lana Rothnie Band. Lana hails from the surfy town of Lancelin, “the land of crayfish” as she describes it, and pulls off looking like the orphan and sounding like an angel in a highly natural manner. She produces ethereal soundscapes through synthesizers and drum machines. However, tonight accompanied by the band her songs seemed to reach a new resonance and gave our ears the experience of listening to some of the most entrancing music in the Perth scene. Their first track opened with a sandstorm of beautiful melodies, conjuring up sensations of British prog-rock band The Moody Blues, and then leaned into some alluring soulful vocals, accompanied by a blend of synths, euphonic guitar and expertly played drums.

Their song I Always Wonder Why evoked images of the beach and the tumbling ocean on an overcast day and is definitely going onto my playlist when I get home. Conceivably singing what seems to be a very happy outpouring of sadness, she has struck a perfect balance between genres. If you ever have a chance to see Lana Rothnie don’t turn it down.


The party started when Fremantle rapper T$oko, previously known as S.O.X, took the stage accompanied by Mark Ashforth (drummer from Demon days) on beats. Grabbing the attention of the gaggle of people outside, he had the crowd feeling light and alright. Inviting a group of us to engage with his music, he produced a show that was inclusive, beautiful and entertaining.

A definite highlight was his single, Rudeboi which was released earlier this year and showcases his layered creativity as an artist. T$oko staged homage to the golden ages of hip hop and called the crowd to join in on a salute to this age of innovation. Having played the Fremantle leg of Laneway Festival last year, he proved his emcee abilities had only improved for when T$oko tells you to “get down, get down” you best believe you’re going to be getting down. Touching on areas of political and societal issues with lyrics like “stereotypes, everybody wants a slice” and reminding us that there “ain’t nothing more important than being your damn self,” T$oko proved to be an artist deserving of a stadium of devoted fans for his sheer energy, experience and wisdom.

Demon Days

The first thing I noticed about Demon Days was a waterfall of hair cascading over the keyboard, then a trumpet blowing to the left. Singer Bella Nicholls entered the stage like she couldn’t be more excited in a bright matching trackie top & pants and kicked off with those bop-bumping vocals that the band is so well known for.

Demon Days are a five-member funk/neo soul band, yet they are so much more than that. Their remarkable chemistry as a band brings their performance a vibrancy and pizazz which technical ability alone – although every member has more than enough of that – couldn’t create. Another part of their performance which made the show so distinctive is the energy of Nicholls, her professionally groovy dance moves and smooth, hazy vocals made everybody wanna have a boogie, buoying the crowd’s energy.

Demon Days

The trumpet solos stole the show as Will Renner Shao seemed to be releasing a deluge of emotions within his sound, rich and inviting. The glamorous, catchy keys played by Josh Chan and the smooth rhythmic bass of Marley Donnan never failed to captivate, proving to be utterly soul-stirring. The band is touring the release of a new single, Handsfree, available for download on the Triple J Unearthed page. It was the first time Demon Days had played the song live, and they absolutely killed it, throwing down chunks of funky disco beats while Nicholls got sassy – in the way I wish I could speak to my manager and anyone else who doesn’t take me seriously.

Handsfree is a triumph of the band’s love and skill for their craft, showcasing why every single member is so integral to their unique and irresistible sound, so go give it a listen for your own sake.

After touring Australia these groovers are heading over to Canada. A band clearly on the rise, catch them quick before you have to pay an arm and leg to see this brilliance.


Photos by Linda Dunjey


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