There was a real buzz around the city on Saturday night. A mix of finals football, perfect spring weather and the long weekend ahead saw scores of people out and about full of exuberance and cheer. It would be hard to find a better setting for local songwriter Lana Rothnie to launch her new single I Always Wonder Why at The Bird in Northbridge.
Perth duo Hi. Ok, Sorry. kicked things off with a suite of warm and pulsating electronic soundscapes, before Hyclass drew the growing audience to the front with her rhymes and hip hop vibes as colourful as her stage outfit.
When Gazey lined up next it was hard to know what to expect judging by their stage set up. The five piece, largely dressed in sports gear, delivered an electric set utlising three synthesisers, echoing vocal effects and plenty of surprising changes within the tracks. The organ grooves made way for tambourine and egg shakers between the vocal lines over a watery low end. It was a unique blend of indie and dance that felt cut from the cloth of TV On The Radio, but there were shades of Devo and even the Rapture when the cowbell kicked in. At times maybe the sheer amount of sounds going on distracted from the groove but this band has plenty of flair so they could reign it in a bit if they wanted to.
Lana Rothnie has been playing around town for a while now, often opening sets playing by herself mixing the sounds of her synthesisers are arpeggiators building sets from a blend electronic tones and textures. Tonight she was joined by a full four piece band complete with drums, bass and guitar so it was always going to be interesting to see how her songs would come to life in the very different format.
Lana’s voice rose and fell eloquently over whirring synth arrangements. The bass added a backbone of groove to the tracks while the guitar brought with it a sparkling jazz element. Lana drew things back to performing solo on the emotive ballad I Lowered Myself For You which brought a hush to the audience. Later when the band returned things got a little bouncier with the complex but poppy chorus-laden tracks venturing on a Jay Som aesthetic. While there were moments you could tell this incarnation of Lana Rothnie live with the full band was not seasoned in performing together, everyone individually showed great talent and poise in bringing a bigger and broader sound to the tracks.
Photos by Anthony Jackson