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SCARBS BEACH PARTY @ Scarborough Foreshore gets 8/10

Scarbs Beach Party (for WAMFest) @ Scarborough Foreshore and various venues
w/ XIII, Bag of Bones, Flossy, The Spring Peaks, Your Girl Pho, Grace Barbe, Soukass Internationale and more
Sunday, October 13, 2019


WAMFest is a time to celebrate the ever-growing Perth music industry and the swarms of local talent we have bustling around our coastal city. Dropping in on Scarborough last Sunday for the Scarbs Beach Party, the huge event was spread across four venues and hosted a multitude of local music acts.


First up for this reviewer was XIII, closing off the pool party at Indi Bar. XIII is the solo venture of well-known Perth band Gyroscope’s guitarist and vocalist Dan Sanders. Sanders went on to then recruit Drew Goddard from Karnivool (another notable Perth band) and Mykal Deville to play with him. XIII was a lot of formidable crashing guitars taunted with distortion. Playing quite a few tracks from their debut album Bloody Banks of the Swan, which came out in 2018, the boys blew their sound into the pool yard and beyond. There’s contrast within Dan Sanders’ music, like the charming openings juxtaposing against the rapid bulkiness of sound. Their blend of emo and pop punk has a definitive Perth flavour to it.

Bag Of Bones

After bravely crossing the West Coast Highway, we ended up in the Coles multi-plex to experience the sounds of two-piece Bag of Bones. Looking like they may genuinely have been born on top of the Scarborough beach dunes, the duo took it away with heavy instrumentation and a glooming voice. Transforming part of the Coles carpark into a first-class venue, the cider was flowing, the disco bowl was hanging and the crowd was abuzz. Sharp rolling drums and psych-flavoured riffs coloured the crowd when the band played Paint the Place, the first track off their 2019 self-titled album B.O.B. Band members Josh Cuzens on drums and Lewis Fiaschi created a surprising fullness and sharpness to their sound. For the first few songs the vocals were bleached by the overwhelming noise of the drums and guitar, but once the sound was sorted, the proper strength of Bag of Bones shone through. The band has been kicking around for over three years and this showed the force of their garage blues blended psych rock.

Then it was off to the third venue of the day, the Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre where riot grrrrl three-piece Flossy were playing a small stage set on the sand. The girls opened with their 2019 release Holiday, their harmonies softly folded together as the potency of their guitar lines and shattering drums rang out. The ocean sat directly behind the trio, seagulls swarmed around and little tuckers moshed at the front of the stage in the sand. Flossy consists of sisters Lauren on vocals and guitar and Sinead O’Conner on bass and vocals, along with drummer Charlie Smith. The metallic ringing of the band’s song Cloudy Brain travelled over the beach, there was something very charming and relaxing about the way that Flossy interact within themselves and with the crowd and that translated into their music and live performances making it a pleasure to watch. The girls winded their set up with their latest release Being Alone.

The Spring Peaks

After waiting a considerable amount of time in line, we finally made their way into El Grotto to watch charming five piece The Spring Peaks. The boys looked the part of the relaxed seaside rockers as they crammed themselves onto the small El Grotto stage. Everything about Spring Peaks seems to scream a light-heartedness and with the lead singer feeding off the energy of the rather rowdy crowd at el grotto, their performance was spirited. With their tropical faraway licks of guitar, playful reverb and a charismatic warm voice, The Spring Peaks tracks had a nostalgic flavour to them, the vague fuzz of rolling guitar paired with the playful floating keyboard and consistent cheerful beat of the drums. Their 2018 release Sports was all nibbles of guitars that swarmed into one another in a melodic tempo, with a retro distortion running around the track. They closed off their set with their very own ode to youth, Coming of Age.

Your Girl Pho

Your Girl Pho is the project of Perth muso Pheobe Gunson, a nice peaceful flow of mellowed jazz moments blended with a techno-pop cacophony. El Grotto crackled when Your Girl Pho’s 2019 release Manipulate started up. The impact of electronic beats paired with her raspberry favoured voice is how she carves distinction within her tunes, featuring funky shifting beats with a jumping rhythm from the drums. Your Girl Pho performed as a four piece with two saxophonists, drums, and herself on vocals and drum pad. The saxophone solos were like serenades to the other fractions of songs. In general, their performance used El Grotto’s most eminent advantage, the intimacy of the stage, to provide a playful and enchanting performance.

Grace Barbe

A familiar crisp wind blew out from the Indian Ocean as Seychelles Islander, Grace Barbe, took up the stage at the amphitheatre. A lady with wild vocals and even wilder music, their assemblage of influences and beats transformed the amphitheatre into a victim of the most jolting polyrhythmic sections. With the cooperation of African percussion, jazz, reggae, pop, rock and Latin flavours, Barbe presented a wide palate of sounds. They played quite a few tracks from her latest release FANM:WOMAN, which was released in May of this year, her first release in over five years, weaving punchy, greasy guitar with her fluid vocals and jumping beats. Mardillo roared across the sand, with the intensity of its cross-rhythms and her enchanting vocals. Given Grace Barbe’s heritage and the way she explores this throughout her music, it was befitting that the Indian Ocean rolled out behind her. Barbe plays guitar and bass within her band and sings in three languages – Kreol, English and French – her music seeming to translate this play between cultures in a unique and thrilling experience.

The final act of the night was Soukass Internationale, collecting themselves on the intimate El Grotto stage for a show that was pure performance. The nine-piece collective put an incredible amount of energy and character into their shows. Playing Congolese beats that made the crowd do exactly as the name suggests: “Soukouss” (shake it). Their gorgeous vocal melodies and striking fast paced rhythmic jumble breezed across the room and seemed to energize the entire crowd. The drum beats were flexible and mottled with the precision guitar plucks carrying along in the licks of the metallic beat. The music of Soukouss Internationale was fabulous but the crowd interaction, high energy, bright costumes and flavoured dancing are what turn their performance into more of a movement of love and acceptance celebrated through music.


Photos by Adrian Thomson and Linda Dunjey

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