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The Lammas Tide

The Lammas tide

James Bosley/WonderChild/Elkwood

Four5Nine Bar

Thursday, August 31, 2014

Last Thursday, Rosemount Hotel’s bohemian little sister, Four5Nine Bar, found itself tumbling through the grassy knoll of folk and into the abstract cosmos of fusion and psychedelia, thanks to the sonic radiance of flower power flashback, The Lammas Tide, and friends.

Opening act and Minute 36 mastermind, Kris Nelson showed off his latest folk project, James Bosley, to early birds. Reviving folk music’s grand tradition narrative lyricism over stripped-back acoustic melodies and melding it with the subtle harmonic approach that has characterised Minute 36’s dark, jazz rock sound. Nelson managed to rope in a respectable turnout for his early night act, while missing the tendril creep of metal that would work its way from The Rosemount’s main stage later in the night.

From solo act to full band, WonderChild made their mark. Inhabiting the cosmic vacuum somewhere between groove rock, jazz and folk. Opening with a balladic number backed by texturous drum rhythms and swirling dynamic crests – a theme that was continued through much of the set – the band did, however, suffer from somewhat knee-jerk transitions. Earlier songs were characterised by a groove rock feel, which gave the set a good pace, but later songs, including Neil Young’s classic, Old Man, felt more natural to the timbre of singer, Anna Kat. The band also managed to throw a few improvisational curve balls into the folk mix, including some relaxed bar trading between saxophonist, Marc Osbourne, and guitarist, Michael Morgan.

 Elkwood was next, with a catchy, reimagined-60s-love jam-meets-indie-pop composition style. While frontperson, Rosie Jones, suffered from synth feedback onstage, songs such as Lab Rats and R.I.V.E.R. swayed crowds with infectious bare-bones chord progressions that moved naturally and logically. The rhythmic pulse was indecisive and bass guitarist, Samantha Goodard, held close to tonics. However, the songs were well-crafted and genuine. The band peaked with the iconic Jefferson Airplane tune, White Rabbit, Jones convincingly pulling off the giant crescendos, supported by the band’s driving psychedelic feel. Finally, Elkwood finished up with a loose funk jam featuring three-part vocal harmonies to make way for the headline act.

The kingpins of vintage psychedelic rock, The Lammas Tide, finished off the night. Working as a countermovement to the wall of sound psych rock that has hit its stride in Perth, the band’s compositions. Masthead track, Soldier Of The Sun, built upon hippy folk progressions, textured by a subtle melodic approach and an emphasis on vocal harmonies, between frontperson, Em Burrows, and violinist, Fiona Davidson. Burrows’s voice packed a punch, thick with bluesy inflections, which gave soul to the more pop songs, while both Davidson and Burrows toyed around with repeating motifs during solos that were backed by solid guitar chang of Jeremy Segal and tight rhythms of drummer, Marcus Davidson.

SHAUN COWE

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