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THE STEMS @ The Rosemount gets 8.5/10

The Stems @ The Rosemount Hotel
w/ A Month Of Sundays, Spacey Jane
Sunday, April 15, 2018


With a tour of Spain on the horizon, The Stems did a warm up tour around the country. Their hometown show was bound to be a ripper even if it was a Sunday night. A sizeable crowd (if somewhat greying) packed into the Rosemount for a rare appearance from the band north of the river. The power pop royalty has a few local friends warm up the room first.

Spacey Jane may just be young scamps compared to the night’s headliners, but they have been making quite a splash with their brand of guitar based indie rock. The four piece played a solid set of tunes that showed enough melody to keep the pop hungry crowd appeased. Spacey Jane were led by a Rickenbacker but erred on the side of garage instead of jangle. The band played both tracks from their forthcoming single with Old Enough being the most slinky, adding a healthy dose vocal rasp. So You Wanna had some nice guitar lines, even if it is not as immediately memorable as some of the band’s other work. On Sunday night’s showing, Spacey Jane are one to watch.

With it being the second show that A Month Of Sundays have played within 5 months, 2018 could be their busiest in a decade. They recently put out a CD of ‘old’ demos they had stumbled across, but their set on this evening delved into the many styles and eras of these childhood friends. The band’s character jangle of their early years was delivered with gusto during a surprise outing of Coronary. It is a song that was played lived by A Month Of Sundays on air for the Perth launch of Triple J, and is a tune that has rarely been played since.

Sort It Out showcased the extra grunt that the trio added to their sound once they started listening to The Replacements and was no less enthusiastic here. Neil Preston took over the lead guitar duties, admitting that the band had a history of sacking previous guitarists, doing so with ease and character during Love Deeds. Preston suggested that the “older you get, the better you were” before delivering a youthful and crunchy take of one of the band’s finest moments – Seesaw Child. A Month Of Sundays seem to only play when invited. Here’s hoping the requests continue to come at a steady pace.

The Stems

The new look version of The Stems hit the stage to a rush of people moving closer to the stage with dancing shoes at the ready. Latest addition Davey Lane made his presence felt early as he led the band through a beefed up You Can’t Turn The Clock Back. The Stems are local heroes that have stood the test of time with each bout of return shows. Dom Marini is in as fine a voice as ever, and has a mass of singalong ‘hits’ at his disposal. For Always is pristine pop and was worth the price of admission alone. Mr Misery is the band at their swampy best, and was helped along with the extra volume that The Stems were afforded. Some things are worth having sore ears the next day for!

The Stems

Dave Shaw offers a reliable backbone to Mariani’s guitar slinging, as well as being a clever songwriter in his own right. Love Will Grow was given space to breathe and showed The Stems paisley side. Davey Lane gave impassioned vocals to The Otherside, before Mariani drove this beast home. Sad Girl was a clear crowd favourite before the band turned Make You Mine inside out by mashing it up with Muddy Waters’ Baby Please Don’t Go.

The Stems

At First Sight may conjure up memories of Harold from Neighbours, yet there is no denying that it is an Australian anthem. It is everything a pop song should be and was a fine finale as punters pulled out their phones and sang along. The finished their set with Day Tripper, and you know you have seen a pretty impressive show when a Beatles song is the weak link.


Photos by Sharon Burgess

The Stems
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