The Bakery

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Local lads HAMJAM and Doctopus prove that having a rubbish band name isn’t a barrier to solid songwriting. Each outfit have had a particularly busy time of it, popping up on almost every line-up of must see gigs over the past week or so. Both were well suited to this evening’s booking with their guitar-driven tunes being dirty enough to fit in with the psych rock of the headliner. Neither band did their reputations any harm when confronted with a close to full venue.

Ty Segall looks like your stereotypical beach-blonde Californian who would be just as comfortable on surfboard or half pipe as he is on stage. The psychedelic rocker played a set that had a lot less make up and glitter than was expected from the camp posturing in his recent press photos. For a man who has so often found himself in the spotlight over the past few years due to his prolific nature, it was a surprise to see him take position on the stage’s wing, delivering his songs with a side on stance to the crowd.

The album that has brought Segall the most attention is his latest, Manipulator, and a notable portion of the set was pulled from this album. The frontman was visibly chuffed at the amount of people that were in attendance at his first visit to Perth, with Segall mentioning he has family in our city – the ‘Australian seagulls’.

The lo-fi nature of Segall’s albums isn’t in evidence in the live setting, where his band of hairy companions ensure that it is a tight and high energy set from start to end. Segall himself may not be the most accomplished vocalist, but he attacks the task with passion and vigor. Where he does come into his own is as stylish guitarist who could solo for hours and still maintain interest.

The sweaty crowd danced and stage dived throughout whilst Segall churned through his tunes at a rate of knots. Tall Man, Skinny Lady showed the band could play with melody as well as volume, while songs like The Faker are Ty Segall’s bread and butter as he tips his hat to yesteryear and manages to remain relevant.

The crowd were given the choice of which song they wanted to hear, before Segall decided he’d play both options. Cents was typical of much of the set with its swampy feel, whilst Dropout Boogie was the most punk rock inspired song to be aired during the evening. Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart was a typically high octane tune to wrap up the main part of the set.

Returning for an encore, the four piece launched into Imaginary Person, before conducting an ‘experiment’. Segall invited a member of the crowd to the stage and asked the punters to crowd surf him to the back of the room and then return him to the stage. It was a task completed easily during the next tune, what proved more difficult was getting the invited guest to leave the stage before he well and truly overstayed his welcome by taking selfies, offering uninvited out of key harmonies and borrowing a bemused Segall’s guitar to show off a clumsy riff. Whilst an uncomfortable end to have to sit through, it was in some ways a fitting end to the inclusive DIY nature of Segall’s music.