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Yardstock 5.0

Rag N' Bone
Rag N’ Bone

North Perth

Saturday, May 3, 2014

In its fifth incarnation, the underground music festival Yardstock was back again as part of the May Day weekend celebrations that internationally sees many alternative events going on. The information regarding the location of this year’s string of low-key back garden shows was kept as a guarded secret, so that only the people in the know or with the knowhow found themselves enjoying a day full of unconventional venues and a host of top class local musical performance. 

Mudlark produced a score of dreamy sound scapes that achieve great ambience with just with a Gibson overlaid with spacious chorus and sustained FX, supported only by rhythmic drumming that grounded the soundtrack with intense adhesion.

Satirical rockers Shit Narnia streamed out their edgy punk with amusing lyrics from the shirtless singer, whose spoken singing style had the faces in the garden gleaming with amusement.  Between acts, the event MC, Marcus, gave announcements about the house rules and gave a heartfelt dialogue about the importance of freedom of expression and the power of the community that today’s event signified.

Next up the three piece Indi rockers Doctopus presented a set of broken and distorted rock, full of hard grooves that was followed up by Race To Your Face  who gave  a slow ebbing set of instrumental looped guitar tunes, full of erratic tempo changes and impressive fret board finger picking from lead guitarist Lee Canstrini.

As day turned to night, and after a slightly longer march up the road to the next house, where it seemed the participant numbers had at least doubled, Fucking Teeth pulled off their first gig in months and provided frantic and energetic gritty bluesy punk rock to the now well-fuelled audience. The band took requests from the fans and debated which songs they’d rehearsed most and played a jagged and howling set that got the mosh pit up and running. Experimental band Reptiluminati filled the night air with hypnotic, echoic guitar reverberations over which a funkier than expected bass groove prevailed that gave an introspective and escapist feeling to this new instrumental outfit.  With whooshing synths and barely audible slow backing beats, the night took a slower, moodier turn when Hayley Beth took to the stage with her blend of pained vocals and biting guitar. Her loose and at times erratic performance was a musical experience that is rare and beautiful.

The final venue was thankfully far roomier than the previous and the two remaining bands Rag n Bone and SMRTS had the pleasure of entertaining a yard full of sociable, open-minded individuals who throughout the day did a very good job of representing the cultural youth of this creative town, showing that music can bring everyone together, united as a community in positive way.

MICHAEL CAVES

 

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