Live Review: Emerge

1 December 2014 | 2:36 pm | Rachel Inglis

Emerge is one annual student showcase to add to your cultural calendar

PS Art Space is the latest warehouse-conversion in Fremantle’s historic West End, complete with the white washed walls, exposed brickwork and polished concrete floors. The raw patina provided a fitting setting for Emerge – a showcase of fresh Perth creatives from Mount Pleasant Baptist Community College’s Certificate IV programs in Music, Film and Design.

Throughout the night, attendees could peruse the graphic design talent of Ashleigh Perin, Brad Dusting, Bella Deck and Louis Warner. The students’ work was inventive and professional, and a revealing taste of what they could be producing with a little industry experience under their belts.

The first three musical acts featured the same line-up, switching front man duties to showcase each other’s song writing and composition. A common and somewhat endearing quality of young musicians is the way they wear their influences on their sleeves, and this was true of tonight’s performers. For Mr Underground, fronted by Asher Iriks, it was classic grunge with Cobain-esque lyrical mumbling, while his brother Elijah Iriks had a decidedly more indie-pop-rock sound. Iriks’ tunes were catchy, if a little predicable, reminiscent of Born Ruffians and The Spinto Band. Meanwhile, Daniel Mazzotti presented Sweet Vibes, an appropriately named lo-fi Surfer Blood-esque indie rock act with perfect-for-a-summer-afternoon upbeat vocal melodies and chilled guitar parts. Next up was Alana Quartermaine, backed by a couple of current WAAPA music students (and MPBCC music alumni) providing a very tight performance of Quartermaine’s sweet folk tunes. Quartermaine’s vocals were the real treat, with a smooth soulful voice and poetic and mature lyrics. Closing the night was Minute Glass. Vocalist Matthew Nichols’ persuasive stage presence commanded his audience with powerful vocals, channelling the rock-ballad-story telling vibes of Queen or Meatloaf.

Interspersed between live acts were shorts by the College’s film students. Damon Hipgrace and Steve Manassah presented Room 214, a gritty story of a hit-man’s job gone wrong. Black Carr Duo, a western style railcar robbery with a twist, was the work of Carson Johnston, Harry Benjamin and Michael Thomas. Spaced over the night was the three part When Winter Comes, a survivalist story with a gruesome finish. The production values were decent enough, but it was the clever story telling that showed the real promise of these young filmmakers.

Emerge is an annual student showcase, and if this year’s crop of students is anything to go by, one to add to your cultural calendar.