Live Review: Hidden Treasures Freo House Party

26 July 2012 | 4:47 pm | Zoe Barron

The opening night of Hidden Treasures was opened not by electronica four-piece Funilingus as programmed, but by Leure – electronic solo project of Ash Hendriks of Wolves At The Door

The Fremantle Boys' School building – once inhabited by schoolboys, now inhabited by the FTI (Film and Television Institute) – is this year also providing shelter for the Fremantle Hidden Treasures music series. Thoroughly heritage listed, built more than 150 years ago by convicts, the building is certainly one of Fremantle's treasures, although whether it's particularly hidden may be up for debate. The format of the series has undergone a shift in arrangements from last year, when it colonised several venues in the West End instead of just one to the North. Regardless, this one venue was utilised in full, with a fire in the courtyard out back, bands in the main hall out front (where the boys of the boys school most likely said their morning mass), and WA Screen Award music videos and various FTI shorts played in the cinema somewhere in the middle. It's not often you can go to a gig and spend the time between bands in a full cinema watching music videos and short films.

The opening night of Hidden Treasures was opened not by electronica four-piece Funilingus as programmed, but by Leure – electronic solo project of Ash Hendriks of Wolves At The Door. Alone onstage, she kicked off slowly with a delicately beautiful, ethereal set. Then, from one, to eight: the stage-filling, room-filling Ensemble Formidable was up next, turning a cold room and into a heated crush in the space of a single song. They're the sort of band who will have you dancing before you even realise you're doing it, even if that's not what you came for. The vibe that they set was then solidly sustained by Armani Consort, a funk and soul five-piece headed by vocalist MC Armani, who together played an incredibly tight set that kept the crowd on their feet. After that, however, the wind went out the sails a bit. Rooster Police played well, but it was a cold night and a cold building and most of the crowd had gone home to bed by the time they took the stage. Everything went a bit strange and dispirited then, and that's about where the evening ended. Not the series though – it continues in fine form until this Friday. Get involved.