Live Review: Joni In The Moon, The Regular Hunters, Simone & Girlfunkle, Leah Emily Grant

21 September 2015 | 12:52 pm | Nicolette Ward

" intense, etheric listening journey complete with a didj drone, that takes quite a while to recover from after, much like mind-altering drugs do."

With three support acts all featuring emotive female vocals and musicianship, the goddesses were out in force at The Bird to experience Perth's rising darlings of cathartic electro-angst, Joni In The Moon.

A forgotten folk era was re-created as Leah Emily Grant swayed her long  hair and mala beads through a solo guitar set of intimate ponderings. Next, after a lengthy set-up, the seven-piece outfit Simone & Girlfunkle showcased some sweet driving pop with Bridget Turner's infectious joy warming the crowd, while at the back keeping to themselves were the three 'unkles' of the band, making the rhythms peppy. The clarinet and melodica thrown in were a nice pick-me-up, as was the advice for the closing track "to sort your anger out before you go to sleep". The Regular Hunters, with Leah Miche on guitar and vocals, were a more apt choice for the evening's aim of exploring the sub-conscious, with songs titled Deep Demon Desire and Surreal. Some broody bass from Sandy Jones and three-part harmony vocals kept things rolling.  

The Bird's courtyard finally emptied as Joni In The Moon took to the stage and all attention fixated on their slow build spectacle of soul-baring. Much has been said already of Joni Hogan's mesmerising Kate Bush-like vocal range, and of brother Josh Hogan's dexterity on live and wide-ranging electronica, but the other two members are similarly stellar, with percussionist Steve Richter giving the cymbals a long-lasting reverb and punch with his orchestral-sized mallets, and ex-Schvendes member Tara John layering the sound with her keys and subtle backing vocals. The sum total is on another level, much fuller than their CD recordings, as they play out the spaces in-between for longer, and experiment with distorted synth sounds. The effect is an intense, etheric listening journey complete with a didj drone, that takes quite a while to recover from after, much like mind-altering drugs do. The adventure ride started with Dove Song as we quickly entered into Joni's authenticity of confessional pain, carried through with Sorrow Trees and Yellow Moon, with its reference to the natural world as the only hope of solace. Joni's fearless commitment to rage and burning desire in Woman on Fire was a wild ride of raw feeling that hits in your base chakra guts. New track Tarantella carried the theme further, with a deranged circus edge sound to the keys. Zeitgeist anthem War & Porn flowed without stopping into the closing track of Helicopters, with Josh going all out on distorted fuzz bass synth, giving soundscape to the banality that is permeating our modern times.