Live Review: New Year's Eve Fiesta

4 January 2016 | 12:19 pm | Blake ByrneAnnabel Maclean

Western Australia's finest hit the Rosemount to send off 2015 in style, capping off the year with a mighty bang - who even needs Falls?

More Jebediah More Jebediah

The annual New Year’s Eve Fiesta at The Rosemount Hotel is a staple event for any Perth live music punter or local music lover and this year’s party to ring in 2016 was no exception. Separated into three areas for the night – the backyard (beer garden with DJs), Four5Nine bar, and the main room, there was plenty of entertainment to choose from, with bands and DJs fueling the new year’s eve celebration vibes for roughly six solid hours.

Fronting the four-man band Ursula is Robbie Rumble of The Love Junkies, which was nice to hear his personal style shine through. This local super-band had the '90s alternative rock and soft-punk vibe that has probably spawned from listening to bands like Custard, Gaslight Radio and The Pixies. Also in the band were guitarist Greg Sanders, who manages Pat Chow, Jamie Gallagher, who drums in Pat Chow, and bassist Harley Barnaby, who plays for FOAM and The Love Junkies.

The riot-grrrl four piece that is The Tommyhawks began with some of their true punk vibe before a surprising turn with their folky pop-punk danceable repertoire. The edgy Sarah Blasko-esque vocal, topped with electric mandolin, was a nice touch from frontwoman Addison Axe. Their charismatic tenor sax and tambourine-fuelled drum beats were possibly the coolest addition to any pop-punk band making their show on the main stage a memorable and uplifting experience.

Coming out soon with a second EP, The Limbs are becoming a household name among the local Perth alternative rock scene. The killer tone of grungy-punk vocalist, James Redman, had the crowd listening intently as the trio rocked the Four5Nine bar. The SFK-style guitar riffs and Sonic Youth momentum added the nostalgic character to their set that makes you want to get them and you in a time machine and fly back to the '90s to watch them where their hearts reside.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

The element of psychedelica and folk rhythms make Verge Collection one of Perth’s more popular groups. Their song Our Place is so catchy that it should be played on triple j every day. Their style sounds like they’ve been influenced by The Cars and a bunch of '60s psychedelic and '90s punk artists. Their rather static stage performance was suitable for the Four5Nine’s possession of the smallest stage to ever fit a band. Their 7” double-sided vinyl is out now and, in 20 years, you’d be glad to have it in your collection.

The backyard was littered with the late-afternoon and evening crowd soaking up the last rays of 2015, and for the first few hours of the night, this was where the majority of the early punters downed beers before heading into the main room or Four5Nine bar to check out the local talent on offer. Four5Nine bar put on a delicious array of local folk, grunge, punk and pop-rock but it was local garage rock lads The Sperts who really got the party started smashing out some fun, party-rocking tunes. One of the guitarists was even dressed for the occasion, wearing a T-shirt with a tux imprint on it, practical and classy.

Meanwhile, three-piece FOAM were taking over the main room, thrashing their luscious long locks around as they gave the small, gathering crowd an ear-full of their grunge-stained numbers All My Friends and So Far So Good. Vocalist Joel Martin also reflected on 2015 by announcing “Whatever 2015, fucking old news now, aren’t ya. What did I do this year? Nothing. I got fatter.”

FOAM weren’t the only band to make grand announcements; local party punk lads Suburban & Coke had a rant about making sure the crowd was supporting triple j Unearthed. These dudes were a definite highlight of the night – their energy was magnetic. Bopping, moshing, head-banging and singing went down as they thoroughly entertained the crowded room with their party madness and catchy tunes, bouncing around on stage.

Mt Mountain had a solid fan base watching their dramatic, psychedelic set which began with excessive strobe lighting and was filled with fuzz and heavy melodies. The lads seemed to make a lot of noise but there was very little movement on stage or engagement with the crowd and, with Suburban & Coke putting on their party next door, a few punters opted for the punk craziness.

Purveyors of some of the fastest and punkest music you’ve ever had the pleasure to attempt to bop your head to, The Decline will blow your mind. If you’ve ever seen an image of what travelling at the speed of light would look like, then, in theory, this is the soundtrack you would likely encounter on such an endeavour. Pat Decline was sporting the skrillhouse look much like the shirt merch they brought back for the Fiesta. The four lads managed to pull off a moshpit in the jazz venue while still breaking out some energy on the small stage.

Triple j Unearthed 2015 award winners Tired Lion were a big drawcard and it wasn’t until the local four-piece hit the stage that the main room started packing out. The grungy pop-rockers belted through tracks off their 2015 record Figurine with popular tunes Pretend, Suck and I Don’t Think You Like Me resulting in body thrashing and singalongs from the moshing crowd.

Front-lady Sophie Hopes’ now blonde hair and stellar rocker presence likened her to Courtney Love and when she announced “We’d like you to get drunk and throw your bras at us and spit on us and then we’ll spit back at you”, it was solidified. Their cover of Violent Soho’s Saramona Said went off along with all the band members’ shirts, an unexpected but fun fragment of their tight set.

Getting placed in a time slot in competition with the Jebediah show, Catbrush were left with the loyal audience who stayed true to their local scene and… couldn’t afford to go see Jebs. All jesting aside though, these kids rock the shop with their psychedelic grunge, wailing female vocals by Ellen Oosterbaan, and the groovy '60s drum vibes. Their devotion to producing sporadic noise and just playing perfectly raw, outrageous music for perfectly raw, outrageous people is what makes them such a wonderful asset to the Perth scene, and to finish off the year.

Local Perth legends Jebediah bought the big crowd into the new year with fan favourites Leaving Home, She’s Like A Comet, More Alone and Animal. Popular tune Jerks Of Attention also had everyone smiling and bopping along. It was great to see these guys back on stage again in their hometown with a local crowd, a real fitting finish to 2015 and a happy welcome into the new year. Now, for 2016!