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Live Review: Red Engine Caves

20 June 2013 | 10:14 am | Rachel Inglis

Maybe it was the art meets music context that created the sense that you were visiting a commune, but no one could ignore the communal experience that took place when Red Engine Caves took the stage. Little Wing Corner Gallery, keep it coming.

The first time I travelled to London on my own, I went to a gig at a small gallery space above the Camden Markets. It was a simple setup: small front room where the band set up on the floor with a portable PA, then the bar and gallery space to the side. At another show I remember watching an artist on stage with the band, painting a complete canvas throughout the set to be auctioned off after the show. Then there was the gig where the key-tar player used his instrument to control the illustrations being projected behind the band on stage. It's no surprise to hear of bands combining art with music to immerse their audience in a cross-artform creative process, although it might be surprising to hear about it happening here in Perth. Little Wings Corner Gallery in Subiaco, however, is doing just that. It's a studio space meets gallery meets live venue, and judging by Friday's eager crowd, Perth is definitely up for it.

The gallery space is split into three rooms, and the front room was where the action started with Graceful Sun Moths playing to a curious crowd. In a post Tame Impala Perth, Graceful Sun Moths don't yet have a lot to offer eager gig goers. With loose drums, a fairly humdrum version of jam-infused-post-psychedelic-something, and a lead guitarist who must have decided he could be a vocalist if he just added enough reverb, it's no surprise the crowd filtered in and out of the room during their set.  

Thankfully, Red Engine Caves were a whole other story. While they might be writing songs in a similar sonic vein to Graceful Sun Moths, they've cornered in on the importance of still including guitar hooks and dramatic bass lines to get the crowd excited. And they were excited; the space throbbed with the energy of a crowd who were totally enthralled in mind and body. With a backdrop of bright intricate art smeared across all four walls, the whole room was transformed by a band who embraced the audience, drawing them into a vortex of sound and movement. Maybe it was the art meets music context that created the sense that you were visiting a commune, but no one could ignore the communal experience that took place when Red Engine Caves took the stage. Little Wing Corner Gallery, keep it coming.