Live Review: The Rubens, The Preatures, Fraser A Gorman

18 January 2016 | 3:09 pm | Joseph Wilson

"A highlight of the The Ruben's performance was a cover of The Angels' Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again..."

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Sundown Sessions at the Fremantle Arts Centre was a great way to end a Saturday, with chill vibes being showcased throughout the night. The stage was a large, rolling green, allowing punters to hunker down relaxing on picnic mats, kicking back to the chill, retro vibes of Fraser A Gorman. Playing tracks like Never Gonna Hold You (Like I Do), the sound consisted of vague echoes of country music overlaid  with modern guitar licks and keys, reminiscent of the credit sequence from Everybody Loves Raymond — cool, jazzy and smooth. Two brave festival goers were the first to dance, in a pseudo-'60s fashion, lapping up the undulating flow of Gorman's music with ease, the vibes seeping from Gorman's band infectious.

The Preatures jumped straight in, with a small crowd beginning to form around the stage. The performance started with popular song Somebody's Talking, the track epitomising the band's old school feel, making a classic sound seem new and invigorating. Lead singer Isabella Manfredi darted about on stage, even attempting a cartwheel, with the energy the band brought to the festival being reflected in the crowd, whose reactions were just as enthusiastic. The band took it down a notch with a cover of The Motels' Total Control, providing a more emotive and intimate experience for the crowd. They closed the set with Is This How You Feel, a song with a classic, breezy vibe, infused with funk, soul and old school rock'n'roll.

The Rubens' set was a performance filled with tenacious stage antics and brooding lyrics, with the band smashing out tracks as if they were playing in a large stadium. They began their set with Switchblade, the track's ominous reverbed guitar chords and cascading licks complemented by Sam Margin's emotively jarring vocals, which gave way to an impressive show. The Night Is On My Side brought an element of funk rock to the band's set. A highlight of the The Ruben's performance was a cover of The Angels' Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again, during which the chorus the crowd cheekily replied "No way, fuck no, fuck off" in classic festival fashion. The band finished off their set with Hoops, after which lead singer Sam Margin farewelled the crowd with a lit cigarette and beer in hand.