Live Review: WAMI 2012 Opening Night - The Bakery

29 May 2012 | 5:52 pm | Luke Butcher

As far as celebrations of West Australian music go, none do it bigger or better than WAMi.

As far as celebrations of West Australian music go, none do it bigger or better than WAMi. Opening as only he can, Tomas Ford bursts into the beer garden jumping on top of tables screaming “I've got a fucking show starting!” to the early audience before dragging them into the main room for his set of seedy electro-cabaret. Ford then proceeds to do as only he does, interacting with the audience through some courageous and confronting antics that bring his audience closer to him and each other, so much so that they literally form a giant swaying hug around him before his obligatory travelling crowd surf to the bar. Not quite as engaging, but another challenging performer is Ben Witt (of The Chemist fame) who follows with a jarring set of predominantly instrumental and improvised guitar-looped noise. Not able to treat the audience to too much vocal bliss, the endearing fragility of the performance is a highlight amongst Witt's occasional banter. Also playing guitar with car keys is pretty cool. Taking a turn towards a smooth chilled vibe, mmhmmm (yes, that's a band name) take over with some grooved-out trip hop. Complimenting the night's eclectic tunes of house DJs Cut & Paste Soundsystem, Jack Doepel's three-piece warm into their sample-driven set, along with their audience, with a clever use of backing tracks that fill out their space jam grooves. Cow Parade Cow follow and lift the energy in the full room up immediately. A powerfully rhythmic act, the band bust out some dense, communal jams of Afro-art rock in a very impressive, salacious set. As the smell of incense fills the air, Sugarpuss burst into some loud psych jams. A band that has gained huge ground this year, they show they deserve their billing with a ferocious set punctuated by stunning, often androgynous vocals. Indie-rockers Rainy Day Women follow and win over the audience with their lively rhythm section, summery tales and self-deprecating banter. Accentuating the good vibes of the night, the four-piece leaves some undeniable hooks ringing through the audience as the clock strikes midnight and Felicity Groom takes over. Easing into the set, Groom and Co's folk skeleton and rock'n'roll skin thrusts itself upon the moderate, but no less enthusiastic crowd that stick around. A Mental As Anything cover and some quality tunes close tonight's opening event in style.