Live Review: WAMi Awards & Closing Party - The Bakery

5 June 2012 | 5:08 pm | Cam Findlay

As everyone milled outside, trading cake, laughs and drinks, a full line-up of bands doing great things locally performed inside.

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Aaaah cake – is there any better way to celebrate artistic endeavors? If there is, this reviewer is yet to see it, and the WAMi's are yet to recognize it as a viable alternative to the lauded WAMington. And, thanks to that one little fact, many artists and bands that have made great work in WA over the past year were able to make that age-old pun come true; they had their cake and ate it, too.

Local favourites Eskimo Joe opened up the night's proceedings, immediately tearing up the stage as frontman Kav promised to “rock the shit” out of the growing crowd. And rock they did, with a healthy mix of newer tracks and classics, tipped off with a heavy, jamming rock-out at the end. And then it was into the capable hands of triple j fave Dom Alessio and comedienne Clare Hooper to present the first round of awards. Following that round of pleasantries, thankyous and cake-accepting, and with a fortunately timed yoghurt joke (you had to be there), Clare and Dom introduced that great man of our local music scene, John Butler. After acknowledging the original inhabitants of the land, he whipped out the banjo and leapt into a worthwhile set. With nothing more than said banjo and a stompbox, he got a beautiful sound across in tracks like Better Than, before Mama Kin came on stage to perform an amazing duet. He finished off by pulling out the tiny guitar and blowing everyone's minds with some layered vocal looping. And then, another round of awards, with spontaneous speeches and shared stories aplenty. A special set from local legend Dom Mariani with youngsters Hurricane Fighter Plane wrapped up the official proceedings; Mariani, as always, powering awesomely through a set with his counterparts, who managed to meld the best of classic rock together – both musically and aesthetically (anyone else dig those haircuts?).

But of course, the night was far from over. It wouldn't be a WAMi Awards night without a great leap into the fold of excited reveling. As everyone milled outside, trading cake, laughs and drinks, a full line-up of bands doing great things locally performed inside. Those wunderkinds San Sisco, who took out a slew of awards, played their winningly catchy pop tunes. Bastian's Happy Flight, fresh from their Saturday Spectacular performance, dropped some fresh party sounds on the platters for the loosened-up crowd, and The Chemist and Sonspilo Circus both did what The Bakery receives best; they blew the shit out of the speakers while blasting their heady rock tunes through the building. The Voltaire Twins played their catchy, lo-fi electro, with many in the crowd singing along to those great hooks.

And with that, and just a little stumbling to the taxi rank, the night was over. Congratulations to the deserving winners of all the awards, and especially to Dave Cutbush for taking out the Golden WAMi; very deserving of the gong. Just remember kids, cake is delicious but fattening, so don't consume those awards all at once.

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