In The Pines: Diversifying the Perth Scene

Words and Interviews by Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung

It’s that time of year again where RTRFM occupy the UWA Somerville Auditorium for In The Pines, a showcase of 20 of Perth’s best musicians in Nedlands’ sunny surrounds.

Ahead of the weekend, The Ink Grid caught up with two of the acts; Peter Bibby and The Merindas to chat about Perth’s musical diversity and what we can expect from their sets for the 23rd edition of this day of local music.

Describing his sound as “unfiltered swash buckle,” Peter Bibby spoke fondly of the unique festivals Perth has become a breeding ground for.

“Things like Camp Doogs and Fron Voyage are amazing, it’s so good to have that sort of thing in WA. They’re so community minded and because they’re not all that exclusive to get on the bill it’s a real good experience for bands to do that sort of thing.”

As we delved into In The Pines territory, I asked Bibby what he appreciated from the day and other similar festivals.

“It’s the lack of bullshit for want of a better word. They’re without all the commercial sponsorship that comes with big festivals and all the bag checking and security kind of thing. Obviously you still need security but generally they don’t need to do much because everyone is in a similar mindset.”

With the second last slot for the festival, Peter Bibby detailed what we can expect from his set Sunday night…

“…a few new songs, a bit of ruckus rock and roll. I’ve been playing a lot more with my old Telecaster than my acoustic so it’s a little bit more rough around the edges these days. We’ve got my friend Strawberry Pete playing bass now…he brings a different element, a bit of youthful pizzazz. It will be a nice full sound. Thirty minutes of truth.”

For The Merindas - a duo of two Indigenous women delving into the soul searching that is Motown music - their set at In The Pines has come during an interesting stage of transition in their career as musicians.

“We come from a small upcoming stage where we play with a lot of community bands, we’ve just been signed to management now and the pressure’s on because we’re not the best in town anymore we’ve got to be better,” said one half of the duo, Candice Lorrae.

With a lot of discussion currently being harboured in the Perth music scene regarding diversity of music line-ups, the Merindas are cautious of being put on the bill due to their Indigenous heritage.

“I want to move away from the whole sentiment of us being picked just because we’re Aboriginal women,” remarked Kristel Kickett.

 “We’ve kind of moved out of our little black circle and being booked because we’re an Aboriginal act. People are booking us now because we’re a good band and we have a good reputation.”

Opening the Sunday festivities, The Merindas will be armed with an arsenal of original acoustic material accompanied by acclaimed guitarist Guy Ghouse.

“We just had a rehearsal this morning and he [Ghouse] heard us for the first time and said ‘you girls are out of control!’ because we were harmonising. It should be good we’re excited to see all the acts!”