Words: Joe Wilson
The pleasurable hole-in-the-wall that was Jimmy’s Den was the lucky venue which gained the opportunity to house Cub Sport’s Perth leg of their national tour last Saturday. With just a small doorway heralding punters to come upstairs into the classy space, before opening a small queue had formed along James Street waiting for the doors. The line was an interesting opportunity to trade local music trivia with prospective punters and probe tidbits of info on the opening band.
With the venue already half packed upon opening, you could just anticipate the gig was going to be good. Small crowds of punters meandering near the merch stand and tiny tables just a distance from the stage were waiting for opening band, The Peppermint Club to emerge on stage. When it did finally come around to The Peppermint Club’s set, they smoothed the crowd with some lush indie-rock/pop tunes. Halfway through their set a young couple started to (vaguely, props on knowing the steps though!) ballroom dance. With the vibes of the music, combined with the visual silhouette of the young couple dancing away and the old grimy pub-feel of the venue, it felt very much like – as quoted by one punter – “an old RSL club.” In some ways, The Peppermint Club successfully pumped up those chill, community vibes.
It was a nice surprise to find Bec Sandridge as second support. Having only just hit Perth recently supporting Montaigne’s tour, it was brilliant to see Sandridge chuck some much needed Bowie-esque vibes towards this isolated capital city once more. Playing a collection of songs including, Through the Fog and the Flame and You’re a Fucking Joke, Sandridge’s set was intrepid and fast paced, a kaleidoscopic explosion of 80’s retro and humorous indie-rock. The greatest tragedy of the night was a smashed up fairy-floss tub, of which Sandridge held up and offered to the crowd. The fairy floss disappeared fairly quickly, evoking the sense that Sandridge’s music induces an involuntary sugar craving for anyone who catches her live – free fairy floss may or may not be included.
Cub Sport’s set was a catchy, hip and laced with emotive synths. If you were low key emotional, then you would definitely have been susceptible to the evocative, emotive qualities lead singer Tim Nelson’s vocals. A cross section of the band’s past discography, the set ranged from slow, pulsing solo sets to hyperactive 80s-segue dance rhythms. If you were feeling sly enough, then as a punter you would have taken the opportunity to slip into the dance gap and get all up in the Rickrolling.
PRO TIP: when dancing away to Cub Sport’s sweet, sweet rhythms, it is totally all in the hips and arm movement.
The sweet part of the crowd was with a small clique of super fans who were sapping up all the joyous energy which emanated from the speakers on stage. Contagious at best, it was a musical game of ping pong, with the enthusiasm for the band’s music bouncing between each and every one of the punter’s. The set came to a peak at the playing of Come Mess Me Up, where everyone chanted the chorus in a fantastical stupor. Each band contributed to a spectacular night, whether it was Zoe Davis with her insane guitar solos or Dan Puusaari with his funky drum rhythms, Cub Sport left the crowd in a stupendous gaze after an encore of Para and Eve, an eloquent track detailing Tim Nelson’s love of his dog. With the crowd wanting more, they rushed off to the merch stand to buy some official Cub Sport apparel. The towels looked pretty rad.